THE BOY (2016) Reviews and overview

 

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‘Every child needs to feel loved’

The Boy is a 2016 American horror film directed by William Brent Bell (The Devil Inside; Wer) from a screenplay written by Stacey Menear.

The movie stars Lauren Cohan (Supernatural; The Vampire Diaries; The Walking Dead), Jim Norton (The Face of Fu Manchu; Straw Dogs), Diana Hardcastle, Ben Robson (Dracula: The Dark Prince), (Asylum Blackout; The Canal), James Russell and Javier Botet.

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Plot:

Greta, a young American woman, takes a job as a nanny in a remote English village, only to discover that the family’s eight-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 twenty years previously.

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…

Reviews:

“Bell is undoubtedly a talented director, but more specifically, Bell is a superb horror story-teller. He takes a handful of quite hackneyed genre tropes and mixes them together in such a way as to keep them frightening […] a story that feels like a clear homage to Gothic horror, and what’s more, it does it very well.” UK Horror Scene

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” … moments of inspiration, or craftsmanship, or whatever you want to call them, are ultimately seasoning sprinkled onto a mushy, microwaved platter of lukewarm horror clichés, a not entirely unexpected outcome from the director of 2013’s similarly derivative The Devil Inside.A.V. Club

“There may be folks who find the tone of The Boy terrifying. Well-seasoned fright fans, however, will see through its baroque boos and come up with a doll-sized disappointment. The trappings suggest something better. The actual movie is mind-numbing nonsense.” Film Racket

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“Despite game efforts by the cast, this tepid horror opus is never scary enough to overcome its silly premise.” Variety

“In the midlist fright arena, Bell is a little more interesting than most – and The Boy plays better than Annabelle, The Forest, Ouija or any number of by-the-numbers exercises. What it lacks is the extra bite of Estranged and Awaiting, which use similar British countryside settings but have a more acute sense of place, class and cruelty.” Kim Newman

” …feels like a Hammer or Robert Lippert B movie of the 1960s. Nicely photographed and acted, and with a denouement some hated but which I think is absolutely in keeping with the rest of the film…” House of Mortal Cinema

Cast and characters:

Lauren Cohan … Greta Evans
Rupert Evans … Malcolm
James Russell … Brahms Heelshire
Jim Norton … Mr Heelshire
Diana Hardcastle … Mrs Heelshire
Ben Robson … Cole
Jett Klyne … Brahms (Child)
Lily Pater … Emily Cribbs
Matthew Walker … Taxi Driver
Stephanie Lemelin … Sandy (voice)

Fun Facts:

The film was previously known as The Inhabitant.

It was released in the US by STX Entertainment on January 22, 2016.

Filming locations:

Victoria, British Columbia, Canada

Trailer: