The Boy (2016)

(Last Updated On: November 7, 2019)

Title: The Boythe boy

Year: 2016

Genre: Horror | Mystery | Thriller |

Runtime: 97 min

Director: William Brent Bell

Starring: Lauren Cohan, Rupert Evans, James Russell

imdb  6,0/10


An American nanny is shocked that her new English family’s boy is actually a life-sized doll. After she violates a list of strict rules, disturbing events make her believe that the doll is really alive.


I like creepy dolls in horror movies, mostly because they are often possessed by demons or satan which often gives some cool and paranormal scenes. However, this film did throw me off because I thought I knew what was going on, but obviously, I didn’t.

This story follows Greta, a young American girl fleeing her problems at home and end up at an English family, taking care of their creepy doll-son, Brahms. They made her do absurd routines to please the doll while acting as it was real. The film builds up tension this way because we are now so used to paranormal action. Then, of course, that’s the first thing we directly connect to when creepy stuff happens all around the house when the pair leaves Greta alone with the doll.

Mysterious sounds and items moved, kickstarts the reminding-thoughts about Annabelle, and that’s when those presumptions film crash with its climax. Director Bell significantly put small nuggets of information all around the storyline, and we get to know more about Brahms – how the doll represents the couple’s son who supposedly died in a fire as a young boy. That shows that it was an event that they couldn’t move past, and the audience thinks at that moment it’s because of how terrible the situation must have been, but that’s entirely not it.

Greta tries to fight back the doll but ends up understanding that she can win and instead play by its rules and do those routines she got taught. It all seems okay, but that’s then Greta catch up with her which is represented by her ex-boyfriend Cole finding her. That’s how we get to know her backstory with how she ended up here – she wanted to run for her abusive relationship, and it’s, of course, this douchebag who tracked her down, who will release Brahms rage by destroying the doll.

That’s when we get the real good twist – with the practical and grown-up Brahms smashing down the wall from the inside, ready to kill. The explanation is that his parents staged the fire and the son’s death to hide that he murdered a young girl. They use the doll, to preserve his innocence and the son they remember but of course, it doesn’t work, and he continues to kill over the years until his parents can deal with it anymore and leave him with Greta and kill themselves. I like how this film has the typical elements of a paranormal story and gives a ground of your thoughts until they throw the twist on you.

I fancied Lauren Cohan in this role as Greta Evans. She has such charm and talent that you hope everything goes well for her at the end. I must also give cred to Jim Norton and Diana Hardcastle, who played Brahms’ parents Mr and Mrs Heelshire. They did a fantastic job portraying this grieving mother and father who want to do right by their son. You feel for them, too, especially when everything comes clear in the suicide scene.

It was decent with the props and cinematography, but sometimes the scenes felt slow and not much exciting. What I mean is that sometimes the scenes that felt boring where my mind crawled away on other adventures. For example, the scenes when Greta gives in to Brahms and handling in the routines his parents wanted – she is just doing chores.

I understand that the nothing-ness is supposed to make it appear that the doll is happy, and the filmmakers also try to spice it up with proper looking Malcolm, but it doesn’t work. I would love for example to have some more exploring of the house or artistic decorations which don’t take all attention but could at least tell a more in-depth story about the home and family itself – serving maybe as easter eggs for the sharp-eyed viewers. Hopefully, they in some way try to step it up for an eventual future sequel. You should give it a watch.




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