It’s time for another one of those dime a dozen horror films. If you thought that I would somehow enjoy The Boy more than the others, then it’s time to be enlightened. To be honest, this film actually started out all right. It was fairly reserved. No exploitation, No super violence, No dark pasts…and then…the film continued. It brought all of those problems into the mix along with language and animal violence. This film was PG-13 from the get go so it’s all not too extreme, but every negative adds up. Throw in the terrible twist at the end and you’ve got yourself a stinker!
Greta has found herself a babysitting job at a mansion in the middle of nowhere. This is the perfect way to escape her unhealthy connection to a demented villain. As long as her friends don’t tell him where she went, it should be impossible for anyone to find her. The job gets a little odd when Greta realizes that she has been tasked with looking after a doll. The doll’s parents claim that it is real though and give her a lot of rules to follow. If she does these things, then all will be well. Greta eagerly agrees and the instant they are out the door she proceeds to break as many of the rules as possible. After all, what can a doll do? Malcolm is the local errand boy who acts as a negative role model for Greta and encourages her to do all of the wrong things. Will she listen? Of course she will!
So, where to start here? Well, Greta’s a terrible main character. Seriously, let’s forget for a moment that this is a horror film so Greta’s doomed anyway. Is it really so hard to follow the rules that she was given? Talk to the doll a little, play it some music, feed it, etc. It’s not exactly rocket science and she is getting paid for this so she may as well do the job right. Since the doll doesn’t have any other needs, she still has a very large amount of free time. It’s not enough for Greta though and she has her “Miller Time” (Using Wine though) as quickly as possible. Greta also insists on insulting the doll and pushing it around since its face offends her. After she realizes that the doll is real, she quickly tries to warm up to it, but it’s a little too late for that. It’s good that she’s making amends, but she was well past the point of being even slightly likable.
At this point, I was expecting the doll to help her out against the insane Cole. (Yes, the friends decided to tell him where Greta was hiding in order to save their own skins. Great friends right?) Greta asks the doll for help, but then it’s destroyed in a single hit and the plot twist occurs. Are you ready for this? Are you? If you don’t want spoilers, leave now. This twist is far too terrible not to mention here! Well, the doll really was fake. There are no supernatural elements in this film whatsoever. Instead, there’s a guy living in the house all along. He quickly shows up and destroys Cole, but decides that Greta and Malcolm have to die as well.
The direction of the film certainly changed rather drastically here. It was good to see Cole gone, but this twist was terrible. For starters, it makes no sense. He moves around very quickly and silently as Greta somehow doesn’t notice when he’s around, even when he goes to the bathroom where she’s taking a shower and snatches her clothes. He gets to her boots immediately after she enters the house in the first scene as well. His secret passages go everywhere apparently and he’s a bodybuilder who has a good amount of super strength. He’s able to survive being directly stabbed and gets multiple injuries that do nothing but slow him down. Why couldn’t we have just had a supernatural doll who could destroy people and warp reality? That would have been more entertaining at the very least. This guy was about as interesting as your average psychotic villain, which means he wasn’t interesting in the slightest.
Malcolm is a terrible character as you’d expect so there’s no reason to talk about him much. The instant that he appears, he decides to flirt with Greta and since this is a film, he succeeds and they instantly have a one night stand. From there, he just gets knocked out a lot and eventually escapes thanks to Greta. As for the parents who ran off, they decided to destroy themselves since The Boy was too strong. They left Greta as a human sacrifice since they’re also pretty corrupt. You’d think that they would just run off and call the cops, bringing them back to the house to save everyone right? Not in the cards for them.
As for the rest of the negatives, this film falls into every trap in the book. As mentioned earlier, we have the obligatory shower scene which serves no purpose in the film other than to remind us that the villain is terrible and has nothing better to do than watch. We have the terribly written romance that undermines both of the main characters. The friends are hilariously bad as they basically don’t mind sacrificing Greta’s life. Her subplot with Cole involving the past is naturally super dark because every horror film likes a dark backstory. It’s not the only one though as we find out that the original Boy already had destroyed other kids back in the day and nobody ever stopped him. He literally got away with murder thanks to everyone being so weak willed. Apparently people at the bar knew about this, but decided not to tell anyone.
There is animal violence as well as Greta is in charge of looking after the traps and taking the rats down once and for all. The final part of the film is also pretty violent as the Boy starts to destroy everyone as cruelly as possible. You’d think that Cole would be pretty tough, but he goes down like a sack of rocks immediately. Even when he was fighting The Boy, it was impossible to root for him though. I’m sorry moviegoers, but this guy’s even worse than the main villain although they’re both completely terrible. It’s a short film, but the Boy quickly became your average horror slasher with every possible trope that it could squeeze in.
The design for The Boy also isn’t very good at all. I’ll take the classics like the Xenomorph over him. To be honest, Freddy and Jason aren’t much better either, but at least their designs are classic. Jason’s mask is also more impressive. I suppose that The Boy could beat the original Jason, but both Freddy and Jason have long since surpassed this guy thanks to their never ending sequels. They keep getting stronger while The Boy will likely never appear again.
Overall, The Boy is rather terrible with the final twist solidifying this as a sad experience. Without the twist, maybe the film could have clawed its way up to a 2 or a 3, but it depends on where the film would have gone with the ending anyway. Adding in Cole was a big mistake if you ask me. None of the characters are likable and the film is filled with a ton of generic jump scenes and toons that you won’t remember in the end. There is a final scene as all horror films have a twist. As it stands, it’s a pretty subdued one and a generic ending that any horror film could pull off. I guess this film just didn’t have much originality. There’s no reason to watch this film and you’re better off just checking out Bleach: Hell Verse if you want a spooky title that’s also hype at the same time.