Spoiler Free Reviews: The Boy (2016)
Billed as a horror film, The Boy would have been better described as a thriller. Thankfully short on the same gimmicky scares that are thrown in to most PG-13 movies, The Boy spends more time focusing on the mental aspect, questioning whether the porcelain doll Greta (Lauren Cohan) is hired to nanny is actually a spirit, while still throwing in enough seat jumping moments to appease horror films. Despite the lack of gore and violence, those who expected a modified and updated version of Child’s Play should still leave happy as a result of a major twist at the end.
While most of the film is relatively predictable in the outcomes for most of the characters as well as their motivations, these expectations also lend themselves to making the twist that much more surprising in the fact that nearly everything else up to that moment had been so completely expected. If anything, the twist could have had a greater buildup that would have provided a stronger “Aha” moment. While the movie eventually tries to piece together the clues that the audience was supposed to pick up on, it doesn’t really do anything to strengthen the shocking revelation.
Also, a bit dialogue heavy, the film focuses on stories relating to secondary characters that generally interrupt the plot line. Often this happens to relate to Cole (Ben Robson), Greta’s ex-boyfriend as they build up to the point when he is finally introduced to the house into what becomes a relatively short-lived role. While his arrival does help draw forth the climax of the film, more time could have been spent alluding to the main questions driving the film, or, mainly, “Who was Brahms?”
However, even in these subtle flaws, the movie still maintains to keep viewers on the edge of their seat by drawing out the suspense throughout the movie. And, while not necessarily a horror film, the thrills keep coming enough to keep the audience engaged.
Final opinion: Recommended.