THE BOY (2016) : Movie Review
THE BOY : It’s all too often that a director starts off with a bang, only for his work to inexorably deteriorate over the decades–this seems to be especially true for horror movies. So it’s rather refreshing to see a director’s work steadily improve… especially after getting off to a truly terrible start. [Read: THE JUNGLE BOOK (2016) : Movie Review ]
I’ve reviewed exactly two previous William Brent Bell efforts here. And in 2006, STAY ALIVE was handed my “worst of the year” dishonor (remember the one about the Elizabeth Bathory video game set in the American South)?
Bell managed to make it to my annual “middle ground” with THE DEVIL INSIDE in 2012. Yeah, it was a “found footage” possession movie that just stopped without ending, and it was less than satisfying as a result, but there WERE some good individual shock scenes and performances, and since I’d seen much worse that year, I didn’t drop it into the basement. [Read: THE CONJURING 2 (2016) : Movie Review
I didn’t see WER in 2013, but now I want to.
So now we get THE BOY. And I trust you’re familiar with the premise thanks to plenty of trailers. Lauren Cohan (today, one of the few good reasons to continue to pay attention to THE WALKING DEAD) is Greta, a young American who makes the jump across the pond to accept a ridiculously luxuriant paycheck for the job of babysitting the son of an elderly couple on their way to a long-overdue holiday. Hmm… something’s already fishy, considering the ages of the parents. And yes, little “Brahms” exists in the form of a porcelain doll that Greta is expected to care for as very real and very much alive. [Read: THE PURGE–ELECTION YEAR (2016) : Movie Review ]
The paycheck wins out (as does Greta’s distance from home), but Greta thinks (and not unreasonably) that there’s no reason she should actually follow the very strict checklist of rules and duties as regards Brahms once Mum and Dad are no longer there to supervise her.
And, of course, she thinks incorrectly. Rupert Evans is on hand as Malcolm, who delivers the family’s groceries, knows all about Brahms AND is hoping to cultivate a friendship (and possibly more) with Greta. It’s good to have him around as a sounding board (and as someone who actually SEES the evidence that something’s up with Brahms… we’re thankfully spared the “all gone when someone else looks” cliche in this instance). But Greta’s not ready for romance–we find out in the very early going that she’s fled an abusive relationship. [Read: MEET THE BLACKS (2016) : Movie Review ]
And it isn’t called “Good Wendy.” Enough said. [Read: The Fate of the Furious (2017) : Movie Review ]