Director: William Brent Bell
Running Time: 97 Minutes
“Dolls with no little girls around to mind them were sort of creepy under any conditions.”
― Stephen King,
Greta Evans (Lauren Cohan) needs a new start and space away from an abuse ex-boyfriend. She takes a nanny job in England, which is meant to last for a few months while the parents take a well needed holiday. Greta knows immediately that something is amiss when the elderly parents introduce her to their son, Brahms. Brahms is a doll. An eerie, porcelain replica of their deceased son.
Nevertheless, Greta take the creepy job and figures that she might as well enjoy her time away from America, while not actually being required to do anything as a doll can’t actually eat or sleep. Only, things start to get a little strange in the big country house. It all goes a bit pear-shaped when Greta fails to follow the very strict rules set out for Brahms’ day-to-day activities. Items going missing, her clothes being moved, phantom footsteps and a child’s laughter all lead Greta to seek help. She turns to Malcolm (Rupert Evans), the grocery boy, for help.
Performances & Special Effects
I really like Lauren Cohan, but I’d only ever really seen her in series, so this was a nice change. I feel that she gave a solid performance, as did her co-star Rupert Evans. I especially enjoyed the effect that the parents’ countenance had on the tension within the film. Mr and Mrs Heelshire (Jim Horton and Diana Hardcastle, respectively) were a little too something. What that something is, the viewer is never quite sure. And this is, of course, other than their son being a doll.
The special effects were simple, which largely relied on clever camera angles, off camera noises and jump scares. Nothing stood out here for me as this was not a film with excessive gore or the need for CGI. The SFX which were employed were sufficient and kept with the tone of the film.
Despite the acting and the sinister tone, this film was still missing something. I think the PG-13 rating had a lot to do with this. I guess that one gets used to R-rated horror and you forget that horror films need to be made for all ages to enjoy. Having said that, this was not a bad movie. It was still fun to watch and I hate dolls so, having to look into Brahms’ dead, glass eyes was quite unnerving.
This is definitely a film for group viewing or teen slumber parties. The pace was good, and the film jumps right in. So there is no tedious backstory or cumbersome flashbacks. This would also be ideal for people who don’t enjoy terrifying horror but want the thrill of a creepy story with all the lights off.
My Rating: 3/5
Buy or rent The Boy from Amazon.com