Let’s face it, dolls are scary. Especially porcelain dolls. There’s something in the pale, lifeless faces (especially the eyes) that can peer down into your roots and set off that alarm that something isn’t quite right. So when The Boy came across my path, I was prepared for the worst… and I was a bit surprised.
The Movie – 4/5
The Boy tells the story of Greta (played by Lauren Cohen, who you may recognize as Maggie from The Walking Dead), an american girl who has taken a job in England as a nanny, to escape her abusive boyfriend and start a new life. Upon meeting the family with whom she’ll be living, she discovers that the young boy, Brahms, isn’t a boy at all – instead he is a porcelain doll.
Almost immediately upon divulging Brahms schedule to Greta, his parents depart on a vacation, leaving her to an empty house with a creepy doll — what could go wrong?
Greta befriends the family’s grocery man who tells her the story behind the doll. How a young Brahms befriended a local girl about his age who turned up dead, and then how he himself died under mysterious circumstances shortly after. Ever since, the family has continued their daily lives, having replaced their living, breathing son for a doll that fits his likeness.
It’s not long after the family leaves that Greta starts noticing strange things happening in the house. Creepy whispers and sounds, things moving places, and the doll seeming to react to her neglect, all add up to one logical conclusion – Brahms might somehow still be alive in this doll!
The Boy was a fun watch for me. Part of the reason is because dolls are scary enough to put me on edge, but also because the twist that I was expecting not only came, but packed a punch and actually surprised me. Seriously, the twist actually surprised me, as did the intensity that enters the film in the third act.
The Picture – 5/5
Shot digitally (although you wouldn’t know it at a glance), The Boy brings the best of both worlds here. Darks remain truly dark and colors are lifelike and real. Textures pop out incredibly well, and the house in the movie is the perfect setting to offer a variety of them to bring viewers into the world.
While a movie like this is not inherently as impressive, visually, as a more action or cgi packed adventure, this one is definitely still top shelf.
The Sound – 5/5
Any good horror film will use the soundstage wisely to provide ambience and immersion to the world. The Boy is no exception. Whispers, creaks, and screams can be heard across all channels of this DTS Master Audio 5.1 channel track. Volume levels are mixed well, so there was no straining to hear anything during action scenes, and no fighting with the soundtrack to hear faint details.
The Features & Packaging – 2.5/5
While it comes with a nice slipcover and UV code for a digital copy, there are no special features on this disc, which was a big let down. The packaging is a standard Amaray, with single sided art and a generic text only disc.
The Technical Stuff:
English DTS-HD Master Audio 5.1
1 Region A Blu-ray
The Verdict – 4/5
While I can definitely recommend this film for it’s interesting twist and creepy subject matter, the lack of special features is sort of a buzzkill. However, if you don’t need extras packed in, this movie is still intense and has some of the coolest sound staging I’ve heard in a while.
You can pick up your copy of The Boy on Amazon here.
Note: This Blu-ray was sent to us for review. This has not affected our judgement or editorial process in any way. Please contact us if you have any questions regarding this process.