Director: William Brent Bell
Cast: Lauren Cohan, Rupert Evans, James Russell
Production Company: Lakeshore Entertainment
Runtime: 97 minutes
There’s nothing quite like a good, old-fashioned, gothic horror film. The kind of film where a stranger with a mysterious past comes to live in a secluded mansion. The Boy (2016) adheres to many of the tropes seen in other films of this genre, while consciously smashing the rest of them.
In the movie, Greta Evans (Lauren Cohan) is a nanny who travels to England for a new job. She is shocked to learn that the child she must care for is actually a life-sized doll. After she breaks some of the rules surrounding the doll, she begins to suspect that it may be alive.
The concept of a doll coming to life to create mayhem is another genre all to itself. I wouldn’t compare The Boy to something far more outrageous like Child’s Play (1988). It’s much more subtle than that, and closer in tone to Magic (1978), or Pin (1988).
Lauren Cohan from Death Race 2 (2010) and AMC’s The Walking Dead is wonderful as Greta. She’s thoughtful, strong, devoted, and vulnerable in the role. Rupert Evans from Hellboy (2004) also plays a very likeable character in the movie.
The film has some jump scares that are particularly good. There were surprising moments that I just didn’t see coming, and I’ve seen a whole lot of horror movies! The overall creepy feeling that persists throughout the movie is also very effective.
The movie takes a turn toward the end that is very unexpected. I won’t give anything away here. It’s worth watching this film for that ending alone. A lot of horror movies try to surprise viewers with a shocking twist ending, but this one really stands above the competition.
Director William Brent Bell has created a modern classic of horror cinema. He’s directed other horror movies including The Devil Inside (2012) and Wer (2013). It will be interesting to see what he might come up with next. The Boy is not one to be missed…
– John Migliore
For more information on the film, check out the links below…