Movie Review: The Boy (2016)

by StevenHelmer

A review of the 2016 thriller starring Lauren Cohan and Rupert Evans.

Synopsis: Determined to escape a violent relationship, Greta Evans travels to England to take a job as a nanny at a remote country home. When she arrives, she learns the couple she is working for lost their child in a fire years earlier and she is, instead, expected to care for the doll they now treat as a living thing. At first, Greta believes her new employers are crazy and doesn't follow the strict schedule they gave her. However, as strange things begin happening in the house, she starts to believe the doll is, in fact, alive.

Who's In It?

Review

Even though I do still enjoy watching horror movies, I've become desensitized to the point most don't scare me any more. One exception to this, however, is movies involving creepy dolls and, when I saw this film was available via Netflix, I decided to get the DVD and give it a chance.

Unfortunately, even with the ultra-creepy doll, Brahms, the movie was a little bit of a flop as far as horror movies go. Yes, there were some creepy scenes in it. But, mostly because everything the doll does is somewhat predictable, it never really reaches a point where I felt like I had to be on the edge of my seat.

That being said, I did find I still enjoyed this movie. This is because, even though it did lack something as a horror film, the movie made an excellent mystery. For one, the film doesn't reveal much about the doll and why it may be alive. It might be possessed by the spirit of the dead child. Or, it could simply be in Greta's (Cohan) head. And, the latter wasn't overly far-fetched given the secluded (creepy) location, the way Brahms' parents (Norton and Hardcastle) sold the notion of the doll being special and even Greta's own past, which included an abusive relationship and lost child.

I also found I couldn't rule out Greta's grocery man/potential love interest, Malcolm (Evans). He seemed innocent enough. But, since he was the only other person she had anything to do with and seemed to have a key to the house, it was very possible he was trying to manipulate her for some unknown reason.

One other thing I have to say about this movie is it was one of the few I've seen with a surprise twist that actually surprised me. I don't want to go into too much detail about it. But, the movie completely fooled me until the very end and, since that doesn't happen very often, it definitely scored a few extra points with me as a result.

Final Opinion

As I said, the movie isn't as scary as it is advertised to be. However, it is a decent mystery with a nice surprise twist at the end and, because of that, is a film that is worth taking the time to watch.

My Grade: B

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Updated: 11/21/2016, StevenHelmer
 
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