Distributed by: Lakeshore Entertainment
Reviewed by Melissa Minners
Sometimes I receive a soundtrack for a film and the music and storyline research make me want to see the film. The Boy was a different story. Lakeshore Entertainment pointed me towards the trailer for the film. Then, I learned that Lauren Cohan was the lead in the film. After watching the trailer, I felt I wanted to see the film, but after I learned that Bear McCreary was composing the film's musical score, I knew I had to see it.
The Boy stars Lauren Cohan as Greta, an American hired to be a nanny for an eight-year-old boy in a small remote town in England. Running from something in her past - we learn later from calls with her sister, an abusive relationship - and looking for a new start, Greta is happy to take on responsibility for Brahms thousands of miles away from her home. But Brahms is not your average child. In fact, Greta soon learns that Brahms is actually a life-sized doll that the Heelshires treat as if it were there real son.
Greta is instructed on a very strict set of rules to follow while caring for Brahms and is told that Brahms can be mischievous and get out of hand if the rules are not followed to the letter. When the Heelshires leave on a trip away from home - the first they've taken in years - Greta soon learns the lengths of Brahms' mischievous side. Things go missing. Doors open when no one else is at home. There are loud noises and footsteps. Greta feels as though she is constantly being watched.
Could the doll be real somehow? Is there a ghost in the Heelshire home? Greta's only source for information is the local grocer, Malcolm, who delivers food to the home and Greta's pay. He helps shed some light on the inspiration behind the doll, the real Brahms who tragically died in a fire twenty years ago, and is shocked at Greta's discoveries regarding the doll that has taken Brahms' place. But none could suspect the real truth about Brahms.
Seeing the trailers for the film, it would be easy for someone to think of The Boy as just another Chucky movie, but this film is so much more! The movie contains all of the perfect horror visual cues such as a dark, gothic locale like the secluded Heelshire mansion; rain storms; problematic phone lines; creepy paintings and taxidermy and more. The musical score created by Bear McCreary adds to all this, making moments without dialogue much creepier. The doll itself is rather creepy looking, more so after strange things begin happening during Greta's stay.
The Boy is Lauren Cohan's first horror film, but she is no newcomer to the horror genre, thanks to her role as Maggie in The Walking Dead television series. A highly underrated actress, as far as I'm concerned, Lauren Cohan is able to express a very real sort of terror that viewers actually can feel. She is also excellent at portraying someone who believes that they are losing their mind. Rupert Evans as Malcolm makes a plausible romantic interest and is excellent as Greta's source of history regarding Brahms. Jim Norton and Diana Hardcastle are not in the film very long, but their portrayal of the Heelshires and their regret at their actions and real fear as to whether or not their "son" will be cared for comes through perfectly.
Though the entire film is enjoyable, what really makes it all worthwhile is the plot twist at the end, keeping The Boy from being your average ghost tale or a Chucky horror flick. There are clues to this twist here and there throughout the film, but you won't recognize the foreshadowing until you think back on the film after the movie is done. I found it interesting that the ending scene is a bit ambiguous and open...is a sequel in the making?
I was so excited to see this film and I was not let down! The Boy is an excellent horror film with an awesome plot twist that makes the movie that much more enjoyable. I've been telling everyone I know about this film and the person who saw the film with me certainly agrees when I say that The Boy is a must see for all fans of classic horror.