The Boy Blu-ray Review
Written by TGM
Blu-ray released by Universal Home Entertainment
Directed by William Brent Bell
Written by Stacey Menear
2016, 98 minutes, Rated PG-13
Blu-ray released on May 10th, 2016
Lauren Cohan as Greta
Rupert Evans as Malcolm
Jim Norton as Mr. Heelshire
Diana Hardcastle as Mrs. Heelshire
Ben Robson as Cole
Lauren Cohan, better known as Glenn's beard from The Walking Dead, plays Greta, an American (ironically, as she's a Brit in real life) who is hired by an older English couple to babysit their son. She arrives at an old Gothic estate hoping to be deemed worthy enough to win the job of nanny, as apparently, Brahms, the little shit of the house, can be quite picky.
She is first met by Malcolm, the local handsome grocer who routinely delivers food to the residence. After some light flirting, but before he can warn her, Greta is introduced to a peculiar and stern septuagenarian couple and their "boy", who turns out to be an uber-creepy life-size doll with a pale porcelain face. The surly codgers treat the doll as their own flesh and blood. Apparently something terrible happened to their real son years ago, and this was their eccentric way of coping with the tragedy. Speaking to the doll like a real child, getting it dressed, tucking it into bed, reading it a bedtime story, playing piano for it, preparing it snacks, and administering gentle kisses on the forehead are all duties expected from the new nanny. The first meeting between Greta and the "boy" is about as awkward as you'd expect, with a lot of nervous laughter and disbelief. It reminded me of the time I took my real doll to my grandfather’s funeral, but I digress...
Turns out Greta is hiding a secret of her own, and her excursion to the UK is essentially an attempt to distance herself from Cole, an abusive and controlling boyfriend played by some guy who looks (and apparently acts) like Andrew WK. Greta ultimately "wins" the job of nanny, as Brahms evidently takes a shine to her (yay?). Soon after, the old farts go off for a few days "on holiday", which according to my 'Murican-English Dictionary is Brit-speak for vacation. Greta attempts to adhere to the rules of the house at first, but quickly succumbs to the silliness of it all, tosses a blanket over Brahms' stupid Kabuki face and goes about her day. Soon thereafter, strange and menacing things start to happen to Greta and her new potential love interest. It appears that Brahms is something more than just an inanimate doppelganger for an odd and disturbing child long since dead and he simply won't tolerate being ignored.
I won't go too much more in detail as to the plot, as to avoid any spoilers, but as someone who likes their horror more grounded in reality, I appreciated the twist at the end. When it is all said and done The Boy is an OK movie. OK. It is enjoyable for what it is... a PG-13 horror movie. It simply suffers from the same trappings as almost every other PG-13 rated horror flick ever made. Not enough nudity, not enough gore, not enough spine-tingling scares so that it ultimately just washes over you like a warm spot in the kiddie pool.
Video and Audio:
The muted color scheme is crisp and helps sell the overall bleak atmosphere while the audio cranks the annoying ambient "be scared............ NOW!" moments to 11. Sometimes it works, sometimes it's just annoying.
The Boy is shockingly devoid of extras. You get a digital code to watch it on your phone while sitting on the toilet. That's it.