For Greta (Lauren Cohen)

For Greta (Lauren Cohen)

Reel Reviews: Best not to toy with The Boy

The Boy may be low on scares, but is an intriguing, creepy film nonetheless.

  • Jan. 29, 2016 6:00 a.m.

Greta (Lauren Cohen from The Walking Dead) has moved to England, trying to rid herself of a nasty boyfriend in America and start a new life.

She finds a well paying nanny position for a wealthy, elderly couple, the Heelshires, at their stately mansion.

Brahms Heelshire is their eight-year-old son who died many years ago in a mysterious fire, and who now inhabits a lifesize porcelain doll.

When the Heelshires leave for a much overdue vacation, Greta is left alone with Brahms and his list of rules.

Brahms is very particular about his rules.

We say, “The Boy is almost very good.”

TAYLOR: I found only one true scare in the film, when for a brief moment I could sympathize with Greta, starting to wonder if she was going crazy.

I think it’s more of an interesting film than a scary film, although the kids behind us thought it was pretty scary. I like horror films and I liked The Boy, but more importantly my wife Dawn liked it. She had tagged along out of mere convenience and coincidence. She is not known to be a fan of scary films.

DAWN: I think interesting is the right word. I liked that Greta found ways to prove that Brahms was really doing the things he seemed to be doing and then accepted him as real. When she began building a relationship with him, the film became much more involving and less about being scary.

HOWE: Creepy is my word choice to sum up The Boy.

It is a well put together horror/supernatural movie with a cast of five people and a porcelain doll. Dolls are creepy enough in a movie – Annabelle being another example – but this time out Brahms beats her hands down.

There are a few jump scares in this and it did get me a couple of times. I give it kudos for pulling that off, but as we’ve said in the past, these jump scares are cheap. Not once did I have the hairs standing up on the back of my neck, or have the feeling of tension building in my stomach.

TAYLOR: I had a chill run down my back when Greta starts to believe, but after that, as Dawn said, it becomes more interesting than scary. However, I was greatly disappointed by the conclusion, albeit likely due to the fact that I was having so much fun. The story changes and then changes again, which arced off into unsatisfying directions. Still, pretty darn good for a horror film and a very clean, fine film for kids.

HOWE: The rating for The Boy is PG-13 and I feel that is about right. There is no hack and slash maniac running around outside. It feels like an old Gothic or Hammer House of Horror movie. If you are after a horror story with a difference, then you could find worse than this.

– Taylor gives The Boy 3 pocket rocks out of 5.

– Dawn gives it 3 grocery deliveries out of 5.

– Howe gives it 3 coral dresses out of 5.

Reel Reviews with Brian Taylor and Peter Howe appears in The Morning Star every Friday and Sunday.