The Boy, directed by William Brent Bell (Wer) and starring Lauren Cohan (The Walking Dead), is a horror story about a nanny who quickly discovers her new job is not what it seems. After answering an ad for a live-in caregiver, she leaves America for London in hopes of escaping her abusive ex-boyfriend and getting her life back on track. But instead of watching a small boy, she is tasked with caring for a life-sized porcelain doll named Brahms. So we have Chucky, we have Annabelle, and now we have Brahms…? That was what was going through my head as the film’s first act closed, but I was actually on board as the second began.
Then something happened. Without even knowing it, I was hooked. I’m not sure if it was the “you are all alone in a creepy mansion” self-induced paranoia or the camera shots of Brahms’ face that held just a second too long that did it. If you’re reading this review at home, take a break, find a door, and stare at it for a minute without looking away — you’ll swear you saw it move. Now add some creepy music, and boom, you just created tension!
Doll tears. The worst kind of tear.
There’s a throwaway love story that was surprisingly fun, so I wasn’t too upset that it was added. And anytime I was slightly pulled out of the story, a great jump scare pulled me back in. Who wouldn’t be creeped out hearing a boy cry in the middle of the night in an “empty” house? Then when I thought it couldn’t get any better, the third act was upon me, and… it didn’t. I think that classic line from The Wire sums it up best: “Shittttttt!”
I have never seen a horror film shit the bed with its story this bad, at least not in a long, long time. I actually don’t blame the director or the writers — I blame ol’ M. Night Shyamalan, who is so bad he can ruin movies he had nothing to do with. For whatever reason, writers still think they need a twist ending in every script. Now I may be overreacting, but when the final plot twist occurred, I clearly heard a man a few rows back say to his friend, “Seriously?” I’m not sure if this unknown man had mind-reading powers, but he clearly read mine on that one.
My face upon witnessing said twist.
I cannot in good conscience recommend this one. Rental yes, but not as a theatrical experience. Actually, scratch that. Go see it, then at the close of the second act, quickly get up and leave the theater as fast as you can, and you will be 100% satisfied with this film. Stay, and you will scratch your head, hoping for a DVD director’s cut that follows through with what the first two acts do.
Moan4Stallone is Laser Time’s horror master.