One from the to watch pile…
The Boy (2016)
Film: This is one of those films that the To Watch Pile is all about. Sure, occasionally (possibly more often than not) I’ll review a much loved film, or because, as a horror fan, I feel some kind of sense of responsibility to warn my fellow terrorbuffs that a film is a poo sandwich, hold the bread.
No one deserves to see some films, and I am the guy that will jump on that grenade for you.
In this case, though, I wandered into my local retailer and was just looking to spend my money, and wanted see if something would pop up that I could get into. From the shelves and shelves of Bluray the image of a porcelain doll’s face stared unwaveringly at me, and me loving a good possessed doll film, I grabbed it with glee…
That is, I was excited to grab it, not that I also grabbed a series of the Tv show Glee.
This film was written by Stacey Menear and was directed by William Brent Bell, who also directed Wer and The Devil Inside, but this is far better than either of those.
Young American Greta Evans (Lauren Cohan) has come to England to act as a career for the child of on older couple, named Brahms, who live in a mansion on a country estate. The mother, Mrs. Heelshire (Diana Hardcastle) dotes on her boy with a disturbing amount of obsessive care, and the father, Mr. Heelshire (Jim Norton) is complicit but not as obsessed.
This would all be fine if it weren’t for the fact that Greta’s charge is a child sized porcelain doll.
The Heelshires haven’t had a holiday for a long time and Greta is given a very strict set of instructions by them to take care of Brahms and is told she will OK as long as she follows the list explicitly… but why does Mrs. Heelshire apologise to her when they leave, and what will happen to her when she inevitably fails to maintain the rule set given to her or will her past, which she is haunted by, eventually catch up to her first?
The first thing you’ll notice about this film is how extraordinarily beautiful it is. There is this amazing degree of texture given to everything in the bourse: the oak doors, the ornate carpets, even skin in almost over processed so you can clearly see every line or blemish. This is a fascinating choice made for the look of the film as it makes the porcelain skin of the doll so stark and white in contrast, which gives Brahms an otherworldly look.
A lot of respect has to be given to Cohan as well. For the most part she is a solo cast member who entertains a few scenes with other actors but spends most of the time reacting to a doll who is completely immobile.
All in all I enjoyed this film and it enjoys several twists and turns that will keep you guessing, though the ending is a bit generic with an obvious set up for a sequel. If this does become the first episode of a film franchise, it’s a solid one.
Format: This film was reviewed on the Australian Bluray release which runs for approximately 93 minutes and is presented in an immaculate 2.40:1 widescreen image with a matching DTS-HD Master Audio 5.1 soundtrack.
Extras: No extras, I’m afraid.
WISIA: It’s a creepy ‘doll’ movie with a couple of twists and turns to make it fresh? Yeah, I’m watching that again.