The Boy: A dysfunctional relationship between a doll and his nanny
I have to confess to being pleasantly surprised by The Boy. The story of American nanny Greta (The Walking Dead‘s Lauren Cohan) landing a job babysitting a doll named Brahms in a huge, isolated manor house in the English countryside sounded more like a creepy Pinocchio than a genuine entry into the supernatural horror genre. But this story works, albeit in no way that’s going to have you hiding under the covers.
The movie is a bit of a slow burn. There are enough red herrings thrown about to leave the audience guessing as to the true nature of the strange occurrences going on in this isolated environment. Is the house haunted? Is the doll possessed? Is Greta the victim of gaslighting? Or is she genuinely going crazy? These questions are enough to keep us engaged while the story slowly unravels toward a conclusion that takes a bit of a dog-leg from supernatural thriller to Michael Myers-style stalk’n’slash.
This is a great role for Lauren Cohan. I admit to being a fan and this is the type of movie she can carry. Rupert Evans (Hellboy, The Man In The High castle) is hopelessly charming as Malcolm, the grocery man with a crush on the nanny, and Ben Robson (Vikings) is suitably intimidating as the ex-boyfriend Cole.
Greta (Lauren Cohan) doesn’t know what to make of her young charge, Brahms, in The Boy.
Whilst limited by both story and setting, the direction of William Brent Bell (Stay Alive) shows a dedication to crafting the story and a keen eye for detail. While there is nothing here to terrify, he still manages to convey an air of eeriness and churn out a couple of jolts of tension.
Fans of the horror genre will enjoy this trek into mystery. Others may find it a bit tedious, but either way, it’s a solid effort and well worth a look.
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