Greta is a young American woman who takes a job as a nanny in a remote English village, only to discover that the family’s 8-year-old is a life-sized doll that the parents care for just like a real boy, as a way to cope with the death of their actual son 20 years prior. After violating a list of strict rules, a series of disturbing and inexplicable events bring Greta’s worst nightmare to life, leading her to believe that the doll is actually alive.
Every now and then, I join #FrightClub on twitter for a group watch of a movie. Last night’s selection was The Boy, a film in which a woman (Maggie from The Walking Dead, actually) is hired to babysit a creepy looking doll. In true horror fashion, nothing is as it seems and while this movie does boast a fairly interesting storyline, there’s a little too much going on that is simply unbelievable.
One of the things I really like about this film is its melancholy tone. It has a somber feeling that never truly goes away, and the slow introduction of action to The Boy helps strengthen that feel. What I don’t like are the characters. They’re simply unrealistic or, in the case of Cole, a little too stereotypical.
A little bit of actual criticism, she flipped the switch from total non-believer to total believer a little faster than I would actually believe, but this movie isn’t actually that bad, gotta say #frightclub
— Foxy Von Boopersnoot (@NotchRhino) June 5, 2018
This tweet refers to Greta, our main character and doll nanny and pretty accurately sums up my reaction to how quickly she went from feeling nothing but disdain for Brahms to suddenly caring for him as if he were her own child. To make matters worse, and to delve into her back story, we also have the overplayed use of “I had a miscarriage so I needed to get away.” Because running works, yo. (Though she MIGHT have been running from her clearly abusive ex-husband/boyfriend thing, who is totally a dick.) I wasn’t the only one in the #FrightClub that was vexed by this, either.
Oh not the miscarriage trope
That’s just annoying
Up until now, this has been far too good a film for that sort of clichéd tripe#FrightClub
— Helen Noble (@BoobPunchTina) June 5, 2018
Beyond that, The Boy doesn’t really have anything unique to offer. It takes a twist toward the end that is almost unbelievable (though it does explain a few other events in the film), and from there copies pretty much any horror film in which you’ve got a murderer and a bunch of potential victims. It’s not the worst out there, and it’s definitely not the best.