This weekend we had a string of new releases, none of which seemed to do so well with critics. Among them we have The Boy which seeing the trailer didn’t seem that promising to begin with regardless I knew I wouldn’t be able to stay away from this one cause I am a sucker for horror films about creepy evil dolls. So let’s begin,
The Boy stars Lauren Cohan (Young Alexander the Great, Float, Reach Me) as Greta Evans, who takes a job as a nanny for elderly couple Mr. and Mrs. Heelshire; Jim Norton (Extremly Loud and Incredibly Close, The Boy in the Striped Pajamas, Boxed) and Diana Hardcastle (A good Woman, The Best Exotic Marigold Hotel, Jenny’s Wedding). She travels from Michigan all the way to the countryside of UK for the job seeing it as a way to escape her stressful past. But she finds her new escape may be more troubling when the Heelshire’s son turns out to be nothing more than a creepy life-sized doll named Braums. They talk to him, feed him, play with him, school him and play his favorite music disturbingly enough to the Heelshire’s Braums is very much real. They teach Greta everything she needs to know about taking care of Braums and then out of nowhere decide to go on a vacation. All alone in their big creepy mansion with an even creepier doll Greta finds salvation in the cute market boy, or man, Malcom played by Rupert Evans (The Canal, Asylum Blackout, Hellboy) who stops by every week to deliver the groceries. Through him, Greta learns more about the death of Braums and that the town has two kinds of talk behind the deceased boy some good and some very bad. She learns the story of the fire that took his life and that soon after the doll mysteriously showed up on the Heelshire’s doorstep. Greta then begins to find that her, things go missing, she hears footsteps about the house, a child’s voice calls her on the phone and that creepy doll keeps ending up in different parts of the house that Greta knows she didn’t leave it. It soon becomes clear that Braums is much, much more than just a doll.
Of course I couldn’t resist this! It had all the elements of a classic horror story. The babysitter alone in a big creepy house without any neighbors or communication from the outside world and then you’ve got this supposedly inanimate object which begs the question is she really alone in the house? The first half of the movie is a little slow as we follow-up on how crazy the Heelshire’s are and get the back story of Braums as well as Greta as we try to figure out what she’s running from. The movie doesn’t pick up until Greta realizes that Braums is moving about on his own…but even then it doesn’t really go where we think it’s going to go. First comes panic, then fear, then fascination…then things really get weird when Greta’s ex boyfriend Cole; Ben Robson (Dracula: The Dark Prince) makes his way into the picture. There are no jump factors here, the only scene that really gives you a scare is when Greta is staring at Braums in the family portrait and it suddenly comes to life but that’s something you can see just from watching the trailer. There is a crazy twist at the end that was actually kind of disappointing for me and raised more questions than answers. The camera work at the end was confusing, there was a chase scene, but with the sudden different angles and poor lighting it’s hard to tell who is chasing who.
Rated PG-13 for violence and terror, and for some thematic material.
Rotten Tomatoes has this creeper of a film at a 29% rotten. Bleeh.
It’s the same rating we got with 2014’s Annabelle (another creepy doll horror film) and even though that was also a disappointment as least it stayed true to form and didn’t completely railroad us at the ending. Also that basement scene in Annabelle is something to admire. That was freakin’ scary! But The Boy has no scene that will be remembered, it’s an easily forgettable film. I wouldn’t even say waste money on it at the theater, however if you are drawn to the creepy doll horror films like me I would recommend waiting for it on Redbox. But don’t rush off to see it. It’s just not worth it.