Movie Review: The Boy (2016)

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The Boy is a 2016 horror movie, directed by William Brent Bell (also director of Stay Alive, a guilty pleasure 2006 horror film of mine). Lauren Cohen plays Greta, an American woman escaping an abusive partner by going for a nanny position at an old country house for Mr and Mrs Heelshire (Jim Norton and Diana Hardcastle). When the Heelshires young son, Brahms, turns out to be a porcelain doll, Greta is given a strict set of rules which must be followed, or else Brahms won’t be happy. With her only contact being the grocery delivery man, Malcolm (Rupert Evans), Greta learns that if she is good to Brahms, he will be good back. But if she’s not…

+ Lauren Cohen is made for the role of horror actress, with her big eyes and infectious smile. Her years of Walking Dead zombie reactions have helped her responses to the various scares, too. I can’t say I care much for some stupid decisions her character makes, though
+ the movie didn’t go where I thought it would. It was not necessarily groundbreaking in the horror genre, but it defied enough cliches to make it work at least a single viewing. Considering the amount of horror movies I have seen, it was nice to not necessarily be able to predict where it was all heading
+ perhaps most importantly, the titular boy, Brahms, the porcelain doll, is straight up terrifying. It has that perfect blend of “uncanny valley” “skin”, and the glittering eyes make it feel as if it’s following you as the camera movies.

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As soon as I saw this thing I’d have NOPE’d right out of there.

– a few minor plot points were mentioned in passing, or I certainly would have liked a tiny bit more closure on just one or two lines of dialogue. The implications are there, but I don’t feel this was a movie which will benefit from prolonged discussion

> this was the first film in a long time to make me jump in fright. It was a cheap jump scare, mind you, but I make no excuses – I admit I nearly shat my pants

Should you see this film: Yes. The film provides enough atmosphere and minimal straight-up jump scares, with a plot that only becomes more terrifying as it becomes clearer to be worth a watch. Good for a movie night, at least.

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