Hot Take: This might not make sense but the fact that The Boy wasn’t that bad actually made it less entertaining to watch. In previews, The Boy looked ridiculous and silly. Surprisingly, it was competent… and not very scary.
When I see a horror movie, I want to be scared to the point where I curse the film every time I mention it (F*** you, Poltergeist!) or I want it to be so over the top it’s kind of funny even though it’s about some maniac trying to kill everyone (see any Friday the 13th). Unfortunately, The Boy is an adequate attempt at horror which falls somewhere in the middle of these types of films. There’s a ridiculous plot that somehow comes together to make sense. There’s a decent amount of scary moments (usually pulled off by taken us into the protagonist’s nightmares) and it stays somewhat intriguing.
The Boy is a lot like The Forest as it’s lead actress (The Walking Dead‘s Lauren Cohan) delivers a fairly strong performance in a slightly upgraded but still flimsy script. The movie feels like a forgettable episode of The Twilight Zone that suddenly morphs into something else (and draws to a dissatisfying conclusion) without any real horror involved.
“Spoiler Free” Pros
- Lauren Cohan
It looks like Cohan carry a movie but now she needs the right one. The Boy isn’t it.
- The Setting
The house is pretty impressive and it’s easy to buy getting spooked being all alone in it.
“Spoiler Free” Cons
- The Doll
When you think of horror movies with dolls as main characters you instantly think Chucky, right? All the films spawned from Chucky’s success had that same over-the-top vibe as the Child’s Play series. There’s really none of that in The Boy and it’s hard to adjust to the tone after expecting something else.
- So Many Horror Clichés
As the horror genre became overloaded with offerings, many of them looked to be almost “paint by number” in the way they were written, directed and edited. The Boy could be thrown into that mix.