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People are being too hard on this good movie, better than ANABELLE to me.
zachary-1085728 April 2016
NO spoilers

OK, OK, i understand most peoples problems with this flick. It has some gaps, and some missing story elements. I read a couple of reviews, and people complained about things not being explained and impossible scenarios. But this move was super entertaining. I did not want to turn away, it kept me glued, and was fun. What else do you really want from a horror or mystery movie? It was original, and inventive, and the acting was good. Was it a perfect movie, no... but it was definitely worth watching, and if your on the fence about it, don't be, watch it. And i am picky.
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a horror movie with more originality than usual
CineMuseFilms31 May 2016
Warning: Spoilers
If you are looking for a horror movie with more originality than usual this may be your film. Most horrors are standard genre films that rely on cinema clichés to frighten us and audiences have become immune to plots with spooky dolls, isolated nannies and scary mansions. The Boy (2016) stands out by combining all of these horror tropes into a single story then overlays them with a plausible thriller about parental grief. It tries to be a serious film without the lame humour which so often sugar-coats horror movies into comedy-thrillers. But the downside is also typical of the genre: it runs out of ideas on how to finish the job.

Greta (Lauren Cohan) is fleeing a bad relationship and applies for a nanny job caring for an 8-year old. She arrives at an isolated mansion in the English countryside and the child turns out to be a life-size doll called Brahms. The older couple's son died in mysterious circumstances twenty years earlier and Brahms is their way of dealing with unresolved grief. The creepy parents abruptly depart for an extended holiday, leaving Greta with strict instructions on how to care for Brahms. At first she ignores Brahms but soon weird things happen like the doll changes position and strange sounds echo through the house. Greta is alone and terrified until she befriends the local grocery guy Malcolm, but all hell breaks loose when the violent ex-boyfriend turns up unexpectedly. Poor Brahms becomes the unwanted child in some high-tension scenes but predictably the doll gets its revenge.

Although not a great fan of horrors, this one kept me engaged until the final quarter where a tired old stock-standard formula is used to tie the narrative ends together. Until then, the film maintains a menacing Gothic atmosphere and enough surprises to keep you guessing what will happen next. Lauren Cohan is well cast as Greta and the story moves along at a lively pace. If you are not willing to suspend disbelief and go along with the story premise, you are unlikely to see it through and you are probably not a horror fan anyway. A good test if it will work on you is to grab a toy doll and stare into its eyes; if your mind can fantasise it staring back at you with malicious intent, you pass and should see The Boy.
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Really not as bad as some as these reviews are making it out to be.
riceryan13 May 2016
I'm an avid IMDb user. This is actually my first time writing a review though. I felt inclined after browsing through other's reviews saying how horrible this movie was. It was actually a lot better than I expected. I wasn't in a huge hurry to see it, but I'm happy I watched it. I haven't been a fan of many newer horror movies with the exception of It Follows, but I recommend watching this with an open mind. There's a twist that makes it worth while and I must admit, I didn't see it coming a mile away. Perfect ending to my mini Friday the 13th marathon. -- -- -- -- ----- ----- -----—------------ -----—------—----------------------------- ---
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The bad reviews have it all wrong
annaily27 May 2016
Warning: Spoilers
This movie was a great CREEPY movie. Not intensely terrifying, and that was not the purpose. Dolls are creepy and therefore a movie about a doll is supposed to be creepy and this movie nailed it. A lot of people complain about the ending, some say that they don't like how it wasn't actually the doll being possessed by a spirit, and I've even read some reviews from some.... Not very smart people.... Who somehow totally missed the fact that the man was the "dead" boy. He killed a little girl when he was 8. His parents were ashamed, hid him in the walls, and I believe they created doll to replace their "odd" boy. They locked the real guy up, never saw him, fed him through the walls, he had a bunch of holes he made over time that led to the inside of the house. The parents were scared of him too, so they made sure to comply with all his requests: loud music so he can hear it behind the walls. Living in isolation for 20 years behind the walls would obviously drive someone intensely mad, not to mention he was odd to start out with. Obsessive, creepy, weird. The doll was his creepy way of being loved and accepted by his parents, and as he hoped, by a woman. So he lived through the doll for 20 years. It's the story of an isolated family with a dark secret, an even more isolated and insane man who just wanted to be loved, and lived through the more lovable and accepted doll, and was murderous against anyone who rejected him. Creepy. And successful. Anyone who dislikes this movie probably wanted super scary, and it did have a couple scary moments, or they wanted poltergeist chuckie demon doll, which no offense, but that is silly. It makes it way more cool for it to not be paranormal but just a really f'ed up family in the middle of nowhere.
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Odd, suspenseful, creepy and a bit disturbing, but thoroughly entertaining.
tlooknbill25 January 2016
I give it an 9 stars because the end kind of sets it up for a sequel, but hey, the rest of "The Boy" is beautifully stylized and paced similar to the spooky, suspenseful and disturbing '60's British made thrillers like Betty Davis' "The Nanny"and Debra Kerr's "The Innocents" only with an added surprise ending and faster pace.

From the trailer this movie is not what you think it is and not one of your run of the mill "Child's Play" Chucky doll revenge type '80's flicks. I sort of knew this going in just from the fact smart actors such as Lauren Cohan rarely make bad decisions on movie choices such as this and by god she makes it all believable just as she does in "Walking Dead".

This is a very maturely written, photographed and acted movie reminding me of a really good Twilight Zone episode that gradually unfolds revealing the layers of mystery in this case on the reasons for why an elderly couple would be caring for a life size boy doll which is disturbing on its own right from the get go.

There'll be more questions than answers as the movie progresses where the end will allow the viewer to fill in the blanks with an implied causality from connecting the dots looking back which is the best way to write a movie and view it. Don't explain everything. The audience has a better imagination and intellect.

This will probably be a classic as time goes on as I believe "The Orphan" both odd and unique thrillers.
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Boy vs Expectations
yehia_500011 September 2016
I feel people are trying to rip this movie apart just for the sake of their arguments But as far as I'm concerned

The acting was more than decent ... Unlike most horror movies

Good production values ... Unlike most horror movies

Good direction and cinematography ... Unlike most horror movies

And above all , A story with actually a hint of Originality in it


Yet, people are whining about "Umm, it should had stuck to the paranormal" ,or "that part is BS" ,and "it is not like Chucky or dead silence" .. *sigh*

Yes, it could have stuck to the paranormal , but guess what it 's been done a thousand times before , and believe it or not a scary movie that is not just "another ghost story" is a lot more original aka "better" .

And even the greatest movies has bullshit in them , and that goes for movies in general ... now try horror movies .

Chucky ... Dead Silence ... OMG , I think you guys are right ! , How dare a movie not deliver on your every expectation ?! , *phew* almost argued with crazy there.

In Conclusion

You would think we have seen enough bad to appreciate the good when we find it
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Not Your Typical Thriller
kristofen23 January 2016
Let's face it, dolls and poltergeists have been overdone in the past decades. It's always the same plot. However, it has NEVER been done like this. At first, it was a bit predictable. Nanny comes in, encounters creepy family, goes with the flow, experiences some disturbing shizz, still goes with the flow because continuity. There were some jumps that were nicely executed and it certainly kept the viewer interested. But movies like this usually head in one direction... This one, on the other hand, brought in something refreshing. I can honestly say I never saw the twist coming. There were very subtle hints, if any. Overall, it was above average yet unnerving. It wins a few points on creativity, so it's a 7.5. Rated it 9 to balance the score and encourage new opinions.
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You wonder if you're going mad or she is.
Sleepin_Dragon24 October 2017
Warning: Spoilers
When an American nanny arrives in a British country home, she discovers she's paid to look after a doll.

I am so surprised to see the relatively low score and number of negative reviews, I was really impressed by this movie, it was original, intelligent and kept me wondering through to the end. I can see why some would dislike it, those perhaps that were expecting a Chucky style film. In fact this film is a cleverly conceived, well crafted thriller. I appreciate some bits are far fetched, such as the ex boyfriend's arrival, and of course the conclusion, but as for being watchable I couldn't take my eyes off it for a second for fear of missing something.

Well acted by all, this is a film I will definitely watch again. 9/10
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Surprisingly Good
claudio_carvalho9 October 2018
After the traumatic separation of her boyfriend Cole (Ben Robson), the American Greta Evans (Lauren Cohan) flees to London. She is hired by Mrs. Heelshire (Diana Hardcastle) and Mr. Heelshire (Jim Norton) to be the nanny of their beloved son Brahms. Greta travels to an old and isolated manor in the countryside and is welcomed by the old couple. She receives rules to be followed and when she is introduced to Brahms, she realizes that he is a doll. Soon Mr. and Mrs. Heelshire travel on vacation and Greta befriends the delivery boy Malcolm (Rupert Evans). When she decides to give no attention to the doll, weird things happen and Greta believes there is a spirit trapped in the doll. Is she losing her sanity?

"The Boy" is a good surprise of the horror genre. The Brazilian title induces the viewer to believe that "The Boy" would be a rip-off Chucky, but it is not. Despite the flawed story that does not explains how the eight year-boy Brahms has survived and grow-up alone, the film entertains. Last but not the least, it is always great to see Lauren "Maggie" Cohan on the screen. My vote is seven.

Title (Brail): "Boneco do Mal" ("Doll of Evil")
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"The Boy" is an original and entertaining horror thriller.
dave-mcclain22 January 2016
When you're crazy, do you know you're crazy? It's a question I've heard asked in movies and in real life, but it is quite the poser (at least for those of us who are not crazy… as far as we know). In other words, when you're doing things that other people would call "crazy", at what point do you move from "eccentric", or even "weird", to genuinely, certifiably… using the clinical term… "bat-sh** crazy"? These are some of the questions you'll be asking about more than one character in the horror thriller "The Boy" (PG-13, 1:37). But you'll soon find out that insanity is only one possible explanation for the unusual behavior of various characters and the many strange happenings throughout this very entertaining film.

Greta Evans (Lauren Cohan) is a young Montana woman (around 30) who is restarting her life. To escape an abusive relationship with her former boyfriend, Cole (Ben Robson), she doesn't just leave him – she leaves the country. Greta gets hired as a nanny (a job she's never done before) by the wealthy Mr. and Mrs. Heelshire (Jim Norton and Diana Hardcastle), an eccentric older couple living in a big, isolated house in the English countryside. Unusual stuff, but things definitely move to weird-slash-creepy when Greta first sets eyes on her young charge. The "boy" that Greta is supposed to care for turns out to be a marionette-like porcelain doll. Greta thinks it's all a joke, but the Heelshires aren't laughing. They lost their son, Brahms (Jett Klyne), in a house fire on the boy's 8th birthday. They coped with their loss by starting to care for a doll which looks like their son and is about the size of an 8-year-old boy. They've been calling this doll "Brahms" and treating him like a real boy for about 20 years. Now, it's Greta's turn.

After giving Greta detailed instructions regarding Brahms' care and leaving her with a clipboard containing a list of ten rules (and whispering a cryptic "I'm very sorry" as they head out the door), the Heelshires drive away for their first vacation in "a very long time." Greta is now alone with Brahms in that big wireless-less house. Her only contacts with the outside world are her friend, Sandy (Stephanie Lemelin), whom Greta calls regularly from an old rotary-dial phone, and Malcolm (Rupert Evans), the handsome young local man who delivers groceries and brings mail to the house about once a week.

At first, Greta treats the doll as most of us would, tossing it aside and ignoring it. But the longer Greta ignores that list, the more strange things begin to happen in that house. Her clothes disappear. She gets locked in the attic. She finds a mess in Brahms' bedroom. She starts to hear noises and see shadows. Greta is creeped out and begins having scary nightmares about Brahms. Then, the doll starts showing up in places other than where Greta left him. When she calls Malcolm over to witness all this, and he sees that Greta is now treating the doll as if he's real, Malcolm starts to treat her as if she's… bat-sh** crazy.

"The Boy" is very well-directed and pretty original. William Brent Bell (who also helmed 2012's "The Devil Inside") masters the slow build, making us wonder throughout the film who's crazy and who's not, as he gives us a few good gotcha-type scares along the way. His cast is better than in many horror flicks and they keep us interested during the times that not much happens. Stacey Menear's script keeps us guessing and then brings everything together in a mind-blowing twist that few will see coming and which shocks, without resorting to cheap tricks. This film skillfully blends some elements of earlier horror movies like "The Shining" (1980), "Child's Play" (1988) and "The Others" (2001), but has a fresh and even more modern feel to it. All aspects of this fun and exciting horror thriller are on target – from its creativity, to more technical aspects, such as its set, camera work, visuals and editing. Missing this movie, or letting anyone tell you the ending before you see it for yourself, would be… kinda crazy. "A"
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Very suspenseful, scary and unpredictable.
hollyltamas12 May 2017
I don't scare easily and this film made me about jump out of my skin several times. Very suspenseful, scary and unpredictable. I can almost always figure out most possible endings, but this one really surprised me. I loved it!! I highly recommend this for a good scarefest!! Also, the setting, as a side note, is beautiful.
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Entertaining but Definitely Flawed
eabra484633 February 2016
"The Boy" presents us with an interesting premise from the start. A young American woman takes a job as a nanny to an elderly couple's child in Britain. Only when she gets to their large, creepy mansion does she learn the "boy" is really a doll that the couple treats as if it is alive and their son. Much of what ensues after this is fairly predictable. We know the doll is going to end up doing creepy things, or at least we'll be led to believe this is the case. We also know there will be something more going on than what meets the eye. Lauren Cohan does a very good job, which is essential because she has to carry most of the movie. Many scenes are with her and the doll alone. Also, the setting and the doll itself do a great job of creating the mood. The film does well at holding the viewer's attention; however, once we see the final "twist" we understand that it was really the only reasonable explanation--although it is really not all that reasonable. There are a few scenes where the dialog and impact fall a little flat. I recommend the film to those who really like this genre, because there is enough there to make it worthwhile; however, do not expect a masterpiece.
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Not too shabby
Seth_Rogue_One29 April 2016
I watch a lot of horrors, I've rated about 800 so far (and probably seen about 300 more at the very least).

And although this is not one of the better horrors I've seen I'd say it's still definitely above average.

It's a mystery so I can't really talk too much about the movie without hinting at spoilers and such so I'll keep that to a minimum.

It's basically a creepy doll movie but not overly silly made like for instance 'DEAD SILENCE (2007)' or a slasher-doll movie like the Chucky- movies it takes it's time to develop and keeps the mystery going for quite some time, which makes it feel a bit like a psychological thriller and keeps us wondering what's going on and what's next.

Lauren Cohan who plays Maggie in the TV-series 'The Walking Dead' handles the lead well, and the cinematography is stunning.

So yeah if you're looking for a new horror movie to watch this is a valid choice.
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Highly entertaining but fundamentally uneven and flawed, "The Boy" is a mish-mash of ideas that are fun to watch, but don't quite come together...
MaximumMadness6 February 2016
You ever watch a film, and at a certain point, you get the feeling that the final product is obviously a heavily edited (if not outright- butchered) re-working and simplification of an otherwise great idea? Like a studio-suit-type got their hands on a really cool and original script that defied convention... but then that same studio- suit got cold feet, and had a legion of ghost- writers re-work it into something more generic and "audience friendly"?

Yup. That's the feeling I got watching "The Boy."

Don't get me wrong, there's still fun to be had. And despite its rather obvious faults, I was thoroughly entertained and had a good time. It's just... so obviously a great concept that feels like it's been tampered with by studio committees and producer interference to dumb it down to certain level that can only be described as "lowest common denominator." At times I could even swear that the film feels like it was the product of two or three different scripts that were haphazardly mushed together in a last- ditch effort to try and make it more of a broadly-appealing (aka "generic") thriller than a unique spine- tingler.

The film follows Greta (the adorable Lauren Cohan), an American woman who has been hired to act as nanny for a prim and proper older couple's child overseas in the UK. However, Greta is taken aback after learning that the "boy" is actually a child-sized doll that is treated by his "parents" as if he was a real, living being. He's fed and taught lessons and kissed goodnight... a routine Greta is informed she must definitely follow. But when she begins to stray and ignore the rules set for her, strange things begin to happen, and it becomes all too clear that the doll might just be more "real" and "alive" than she could have imagined.

The film works for the most part mainly due to the charm of the two lead cast-members, and for the well-executed visual storytelling.

Cohan is a lot of fun as our lead, and she's a great choice for the role of Greta... she's able to convey her initial annoyance over her situation, the paranoia of her character as the story progresses, and even has a lot of really good pathos due to her fairly good development and backstory. And co-star Rupert Evans (probably best known for his roles in the delightful "Hellboy" and the underrated "The Canal") is charming as can be as Malcolm, a local grocery man who delivers food to the home and develops feelings for Greta as the story progresses. They're the main focus for much of the running time of the film, and they're both perfect in their roles, creating a lot of care from the audience.

Director William Brent Bell also does a wonderful job in his visual storytelling, and he elevates the material. I honestly haven't been a fan of his work in the past... "Stay Alive" was a lazy and very condescending attempt to cash-in on the growing popularity of video-games over the last 20 years. And "The Devil Inside" was a terrible mis-judgement, with its infamous final act still viewed as a low- point in the world of horror. But here, Bell is actually able to get a lot of great work done, and show he does have the chops to make a good creep-fest if he really puts his mind to it. He revels in the atmospheric visuals of the old, enormous house and nearby woods. He glides the camera organically in slow, lingering shots that are a breath of fresh-air compared to the lousy "shaky cam" nonsense polluting other horror flicks. And he even for the most part strays away from relying too much on loud jumps and noises. I particularly admired a wonderful sequence where Greta tries to demonstrate to Malcolm that the doll can move on its own... great stuff there.

It's just a shame that the film is dragged down so badly due to its issues with the script and storyline.

Honestly, I wouldn't be surprised that if at one point in development, the film was more of a psychological drama about an emotionally damaged person forging a deep connection with an inanimate doll... because this film's best moments- and indeed the moments that feel the most complete and developed- are the sequences where Greta begins to learn about what's happening and become more and more attached to the idea that the doll just might be alive. It's wonderful in certain scenes, and it feels disturbing in all the right ways.

But then other sequences contradict this... particularly the scenes that play more as straight-forward horror. They feel like scenes out of a different film. And without spoiling it, the final act feels like it comes out of left-field in a very inorganic way... almost as if the climax from a completely different script was tacked-on and retro-fitted to feature the characters from this film. It almost gave me whiplash to see how much it changed in the third act.

If they had just ran with the idea of a woman in a house being forced to take care of a creepy doll like a real child, and explored the ideas of isolation and paranoia associated with the situation... it could've been a great film. (Almost a "horror version" of the wonderful indie flick "Lars and the Real Girl.") But the tacked-on scenes added to manufacture generic haunted-house thrills diminishes the impact... as does the frankly bizarre climax.

Still, the performances and atmospheric direction make it worth seeing for fans of horror, and I would by lying if I said I didn't get a kick out of it.

I give "The Boy" a slightly-above-average 6 out of 10. It doesn't quite come together 100%, but it's definitely a fun time.
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An intense thriller
hoxjennifer30 December 2016
This is a very well executed psychological thriller, with a little plot twist at the end that you might not suspect. The plot really did not disappoint. The acting was great, characters were well developed and genuinely likable.

Although one goof was that the house is not typical of an English countryside manor, the atmosphere actually went very well with the movie. There is an excellent mood that is set, more reminiscent of American 18th century horror, but it nonetheless works.

As I alluded to before, this film is less horror and more psychological thriller. It works much better in the latter category, so if you're expecting to a good horror, this might disappoint. But as a thriller, "The Boy" is excellent.
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The boy is about a woman getting paid to babysit a doll. The longer she stays at the house the more she uncovers the mystery about the dolls past.
devontesherman23 January 2016
This movie was a lot better than I expected with good acting, good character development, and a good plot. When I first heard about this movie I thought it was going to be anther disappointing horror movie, but instead it was a really surprising and well pacing movie with an amazing twist no one's going to see coming.

The characters in this movie are likable, and smart. Even though I never heard of anyone who acted in this film, I think they did an amazing job delivering, and making the movie more intense and entertaining.

The director does an fantastic job with this movie. Letting the viewers know what's going on though the whole movie. Making scenes very suspenseful and having a good pay off.
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A decent horror movie
fgsarah9 July 2016
As an avid horror movie watcher and film major in college, I felt inclined to write a review over this movie. Typical horror movies have become so overrated and easy to predict that they are painful to watch. They will ether be really good and then have a sucky ending, or they will just become cheesy... This movie however doesn't fit the format for the regular horror genre. I thought at first "this is about a doll, how can this movie not be cheesy?", but the more I watched, the more and more I got sucked in. The movie does have somewhat of a basic story line, but you establish a connection with the main characters and it's easy to follow. It doesn't follow the format of horror movies IE: the jump scare rule of thirds, dark scenes, etc. You can actually see everything that's happening without any terrible dark scenes and poor lighting. I think "The Boy" is an all around good movie and a must see for horror movie fans! It has taken on a new twist and it took complete advantage of it! It had a wonderful twist mid movie and... THE END DIDN'T SUCK! The movie is creepy and has plenty of jump scares. It does its job of scaring you without a lot of special effects, blood, gore, etc. Horror movies today are such a disappoint and this one (at least for me) was not.

I would advise anyone who is looking for a good movie to check this one out!
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Not what you might think it to be - for better or for worse.
nitzanhavoc16 June 2016
It is somewhat difficult for me to explain my viewing experience of this film, and in no way do I mean to sound condescending of uppity, so kindly bear with me... Usually, after years of "experience" with a certain hobby, one is able to differentiate objective criticism from lack of personal satisfaction. For me, The Boy is a perfect example, so I'll make sure to separate my personal opinions from what I perceive to be the makings of a fine Horror film.

I've always been a big fan of the Supernatural sub-genre, with a special liking to films portraying evil dolls (films like Dead Silence or Annabelle, NOT Chucky). After watching the trailer for The Boy several months ago, I've been eagerly anticipating its release. As presented in the teasers, the story is original and well told (hats off to screenwriter Stacey Menear), and the jump-scares (while still cheap) are sufficiently few and well made to add the occasional scare without damaging the experience. Music and cinematography are great, as is the acting (especially supporting actors Jim Norton and Diana Hardcastle as Mr. and Mrs. Hillshire).

Now for my problem... the plot twist is smart, surprising and in no way predictable (although some of you might have guessed it from the start, I personally was impressed). It adds a stroke of genius creativity and originality to an otherwise all too known pattern of a film. I just didn't like it... it felt too original, like trying to reinvent the wheel when the wheel works just fine. Objectively - great twist, great ending! In my opinion? A let down.

All in all, the eerie sense of suspense and fear is maintained throughout the entire film, and I would definitely recommend it to other "supernatural dolls" fans. However, personally, I couldn't help but feeling it was ultimately a let-down, and I wouldn't watch it again.
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quite possibly the most absurd twist that I've ever come across
Quinoa198412 February 2016
Warning: Spoilers
I'd like to start off by saying despite the 5 out of 10 rating, I do recommend this movie, for reasons that will be made clear if you decide to read this before seeing the movie...

For the first, I'd say, 75 minutes of The Boy, you think you know (or at least I did) where the filmmakers are taking you... sort of. It seems like a kind of mashing together of the sort of English rural-secluded countryside of an older horror film like The Innocents (and that's to the movie's credit), and the 'doll is here and what is it *doing*) of Child's Play. I'm sure there were some other influences for this work - one of which I didn't know about until I was told of it much later on social media - but this starts off as a kind of batty (in a good way) horror story about an older couple who leave a woman (Lauren Cohan) in charge of taking care of Broms: a little 8 year old boy who happens to also be a doll. And nevermind that he's a doll - he'll need lots of comfort and caring to, such as reading to Broms and making sure its tucked in at night and fed and played classical music and what the hell is going on here?!

This has an intriguing premise and I was kind of surprised by the quality of the filmmaking (at least for a January movie, when in recent memory you get schlock like The Devil Inside or even boring dreck like The Forest from the start of January), and the director and cinematographer and editor all pay attention to pacing and setting the mood and not really relying too heavily on jump scares, which are the death of horror cinema. There are a couple, but it's not the name of the game - it's more about 'where is Broms now, what is he doing, or what will Greta do next with this thing, and is it all in her mind?' It turns out the latter isn't true, and it seems like you can figure the movie out pretty easily...

And then the filmmakers do something that is absolutely bat-s*** insane and turn everything on its head in the dumbest way imaginable. As it turns out (and this why I clicked 'spoiler' at the top), the movie really takes a lot of inspiration from a *1970's TV movie* called Bad Ronald (unseen by me, nothing to do with McDonald's fyi), which has the plot description of a perverted teenage boy who lives in the walls of a house after being left behind by his parents (who die) finds new people move in. Um... OK, that may work for that movie, but in the case of The Boy, the reveal of who Broms really is, makes for the craziest logic that I've ever come across for a mainstream horror movie - it combats The Village if you can believe it - and yet it doesn't really earn the brainpower to go back and think 'wait, how does that connect to this and that and... damn it.'

It suddenly turns what's been a not great (there's one story hole with mail that I won't get into here) but interesting horror movie with a solid lead in Cohan into a nightmare. I don't mean that in any positive sense! In the last several minutes it turns into some later-period Jason Voorhees or Michael Myers flick, as Broms - the *real* Broms - has super-human strength despite living IN THE WALLS OF HIS HOUSE and still wears a Broms-doll mask over a hipster beard. It's so insane that you can't turn away, despite the jaw dropping past the floor and down the aisles to the bottom of the theater.
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A Mediocre Movie Made Worse by Ridiculous Twist
TheRedDeath3024 July 2016
Warning: Spoilers

This movie combines all of the worst aspects of what is wrong with horror and Hollywood writing, in general, in 2016. It's a mediocre, unoriginal and bland thriller that relies on generic jump scares to create most of its' tension. After, at the least, maintaining a clear narrative the movie unleashes on of the most ridiculous twist endings since HIGH TENSION.

Lauren Cohen stars in this movie from Universal (that signifies how far they have fallen from their glory years of horror). She is an American girl who has moved to England to escape some dark moments in her life and take a job as a nanny. Only this is no ordinary nanny job, she is to watch a doll. As if that wasn't bizarre enough, the "parents" of this doll have a laundry list of very particular rules for the nanny to follow. Almost immediately, they leave her alone with the doll. Of course, like most of us would do, she doesn't take these duties seriously at first, ignoring the doll and going on about her life isolated in this country home. Then, things start to go weird, as items disappear and finally she is trapped overnight in an attic.

After these events, our heroine starts to take the doll seriously and realize that there is a spirit in the house who demands care of the doll or will unleash devilish tricks on her. Most of us have an innate unsettled feeling with dolls and mannequins and the movie does a good job of playing with this fear. There are some genuinely creepy scenes where the doll will unnerve even the most jaded horror fan. Unfortunately, the movie falls down generic Hollywood horror traps far too often, though, as almost every real "scare" in this movie is the most boring of boring types -- the jump scare. Yes, the music ratchets up, the mood intensifies and the camera zooms in slowly only for something to jump out at us with a loud noise, accompanied by jarring music. It's such lazy film making.

Lauren Cohen doesn't help much here, either. She's a pretty face that most know from THE WALKING DEAD, but even as an ardent fan of that show, I found her to be a generic actress there. Try as the show might to make Maggie interesting, Cohen just brings no real emotion to the role. Here, it's much the same. She's the pretty girl next door and that's about it. It's hard to feel much for her because the actress has done nothing to bring sympathy to the role.

Still, all things considered, for the first 75 minutes or so the movie has done an average job of presenting an, at least, entertaining (if unmemorable) thriller, then we get to the twist. Hollywood seems to have a fascination with the twist and I think that horror falls into this trap the worst. This is the most horrid kind of twist. Look at a classic twist like THE SIXTH SENSE. The viewer can go back and re- watch the film and there is ample evidence everywhere that the viewer could have seen this coming. The twist does something to support the previous narrative and make it all the more impactful.

Too many amateur writers seem to feel it is okay to just pull the rug out from under the viewer and say "Aha, I got you". No, you didn't "get" anyone with this ending. You spent all of this time building a tense mood around a spirit who may be possessing this doll, then soiled all over it. There are so many things the writer could have done intelligently with that premise, but the real threat is much more generic. What was the point of having a doll in the first place? Why all the rules? Why the doll? Why bother? You could have done a ghost story and left out the twist. You could have done a creepy mystery guy movie and left out the doll. By combining these, you've only created something ludicrous. It's tempting for a writer because an unintelligent viewer will typically confuse an out of nowhere twist with good writing, but this just isn't the case. A twist means nothing if you didn't support it along the way, build towards it and use it to bring meaning to what has come before. Otherwise, all you've done is left one narrative unfinished and tacked on a different story at the end.
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Done very well, final reveal not shocking, but still good.
kimheniadis21 May 2016
Warning: Spoilers
Going into this film I wasn't sure what to expect since the advertising for it was vague. The movie does a great job keeping you guessing. Is the doll actually alive, or perhaps an evil spirit is possessing the doll, or my personal favorite, the main character is just going crazy.

The house itself plays a character in the film, besides the gorgeous architectural detail, it's huge and creepy. It lends itself nicely to the question as to what's going on. Will Greta find details in the attic, or perhaps the burnt part of the house where the son died. Or did she get herself into a Scooby-Doo situation, and the house is filled with secret passages.

The parents of Brahms are great characters too, although we don't see much of them because they leave on vacation shortly after Greta gets there. The mom seems completely crazy, and the father just seems resigned that this is his life. Greta should have known something was up when a mom who is so dedicated to her son to just leave him with an almost stranger. But Greta has issues of her own, and is glad she can just hide out, without having to do much. Greta's issue comes into play later on, and only adds to the wonderful build-up of tension in this film.

At first I was going to give this film four stars, but the more I thought about it, the more I realized I really did like it. There were jump scares that were done very well, the actors were very talented, the tension and music was used wonderfully, and the final reveal (while not shocking), was good.
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This film made me loose my entire bucket of popcorn & YES IT IS SCARY!!!!
sinnerofcinema23 January 2016
After a long day of work, I was extremely exhausted. I made myself get up to go see this film. Funny, there was no advertisement or nothing in the papers, reviews and all about his film, but it just sounded weird as I reviewed the site of the cinema I went to. Without knowing what to fully expect, I went with a female friend who very hesitantly was dragged to go see this film. We saw this around midnight. Now keep in mind, she did not want to be there and I was tired as hell. I kid you not. This film is very atmospheric and is scared the living sh** out of me. Of course any film with a doll starring in it, specially a scary doll will have that effect on me, and if its well done well... lets just say I lost my bucket of popcorn watching this film. Is was scary all the way to the end. I must, however, say i would not have chosen the ending it did, but I get it. Anyhow, don't want to spoil it, there isn't much else to say. You have to see for yourself to experience the fright. Not sure about you, but I hate when people tell me about horror films. All i need to know is that its good. So go out there and be scared cause this one is nightmare inducing.
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The Boy....Revives the horror genre with a thrilling experience.
mohbin99922 January 2016
I will begin by saying this movie set a high standard for horror films for the year 2016, truly a thought provoking film which keeps the viewer hooked on the screen from start to finish.

The trailer basically outlines the plot of the movie, in which an American women gets a job at babysitting a boy, with a desirable pay as well, however she is shocked to see that the boy is a doll and the parents of the boy have every reason to believe that the boy is alive and as seen in the trailer a chore list is made for the nanny and is strictly ordered to follow the rules, but like any other sane person would do she ignores the list and that's when the plot really starts to get interesting.

Not to spoil the movie but the plot twist towards the end is probably in my opinion the high point of the film in which the viewers' jaws drop.

over all an excellent movie, with great character development, great acting, clever cinematography and stays away from the common horror cliché's, truly a film worth watching alone or with a friend.

I rate it 7.5
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what a waste
MattyAndAnnika16 April 2016
The Boy (2016) was for the first 1 hour a very simple and smooth rolling thriller film, though once it hit the last almost 18 minutes of the film the instant feeling of "what the f… did they do to this film" came over us. The ending of the film was the death of the movie, the acting, the story, everything just went to crap. The Boy (2016) had a simple thriller vibe going on, it wasn't great but it wasn't bad either then all of a sudden they through in the "let's hurry and destroy a movie" vibe and well the end.

If you watch The Boy (2016), watch your clock and once it hits 1 hour turn the film off to leave with a feeling that you watched something fairly done, the ending made us wish we'd never have watch it.
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Pervy Porcelin Doll
danielharden31 March 2016
Warning: Spoilers
The Boy is about a creepy ass doll that is treated like a person, and who Walking Dead star, Lauren Cohen is tasked with nannying in a equally creepy ass house.

First off, the film isn't scary, and this is coming from someone who is very easily scared (if you exclude the doll giving Greta a peanut butter sandwich scene God Damn!). This film most certainly won't follow you out the movie theatre. You can see that the filmmakers really tried to build suspense and tension albeit through conventional means like; a spooky house, corridor wondering at night, dream sequences, china dolls and a few jump scares littered throughout. But, although an attempt was made, the result has little impact bar a few expected reflexes.

The Boy is unfortunately one of those horror movies that contains; poorly shot scenes (yes I'm talking about the parents suicide), plot holes, hundreds of unanswered questions originated due to poor logic and also, unintentionally hilarious moments.

I must say that Brahms is one pervy china doll. Literally for the majority of the film all this doll does is steal Lauren Cohen's clothes and just stare at her in general including during sexy time. To be honest it is clear that the reason she was chosen as the nanny was because of Brahms sexual attraction towards her, but to me, a perverted doll with the hots for his nanny is simply laughable.

I have to bring up the parents suicide scene because I could not stop questioning and laughing at it due to its visuals and logic. Firstly the couple pick up a rather large pebble, about the size of their hand. Why? Was the pebble "so heavy" that it drowned them? Maybe if they took a dozen plus (of the same size or bigger) then put them in their pockets, THEN I may believe it... But no. One pebble equals drowning. And if that wasn't hilarious enough then the fact there isn't a shot of the two with their heads underwater is also baffling. Allow me to elaborate. The couple look like they went for a good ol' swim and then suddenly, jump cut, they disappeared, although I understood what the filmmakers where going for it could have been made much clearer and did not have to look so darn goofy.

The ending. The ending to The Boy is aimed to be ambiguous, but probably not to the degree I found it so. So the big reveal of the film is that Brahms never died and was hiding in the walls of the house, moving the doll for 20 years... Why has he been in the walls for 20 years? I can understand initially to hide from the police due to killing that girl but 20 YEARS!? He could've surely come out years ago couldn't he? Also the final shot of the film is probably the most confusing shot in the entire film. The doll is put back together again by someone hidden from the camera (most likely undead human Brahms)... But why? Who is going to come to this house anymore? The parents are dead, the nanny and grocery man are long gone so who? And don't even get me started on the "HE'S STILL ALIVE" implication here.

Overall the Boy is a not so scary horror movie that, to be honest, has one or two moments I must confess, but for the most part is heavily flawed with; plot holes, formulaic scares, unintentional Hilarity, lack of explanation in its logic etc. It's meh, but if you like horror films then maybe check it out, or not, up to you but it just isn't for me.
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