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 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.
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.