Thursday, May 12, 2016

The Boy – If You're Nice to Him, He'll be Nice to You

Runtime: 97 minutes
Release Date: January 22, 2016
Rating: PG-13
Director: William Brent Bell

Greta (Lauren Cohan, The Walking Dead) travels from Montana to England to accept a nanny job and to escape an abusive former relationship. Mr. and Mrs. Heelshire are a little too old to have a young child, but their need for a nanny makes more sense when they introduce her to their “son” Brahms. Brahms is actually a life size porcelain doll that they treat like a real boy. His mother explains to her that they tried hard to find a suitable nanny in the past but that Brahms turned down all their previous choices. After a hushed conversation with the boy behind closed doors, they announce that he accepted her.

The next morning, the couple provide Greta with a detailed list of instructions that she must follow before departing. The list includes things like waking him up every morning at seven and kissing him goodnight each night after putting him to bed. Though she's all alone in the house, she does meet Malcolm, the man responsible for delivering groceries and her paycheck every week. Malcolm confides in her that the real Brahms died in a tragic fire 20 years ago and that the parents have had the doll ever since. He later confesses that a little girl went missing from the house after a birthday party, her body was later found, and when the cops came to the house, they found the house on fire.

As most people would, Greta doesn't believe that Brahms is real and ignores all the instructions on the list. After a nightmare in which the doll comes to life, she starts feeling unsettled in the house. That feeling grows even worse when she keeps finding things missing or things rearranged and gets locked in the home's attic. Once Greta finally begins believing that Brahms is real, she must convince Malcolm of the truth and figure out what to do when her abusive ex shows up on her doorstep.

The Boy is a film that I saw a trailer for a few months ago on some random website and instantly knew that I wanted to see it. The trailer was so dark and creepy that I made both my roommate and the boyfriend watch it too. Unfortunately, it seems like a lot of the best scenes in the movie were in the trailer.

I kept waiting for a big jump scene that never came, and it didn't have that creepy and unsettling feel that I thought it would. There are multiple scenes of the Brahms doll just sitting where the camera stayed so long on the doll that you expected something to happen only for the camera to finally pan away without a single thing happening.

The sad thing is that right as the film got going, it was almost the end. If you think this is just the classic story of a ghost haunting a doll, think again, and if you go into the movie with that expectation, you likely won't see the ending coming. Cohan is a pretty good actress on television in both The Walking Dead and Supernatural, but there was something about her character in The Boy that I didn't really like.

It didn't help that we had a bunch of extra info thrown at us, including how her abusive ex caused her to miscarry their ex and how Brahms likely had a connection to a young girl's death. While we did get resolution with the ex, we never really learn if Brahms killed the little girl or not. Though I liked the ending of The Boy, it felt like a miss to me.

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