The Boy was a film that looked like it would be horrible from just seeing the preview. It appeared to be an attempt to follow the success of two recent, and horrible, doll related horror films, Poltergeist and Annabelle. While this may in fact be true, The Boy was far superior to either film, despite the fact that it wasn’t the best horror film to come out of the past year. This being said, it also wasn’t a terrible film to watch.
Greta (Lauren Cohan of The Walking Dead), travels to England from America to escape her abusive ex and to take on the job of nanny to an eight year old boy, Brahms, while his parents take a much needed month long vacation. Upon arrival, Greta discovers that Brahms isn’t a boy at all, but a doll that the parents talk to and treat like a real boy. The real Brahms died in a fire twenty years prior and they cannot seem to let him go. Once the parents leave, however, Greta discovers that Brahms may be more than he appears to be.
Lets start out on a positive note. For being a film about a haunted doll, The Boy was actually surprisingly original. While the ending was something you may have easily seen coming, there was a moment when the film could’ve gone in another direction completely that would’ve involved a lot of awful CGI and would have put the film right at the level of Poltergeist. Personally, I am very happy they went in the direction they went in.
Brahms was a really cute doll. I appreciate that they kept him a doll and didn’t make him move on his own or force him to talk. Turning Brahms into Chucky would have really ruined the entire film and taken away from the originality of it all. It really is what you don’t see that gives The Boy its creepy edge.
Now, something that bothers me is that they, once again, give Lauren Cohan an American accent. While she is technically American, having been born in the US, Cohan has a British accent from having grown up in the UK. Despite having a southern accent in both The Boy and The Walking Dead, you can still hear her real accent through it all. In fact, until they mentioned that she was American in the film, I legitimately thought that she was speaking with a British accent the whole time. There really was no need to make her American. The film would have worked just as well keeping her British and wouldn’t have changed a thing about the story.
While The Boy had some genuine suspenseful moments, the majority of the scary moments were jump scares, an unfortunate pattern in todays horror films. Nowadays people mistake films that make them jump for being terrifying when really this is the cheap way to scare you. If you leave the film more concerned with what is around the corner than what is in your nightmares, the film did not succeed in scaring you the way it should. That film did not make you scared, it made you paranoid. The Boy is a paranoia film, not necessarily a scary film.
In terms of home release, The Boy has no special features. It felt like a film that would have had deleted scenes or a “making of” at the very least but maybe the film did not do well enough in theaters to warrant spending the extra money on special features. Honestly though, you should buy a film because you enjoy it, not because of the special features. If you enjoyed Annabelle and Poltergeist, you will like The Boy. If you didn’t like them, you still might enjoy it as it really was much easier to watch and stomach.
The Boy is now available on Blu-ray, DVD and Digital HD from Universal Home Entertainment.