Imagine agreeing to babysit a child, but when you are brought face-to-face with it, it turns out to be a creepy-ass porcelain doll named Brahms. Would you reject the offer and leave, or would you, like Greta (Lauren Cohan), an American nanny in The Boy, directed by William Brent Bell, agree to cuddle, sing, and even kiss the doll goodnight for a paycheck?
Greta, like any normal person, finds babysitting a doll strange, and finds the rules accompanying him even stranger. Brahms must never be alone, must always be read poetry in a “loud, clear voice,” must listen to music loudly, and must always be kissed goodnight. Needless to say, Greta fails to follow the rules, instead covering Brahms with a sheet – and that is when weird things begin to happen.
Certain items begin disappearing and reappearing; a childlike wail can be heard echoing around the pitch-dark hallways; the lifeless doll begins moving around the house, knocking on doors, making peanut-butter-and-jelly sandwiches, and, in a tiny voice, pleading for Greta to follow the rules.
After speaking to Malcolm (Rupert Evans), local grocery man, about her tragic past, involving an abusive boyfriend and her child’s death, Greta becomes more affectionate and maternal towards Brahms – much to the dismay of Malcolm and Cole (Ben Robson), Greta’s ex-boyfriend. Together, all three will discover who Brahms truly is, and what is lurking behind the walls of the Heelshire House.
Even though the trailer terrified me and the synopsis sounded fantastic, The Boy disappointed me with classic horror clichés, such as a stupid protagonist, countless jump scares, unanswered questions, and a terrible ending.
Greta, to be blunt, is a dumb protagonist – when she hears creaking boards in the attic, she wanders upstairs with no light, no weapon, and wearing only a towel, giving herself away by shouting, “Who’s there?” And instead of expressing fear when she discovers her doll might be possessed, Greta gleefully hops up and down, all smiles! What?!
I am not a fan of jump scares – they cheapen a movie. The Boy, unfortunately, is chock-full of them.
As for unanswered questions, I honestly wanted to know, “What the hell made Brahms odd?” Was he born evil? What other qualities did he exhibit that deemed him “odd?” I mean, the characters attempted to weave together a spooky backstory, but it fell flat – it would have been more terrifying had Brahms’ parents, who desperately wanted a child, had summoned an evil spirit or demon which, once Brahms perished in the fire, had transferred itself into a porcelain doll, intent on haunting them for life unless they found a fresh soul to sacrifice.
I was not a fan of the twist ending – it was complete shit.
The Boy wasn’t scary; it was a disappointment.
To watch the trailer, click here.