Fear, suspense, and atmosphere are all key ingredients of an effective horror film, and they are all lacking in The Boy. It’s a weak and uneventful film with such little imagination it ‘borrows’ twists from more effective horror films.
Lauren Cohan (Maggie from The Walking Dead) stars as Greta Evans, a young woman running from problems at home who takes on the job of child minding for a couple in England. When Greta arrives at the grand house in the middle of nowhere she soon discovers her job is not as straight forward as she once thought. Brahms, the child she is supposed to be minding, is in fact a doll and he has a list of rules that she must follow, because…why not? After the parents leave eerie things start to happen, items go missing, objects move, and doors open. Is Brahms actually alive? or is the something spookier going on?
On the face of things, 2016 looked to be a promising year for horror films, but like the majority of horror releases so far The Boy fails to deliver on nearly every level. It’s not scary, it lacks atmosphere, and had it not been for the slightly creepy looking Brahms doll I guarantee it wouldn’t have even made it’s way to the cinema. Lauren Cohan does her best with the shoddy material in front of her, but the direction is limited to long shots and close ups of Brahms, probably because they’ve got nothing else interesting to show.
As mentioned earlier, the twist/reveal (spoiler alert, but I’m doing you a favour) is infuriatingly similar to those found in The Pact or Housebound. Because there is not an ounce of suspense in the film, the only thing that maintains your attention is the mystery around Brahms. Is he a possessed doll? Is the house haunted? Is everybody just batshit crazy and like talking to inanimate objects? Well if you haven’t seen the above films, then you might find the end a surprise or inventive, but it’s not and it’s been done before.
There is not a lot else to say about this wet blanket of a horror, apart from everything in it is bland and ineffective. I don’t recommend it, for horror fans or for casual film fans. Even at 90 minutes it was a waste of time.