Puja Miri Yajnik
The Boy is an American horror film directed by William Brent Bell, released in 2016. The film is produced by Matt Berenson, Jodyne Herron, Gary Lucchesi, Tom Rosenberg and Jim Wedaa. It stars Lauren Cohen, Rupert Evans, Jim Norton, and Diana Hardcastle.
The locations in British Columbia, Canada are dramatic and fit into the ‘horror film’ mood. Craigdarroch Castle looks mysterious and scary, as does the weather, mostly dark and cloudy. It is in this setting that a young American woman named Greta (Lauren Cohen) arrives as a new nanny. She meets her employers for the first time and then turns towards her charge, an 8 year old boy named Brahms. The audience and Greta are now shocked, for the child is not a child at all; he is a life-sized doll, immaculately dressed in a suit and treated as a real child by his doting parents. They talk to him, feed him, play records for him and carry him around with them. To add to the general creepiness, there is only one visitor to this house: a young man, Malcolm (Rupert Evans), who delivers the groceries. He tells Greta that the real Brahms died in a fire when he was 8 and since then, the Heelshires have been parenting the doll. It seems a weird situation, but Greta begins to think that it is harmless enough as she needs the money. It is when Greta violates a list of strict rules that she has been asked to follow, that disturbing events begin to occur. She gets more and more frightened and slowly starts believing that the house is haunted and that the doll has powers.
I thought that the first half of the film was more interesting and had much more ‘atmosphere’ than the second. The dark skies and rain drenched, unkept gardens, complete with the strange couple with their doll child, all make for a ‘fun’ horror movie. At one point, they leave for a holiday, leaving the nanny to care for their child with the list of instructions. Again, this part is well done and suspenseful. But the twist that comes out in the end, I thought, was somewhat disappointing and obvious. So although the film is a nice watch for viewers who are in the frame of mind to enjoy a good old horror-mystery genre film, the second half does get predictable. All in all, the film caters to a mood, so is watchable for horror film enthusiasts; as the locations, performances and ambiance are all good.
Disclaimer: The above review solely illustrates the views of the writer.