A half-hearted horror.
Directed by William Brent Bell, The Boy follows Greta (Lauren Cohan), an american woman who has accepted a job in England as a babysitter. However, upon arrival she finds Brahms (the boy) is a porcelain doll of which the family believes to be alive. When she is left to care for him alone, she begins to believe that the doll may in fact, be alive.
Boy oh boy, aside from the spine-chilling score, which highlights the typical conventions of the horror genre, The Boy doesn’t have much going for it. There are plenty of clichéd jump-scares to fill the time, but they only serve as a cheap alternative. Though there is a ‘twist’ at the end, it’s nothing you haven’t seen before. To put it simply, a lot of occurrences happen in this film, only to not make any sense after viewing, with little point or symbolism. It could have been compelling, but ultimately it is let down by an unoriginal script. There is, however, no blood or gore, which makes a pleasant change, as gore shouldn’t have to result in being the successful narrative route to a good horror. In the case of The Boy, this was quite the opposite. With a narrative that hasn’t got a leg to stand on, emphasised by the poor acting and direction, what’s left to enjoy?
With countless scenes of pacing around in the dark, The Boy only accentuates the known ‘January horror film’ streak, which year in, year out, proves to be all the more embarrassing. The one thing we can learn from this is, to not even consider babysitting for anyone who owns a strange doll and labels it as their child. With similarities to Annabelle (2014); it’s just another haunted doll film, that unfortunately brings nothing fresh to the table.