Greta Evans (Lauren Cohan) takes up a well-paying job as a nanny in the English countryside, before discovering that the boy she’s looking after is actually a life-sized doll named Brahms. After entrusting Greta with a list of rules, Brahms’ parents take leave to embark on their holiday, leaving their ‘son’ in her care.
As soon as they depart, Greta begins to ignore the doll, violating the list of rules given to her, which – you guessed it – starts a chain of disturbing events that makes her think the doll might actually be alive.
I have to admit – I was setting myself up for a movie filled with paranormal content and jump scares that are so typical of the horror genre. And since it involves a doll, I was ready for it to be another version of Annabelle. But while The Boy did conform to many of the horror movie tropes, I was pleasantly surprised when the ending turned out to be a major twist that changed the entire plot.
It starts out like an Agatha Christie novel, with the audience trying to figure out the mystery. The way Greta’s backstory is put together seemed haphazard and predictable, as if they were just trying to give her a way to relate to the doll. In fact, it got a bit funny when she seemed to be entranced by Brahms.
It was a little hard for me to disassociate Cohan from her zombie-killing ways, given her role as Maggie in The Walking Dead. But instead of a Southern accent, she speaks in a flawless American accent. Not only that, she turns into a bona fide scream queen in-training, from being taunted by an ex-boyfriend to running for her life. Oh, to be a damsel in distress!
The challenging part of Cohan’s role is the lack of real human beings to talk to: she’s basically talking to herself most of the time, even with the doll present. Scenes like that can sometimes seem a little unnatural, especially when you are supposed to be talking to a doll like a person, but she pulls it off pretty well.
There are the usual cliche horror cliches like jump scares, the mandatory bathroom and mirror scenes, strange sounds, creepy phone calls, but the scenes that are shot from the doll’s point of view are pretty interesting
Thanks to The Boy, I’m never looking at Barbie the same way again.
The Boy is playing in Singapore now! Tell us what you think of the movie! Also, check out our list of 20 geek movies you must absolutely watch this year.