The Boy (2016)


The Boy – horror film review

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Follow his rules…

I recently bought The Boy on Blu ray as a bit of a treat and you know, mainly because I don’t have many Blu rays. And obviously it was pay day. I wasn’t expecting ‘deep scares’ or really even ANY scares but I thought the premise was pretty good.

An American nanny (Maggie from The Walking Dead) takes up a position in the scary British countryside – isolated, ivy covered manor with creepy statues alert! – and gets more than she bargained for after finding out the child in her care is actually a doll named Brahms.

And Brahms has rules. And a silly, pretentious name. And Brahms is a fucking doll. 

Actually I didn’t find him scary. THERE I SAID IT. The way he’s constantly staring through doorways is 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 – which is clearly emphasised more than is naturally normal…

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Well I couldn’t help but notice that one of the rules was for a goodnight kiss (awwwwwweee Brahms!) and the silly fluffy girl secretly living inside me just loved this and bless Brahms’ cold porcelain heart.

Though I don’t think I’d be too comfortable accepting a job after my new employees ‘welcomed me’ by crying, whispering in my ear how sorry they were and generally acting like right weirdos. And of course there’s the whole looking after a doll instead of an ACTUAL KID. This is not year 11 at school and you are not trying to put her off not using a condom.

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Truthfully, the film isn’t really scary. But it was enjoyable enough (to watch once) and there were a couple of semi-creepy, jumpy scenes. I liked the mysterious tone set from the beginning and the twist ending which was REALLY EASY to work out though still fairly fitting.

Of course the usual horror clichés were present and most 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 but boring Mr Darcy guy who happens to be the only person living nearby – a check for that one too.

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Now this is a bit spoiler-ish so skip if you’d rather not know, but the story – and indeed the truth of the mystery – never felt supernatural. And though there’s clearly terror afoot and something peculiar brewing in the ivy it never really feels like Brahms is connected to a supernatural presence. And that’s why the ending wasn’t hard to guess – as really, there’s not many directions it could go in.

All in all The Boy isn’t ground-breaking or even particularly memorable but nor is it absolute stinking bin water (which I just got on my hands). It was relatively entertaining, unintentionally funny (always a  big bonus) and didn’t overstay its welcome with a nice, standard duration of 97 minute.

Watch it – but definitely just wait for Netflix.

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Awwwwwwwwwwwwwwwweeeee!

About emmakwall

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

  1. johnrieber says:

    Why is it we have so many “scary” films that just aren’t? Too moody, no building of suspense, plots that don’t surprise at all…oh well, at least you were mildly entertained!

  2. rdfranciswriter says:

    I just reviewed (not yet published) Cruel Peter (2020).

    In the usual marketing scheme, it was subtitled/re-titled Cruel Peter: The Boy, obviously to make you think you’re getting a sequel. And while very good, it’s nothing like The Boy. It’s from the makers of The Haunting of Helena (which I liked), but that came out in the U.S. as Fairy Tale (with new artwork).

    Great review! Keep on keepin’ on the keyboard!

  3. Pingback: Films I Watched In: June & July | emmakwall (explains it all)

  4. Zoë says:

    “Now the silly fluffy girl inside me just loved this and bless Brahms’ cold porcelain heart.” – this is golden! I am glad you enjoyed this one more then me Em!

  5. I loved it. It was more entertaining than scary and a little humourous, but it did have a bit of suspense going for it. Love the review Ems!

    • emmakwall says:

      Thanks Geoff! I agree there was humour in it, I should have mentioned that more in my review (unintentional humour lol) and I enjoyed it too. Could have been a lot scarier but I agree there were suspenseful / tense scenes!

  6. filmsCine says:

    Life-sized boy doll peeking round corners sounds creepy as hell! He does look quite cute and innocent in comparison to Chuckie, though. But then again, they said Ted Bundy looked cute and innocent too.

    Great review!

    • emmakwall says:

      Thanks! And I did chuckle reading that bit about Ted Bundy, so true!! I was a bit in love with Brahms, I must confess! The film wasn’t really scary sadly, though someone with a doll-phobia may disagree! Thanks for your comment 🙂

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