John Hanlon Reviews

Film Reviews

The Boy Review

The Boy (new on Blu-Ray)

Genre: Horror

Director: William Brent Bell

Cast: Lauren Cohan, Rupert Evans, James Russell, Jim Norton, Diana Hardcastle

MPAA-Rating: PG-13

Release Date: January 22nd, 2016

The Boy, cialis 40mg which arrives today on Blu-Ray and Digital HD, sale  is one of those quirky and creepy horror movies that you wish worked a lot better. The premise sets the stage for an outrageous and absurd story to unfold but here, purchase it seems like the filmmakers were more tempted by tradition and never really explored the story’s crazy premise.

Greta Evans (Lauren Cohan) is the main character here and the first time we see her, she’s sitting in the back seat of a cab headed for her new place of work. The Montana woman has arrived in England and is starting a new position as a full-time babysitter, who will be watching over a young boy (and the family home) while the boy’s parents go on vacation.

She arrives at a beautiful estate only to realize that her employers — Mr. and Mrs. Heelshire  (Jim Norton and Diana Hardcastle, respectively) — don’t have a real son. They only have a porcelain doll, which they treat as their son. The creepy doll stares blankly into space as his “parents” raise him as their own: reading to him, dressing him and talking to him as if he were their real child. Greta begrudgingly accepts the weird circumstance and is left unsupervised with the doll.

She chooses not to follow the distinct and specific rules that Mrs. Heelshire laid out and soon enough, strange things start happening around the isolated house as Greta is terrorized by the doll’s anger with her.

The premise is bizarre and over-the-top and the filmmakers set it up nicely (with Greta’s laughter about the situation being met with stern disapproval from the Heelshires) but after the couple departs, the story relies on familiar plot devices that were used more effectively in Child’s Play (1988), a much darker film with a similar premise.

When Greta leaves the room, the doll moves. When she mistreats it, terrible things start to happen. The doll won’t leave her along until it gets what it wants (a strict adherence to the rules).

The creepy atmospherics are here but the scares aren’t. Director William Brent Bell (The Devil Inside) never really takes full advantage of the situation, relying instead on jump scares and a few creepy moments to tell the story. The screenplay by Stacey Menear (making her screenwriting debut) is too traditional to really delve into the absurdities inherent in this film.

Whereas Child’s Play embraced the nightmarish scenerio of a children’s doll come to life, this one never really does. Admittedly, the plots of the two films unfold in completely different ways but still, one wishes that this horror film relied on more that a creepy environment, jump scares and the existence of a disturbing doll that can seemingly move and act on its own.

The final act here works efficiently to unravel the mystery but even that act is packed with traditional elements, including an unhinged ex-boyfriend (Ben Robson), whose arrival is predictable from early on, and the heroics of Malcolm (Rupert Evans), the kind grocery deliverer whose friendship with Greta works surprisingly well . In her first horror film, The Walking Dead‘s Cohan capably captures the main character (a woman whose amazement at the situation eventually devolves into a begrudging acceptance) but one only wishes that the screenplay supported her more.

The Boy is watchable for what it is but it could have been so much better.

Click here to purchase the film on Blu-Ray.

Review by: John Hanlon