Directed by William Brent Bell
So a show of hands: who reading this like creepy-ass dolls? I know I’m not a big fan of them. I’m not outright scared of them per se, but certain ones do creep me out some. That’s probably why when I hear about a movie involving a creepy doll, I’m generally eager to check it out. Which brings us to The Boy, a movie with a trailer I only watched a couple of days before seeing the movie in theater.
In The Boy, Lauren Cohan plays Greta, an American in England applying for a nanny position for an elderly couple living in a remote area of the country. Greta arrives to the house to learn that the parents are having her babysit a doll made to resemble their son Brahms, who we learn died in a fire about twenty years prior, when he was just eight years old. When Greta realizes it’s not a joke, she accepts the position, despite its oddities. Like any rational person would do, mere moments after the parents leave, Greta immediately ignores the rules laid out for her concerning Brahms, and comes to learn that the rules are there for a reason…
The Boy is one of those movies where I had to take a little more time than normal to reflect on how much I liked it. About a third of the way into the movie I had made what turned out to be a partially correct guess as to the outcome, and the outcome is really what I had to think on. Otherwise there were a lot of good things going on.
The acting was very convincing from everyone involved, and I believed the growing development between Greta and the local grocery delivery man Malcolm (Rupert Evans). Greta’s back story is gradually revealed, and I was surprised to find that it actually played a big part into the movie’s development later on. Diana Hardcastle and Jim Norton made the parents of Brahms a perfect blend of strange and ultimately tragic characters who have slowly been breaking from the accident their son was involved in. And Ben Robson? Well, if there was ever was a convincing asshole ex-boyfriend, it was him. You’ll love to hate him very quickly.
The house itself was just beautiful inside and out. It is called Craigdarroch Castle, a Victorian-era Scottish Baronial mansion located in Victoria, British Columbia. I would love to one day see it in person. Not only was the interior beautiful, but the lighting during the night was some of the best I’ve been in recent years. It was something that stood out amongst all the technical aspects. One scene in particular involving Lauren Cohan walking in the hallway at night with only a candle to investigate noises was much spookier than it would have been with more background lighting.
The doll, while being creepy for the most part, eventually lost its creep factor after maybe the halfway point for me. I think it’s a combination of seeing the doll too much, and certain things that happen later on. As far as the ending goes, I’ve decided that I do like it. It wasn’t what I hoped for at the beginning, and to explain why could spoil the ending. But I can say that the last part of the movie still maintained the creepy factor and it does tie up pretty much everything that didn’t make full sense earlier in the movie.
So would I recommend you see The Boy in theater? I would say yes. I did have fun watching it on the big screen. Prepare yourselves for the occasional jump scare scattered throughout, but I can spoil one thing about the ending; there is no end movie jump scare. Apologies for the excessive use of the word “creepy”. While it was an accurate word, I used it so much because the bulk of the movie wasn’t really that scary. I wouldn’t let that deter you from seeing it though, just don’t expect to be scared to death or anything. Rest in peace.
Macabre Rating: 3.5 out of 5 tombstones.