Not Mad About 'The Boy,' But Pleasantly Surprised

Movie Review - Jackie K Cooper
The Boy (STX Entertainment)

Watching the trailer for the new horror film The Boy I was not impressed. It seemed so dumb to have a woman travel to England to babysit a young child, and then discover he/it was a doll. Hadn't we seen all of this demon doll stuff before when the Chucky movies were all the rage! So why was Hollywood beating this dead horse one more time?

Well that will teach me to pre-judge anything out of Hollywood. It seems The Boy has a lot more going for it than first appears. It has a group of good, if not great, actors, an interesting, if not totally logical, script, and enough twists and turns to keep audiences entertained for the most part.

The story concerns a young American woman named Greta (Lauren Cohan) who takes a job in England to be the nanny to a boy named Brahms. When she arrives she realizes the parents, Mr. and Mrs. Heelshire (Jim Norton and Diana Hardcastle), are a bit old to have an eight year old son. Then they introduce her to Brahms and she is startled to find out he is a doll, not someone cute but an actual dressed up non-human toy. At first she thinks this is a joke but almost immediately realizes they are dead serious.

After a few days the parents go off on holiday leaving Greta alone with Brahms in a manor house that is very isolated. The only company she has is the grocery delivery man, Malcolm (Rupert Evans), who comes by once a week. She copes as best she can until she begins to hear noises and Brahms begins moving around on his own.

Lauren Cohan is the best part of the movie. She looks like a younger version of Lauren Graham, and manages to keep the audience interested even when she is the only human in most of the scenes. Not as good is Evans, who manages to make Malcolm look weak and too mild mannered to ever gain someone like Lauren's interest.

The first half of the film is spent adapting to the fact a doll is alive, possessed or something. The second half, which is the better half, is spent offering explanations for things that happened in the first half. The explanations don't cover all the plot bases but they do offer a rope of truth to hang on to.

The film is rated PG-13 for mild profanity and violence.

The Boy is not a classic horror film but it is one that will stay with you a while after the movie has ended. Stacey Menear, who wrote the script, gives audiences a story that delivers more than is promised in the trailers. You may not be mad about The Boy but you will be pleasantly surprised.

I scored The Boy a hello dolly 5 out of 10.

Jackie K Cooper