The Boy (2016)

The Boy – horror film review


Follow his rules….

I recently bought The Boy on Blu ray, as a bit of a treat and you know, I don’t have many Blu rays. And obviously it was pay day. I wasn’t expecting deep scares but I thought the premise was pretty cool. An American nanny (Maggie from The Walking Dead – AKA Lauren Cohan) takes up a position in the scary British countryside (isolated ivy covered manor with creepy statues alert!) and gets more than she bargained for, finding out the child in her care is actually a doll named Brahms.

And Brahms has rules. And a silly name.

Actually I didn’t find Brahms very scary. There I said it. The way he’s constantly staring through doorways becomes quite amusing and I must admit I found him a little bit cute. Part of the story involves his agitated and highly disturbed parents (what else can I call them?) going away, leaving Maggie in charge. They leave her a list of rules she must follow (this is emphasised more than is naturally normal) and I noticed one of the rules was for a goodnight kiss. Now the silly fluffy girl inside me just loved this and bless Brahms’ cold porcelain heart. Though (by the by) I don’t think I’d be comfortable accepting a job after my new employees welcomed me (and I use the phrase lightly) by crying, acting generally fucking weird and whispering in my ear how ‘sorry’ they were. And of course there’s the whole looking after a doll instead of an actual kid pickle but that’s just me.

Truthfully, the film isn’t very scary at all. But it was enjoyable enough and there were a couple of semi-creepy and ‘jumpy’ scenes. I liked the mysterious tone that was set from the beginning and the twist ending Screen_Shot_2016-01-19_at_8.52.43_AM(1)which was possible to work out but important to say still well executed. Of course there’s the usual horror clichés and some of it felt reminiscent of a million other scary films. Creepy attic scene – check. Old photographs found during creepy attic scene – check. A ‘you’re only ever gonna see a storm this bad once in your lifetime’ type of storm whilst finding old photographs in attic scene – check. But we all like stuff like that right? Oh and potential romance with the handsome Mr Darcy guy who happens to be the only person living nearby – a check for that one too. The-Boy-2016-04

This is a bit spoiler-ish so skip if you’d rather not know, but the film (and indeed the mystery) never really feels supernatural. I mean clearly there’s terror afoot and something peculiar brewing in the ivy but it never, at least to me, felt like Brahms was connected to a supernatural presence. I thought the story going in a more ‘real life’ (you know what I mean) direction was actually quite good and made for a better movie with a more coherent plot than something involving Ouija boards and bad luck at the estate agents. Though from this angle the story can only really conclude in a limited number of ways so the shock twist ending does become quite apparent. And whilst I hate myself for saying something a little bit smug sounding I honestly don’t mean it like that. It was still a fun movie.

All in all The Boy isn’t groundbreaking but nor is it absolute garbage water eek I just got some on my hands. It’s entertaining, doesn’t overstay its welcome (97 minute duration) and I genuinely enjoyed the mystery surrounding Maggie, Brahms, the nutty parents, Mr Darcy and the creepy old house. Definitely watch it, but probably best to wait for Netflix.



About emmakwall

Films, books, soundtracks, good humour
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58 Responses to The Boy (2016)

  1. Jordan Dodd says:

    Hahaha, you found him a bit cute! That’s funny, this sounds like the sort of ‘horror’ movie that I end up laughing at because of all the silliness. Though then again you say it goes into more ‘real’ territory… I might give this a try when its streaming.

    PS – I’m transcribing the next chapter of my book. I hope to post it within the week. I need someone to remind to keep working on it, I keep getting distracted! I’ve set a goal to finish it by the end of the year…. gonna be tough I think!

    • emmakwall says:

      I can’t wait to read it! You know how bad I am at reminding you as well, I’m away with the fairies most the time haha. I’ll keep checking for when it’s posted 🙂

      This was DEFINITELY a film you end up laughing at, more than hiding behind a pillow but I don’t mind a bit of giggling! It wasn’t anything special though Jordy, nothing to rush and watch. I did find him cute! I ended up feeling sorry for him!!!!


  2. vinnieh says:

    Did I read correctly in one of your comments that you went to see The Dreamboys?

  3. vinnieh says:

    Carrying on from my last comment, I may give it a watch if nothing else is on.

  4. vinnieh says:

    Cool review Emma, though this film sounds somewhat lacking in scares.

  5. renxkyoko says:

    I’ve never really liked dolls even as a kid, so I’m sure this would freak me out.

  6. Fabulous review as always Bestie! I kind of turned up my nose at the trailer, but maybe I should try this.

  7. beetleypete says:

    Thanks for being honest about the film. I think that you were bold to invest in the Blu-Ray. Then again, I can understand that you need to treat yourself at the moment.
    I have been worrying about you all week. (Honest…) Any joy with the job-hunting? I wish that I could win the lottery tomorrow, and I would sort out all your problems. (Honest…)
    Let me know how you are, sweet Emma.
    As always, Pete. XXX + extras, xxx And a big one. X

  8. Tom says:

    Brahms IS a silly name. Thank you so much for saying what I was thinking Emma! Haha!

  9. Kevin says:

    Sheesh that looks bad. Speaking of ivy and the isolated countryside, have you seen the Radcliffe-starred The Woman in Black? I absolutely love that one, because it feels like classic horror, with tons of atmosphere and spot-on & masterfully used jump scares.

    I went to see the play in London last September and it is glorious! You have to go see it if you haven’t.

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