The Boy (2016)

Review by CJ

The Boy

William Brent Bell

Lauren Cohan, Rupert Evans, Jim Norton, Diana Hardcastle

Running time:
97 minutes

Watch this if you liked:
Annabelle, The Visit


Greta (Cohan) is an American looking to escape an abusive relationship by travelling to England. She takes a job as nanny for a married couple, Mr and Mrs Heelshire, who live in the secluded English countryside.

When she arrives, Greta discovers the Heelshires’ son Brahms died 20 years ago at the age of eight. Instead her charge is to look after a life sized porcelain doll the couple also refer to as Brahms and treat as though he were a live boy. After the Heelshires’ leave for a vacation, Greta ignores the strict rules for Brahms’ care that were set out for her.

Greta is about to see just how naughty a little boy can be.

The Boy is by no means the best horror movie I have seen but I thought it was enjoyable nonetheless.

I did find The Boy to be very predictable, having worked out the main twists in the tale within the first 20 minutes or so. Well before the creepy things started happening. Though as I do watch a lot of horror movies it is possible that the film is less to blame as that I’m just overexposed and know what to expect.

There were far fewer scares than I thought there would have been based on the trailer. I jumped three times and can’t say I had the same sense of foreboding as with most supernatural and/or doll related horror films. Ordinarily in a situation like this, I would put that down to having worked out the ending already. However, I was in a cinema with a group who were not shy about letting their shock be known and they were all only startled at the same points as I.

Despite the lack of scares and my early accurate predictions, I liked the concept of The Boy. It is a good story without too much convolution, which is exactly what you want from a horror film.

The acting in The Boy was good. I don’t think anyone will win an Oscar but I was still impressed with the quality of the small cast’s performances. I was especially impressed with the diversity demonstrated by Cohan. I love her as Maggie in The Walking Dead where she is one of my favourites amongst a large ensemble cast. However, in The Boy Cohan goes from sharing scenes with a maximum of three people to it just being her and a doll. She manages in both of these situations to portray her character well.

With its few good jump scares and interesting plot, I would recommend The Boy for horror fans who enjoy a more story based film. However, I don’t see it being worth a repeat viewing.

3 Stars

“You wouldn’t hurt me. Would you, Brahms?”


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