Jean-Paul’s Rating: 3/5 stars
Bottom Line: Great creepiness factor at the beginning. Devolves into weirdness and then into stupidity.
The setup for “The Boy” is kind of awesome. A young American woman, Greta (Lauren Cohan), takes the job of a nanny for a couple in a remote English village only to discover that the couple’s child is a life sized doll named Brahms instead of an 8 year old boy named Brahms. The father is creepy. The mother is creepy. The house is creepy. The doll. Is. Creepy. Greta must treat the doll as if he were alive and must follow a set of rules for his care. So all kinds of creepiness going on.
The backstory of this strange setup is provided convincingly by Malcom (Rupert Evans), a sort of odd-jobs man for the house. When the parents leave for a long overdue vacation, he and Greta develop a purely platonic friendship which is ever so refreshing to see in a movie. Greta also starts disobeying the rules because why the hell would you obey personal care rules for a stupid doll? Maybe because this is a horror movie?
So of course strange things start happening with the doll. Shortly after this all starts happening, the rails come off this ride. The ending makes everything that comes before seem preposterous. There’s a weird and mostly useless subplot that has to do with a controlling ex-boyfriend. There are all sorts of questions left unanswered. But at least we had a good amount of creepiness going for a while.
If I were to make this movie, I would have made the doll be actually possessed by the soul of the child and made the parents demon worshipers who must sacrifice unwitting nannies to the doll every couple of years. But no, I just review crappy movies, I don’t write them.