The Boy is directed by William Brent Bell, who is known for his horror films such as Stay Alive (2006) and The Devil Inside (2012). The film has its share of tense moments and good acting, but it falls flat in the second half as it transitions from horror to thriller.
The Boy, starring Lauren Cohan (The Walking Dead), tells the story of Greta (Cohan), who takes a job as a nanny in the remote English countryside, only to discover that the Heelshire family’s 8-year-old boy is a life-sized doll named Brahms that the parents look after after losing their actual son 20 years ago.
Greta is forced to follow a set of rules in order to care for the boy, which she finds amusing at first. Greta has to do a lot to keep herself safe in the house, aside from the usual rules carefully crafted by Mr. and Mrs. Heelshire, who have gone on vacation.
After breaking a string of strict rules, Greta’s worst nightmare comes true, leading her to believe that the doll is actually alive. Is the doll possessed by a spirit, then? This is the only question that will keep you watching the movie.
Given the plot and narratives, I must say that The Boy began as a promising horror film, but due to some unexpected twists, it ends up disappointing horror movie fans. While we must acknowledge that the plot is cleverly designed to conceal the true nature of Brahms, there aren’t enough scary moments to keep the audience engaged for a long.
Also, in the end, The Boy leaves you with the impression that there will be a sequel. While it’s not necessary to delve deeper into such a shallow premise, based on today’s horror films, one more isn’t a bad thing as long as there are enough screams and no cheap jump-scare thrills.
Starring: Lauren Cohan, Rupert Evans, Jim Norton, Diana Hardcastle
Directed by: William Brent Bell
Release date: January 22, 2016