The Boy

2016, Horror/Mystery & thriller, 1h 37m

63 Reviews 10,000+ Ratings

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critics consensus

The Boy could have gone in any number of scary or interesting directions, but instead settles for usual jump scares scattered throughout a pedestrian plot. Read critic reviews

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Movie Info

A young American named Greta (Lauren Cohan) takes a job as a nanny for an 8-year-old boy in a remote English village. To her surprise, Greta learns that the child of her new employers is a life-size doll. They care for the doll as if it was human, which helps the couple to cope with the death of their own son 20 years earlier. When Greta violates a list of strict rules, a series of disturbing and inexplicable events bring her worst fears to life, leading her to believe that the doll is alive.

Cast & Crew

Lauren Cohan
Greta Evans
Jim Norton
Mr. Heelshire
Diana Hardcastle
Mrs. Heelshire
Jett Klyne
Brahms (Child)
Lily Pater
Emily Cribbs
Mathew Walker
Taxi Driver
Stacey Menear
Screenwriter
Jim Wedaa
Producer
Roy Lee
Producer
Eric Reid
Executive Producer
David Kern
Executive Producer
John Powers Middleton
Executive Producer
Robert Simonds
Executive Producer
Adam Fogelson
Executive Producer
Oren Aviv
Executive Producer
Zhongjun Wang
Executive Producer
Zhonglei Wang
Executive Producer
Donald Tang
Executive Producer
Daniel Pearl
Cinematographer
Brian Berdan
Film Editor
Bear McCreary
Original Music
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Critic Reviews for The Boy

Audience Reviews for The Boy

  • Sep 25, 2020
    What started as an interesting premise becomes absurd and is an ultimately dull endeavor.
    Mark B Super Reviewer
  • Sep 04, 2016
    Takes the tired old "Living Doll" premise and does okay with it by adding in a couple little spritzes of originality and a cast up to task. These two factors, as well as a pretty compelling third act almost salvage a good movie from this worn-out, boring premise. Almost.
    Gimly M Super Reviewer
  • Jul 23, 2016
    You know your film has problems when the best thing about it is how gorgeous Lauren Cohan is. I'm not gonna say that this movie was out and out awful, because it wasn't, but it's not what I would call a particularly intriguing "horror" film. And I put horror in quotation marks because, outside of the third act, there wasn't much in the way of horror to speak of in this movie. So that makes this film a bit of a rough watch when there's nothing really to motivate you to keep watching. I suppose they thought the idea of a creepy doll and the mystery behind what actually happened to the real Brahms and the circumstances surrounding his fairly convenient death might have given the story some mileage. And they do get some out of it, not a lot, but they do manage to stretch out the film's length. But, if we're being completely honest, it's not like what they do get out of it is really amazing or even good. I suppose they were just wasting time until the third act of the film, which is where it gets better. There's also a subplot of Greta taking the job in England, she lives in the U.S, to get away from her possessive ex-boyfriend and how he keeps pestering Greta's family for some sort of information as to her whereabouts. That obviously plays out in the end, with Cole, Greta's ex, going to where she works to bring her back home. Greta, believing the Brahms' doll to be possessed by his spirit, actually starts taking care of him after neglecting him at first and finding herself in situations where she feels that Brahms is trying to send her a message from...beyond, I guess. It somewhat works since Greta, before going to England, was pregnant with a child that she ended up losing during one of Cole's benders. So she embraces her new role as a caretaker as she can understand why the Heelshires would create a doll of their dead son, to deal with the grief of losing him. The film has a twist and it's not exactly the most unique one nor is it the most surprising one, you can figure it out fairly easily, but at the very least it makes some sort of sense in its own context at least. It wouldn't make much sense in a real-life setting, but this is a horror movie, fuck realism. Though, if we're really thinking about it, like what's the fucking point of going out and getting a doll. The film would've worked much better if the Heelshires, Brahms' parents, were just speaking to someone that wasn't there. I think it would've led to a more suspenseful film for when Greta started hearing a child's voice or footsteps during her stay. Yes, the alternative is a little basic and generic, but I don't know, I felt that having the doll there hurt the movie more than it benefited it. For marketing purposes, it's better to have a creepy doll than just...nothing to promote the flick with, but I felt that this would've been better with a different approach. Then again, I can't judge the film for what I wanted it to be. I have to judge it for what it is. It's not like what I pointed out really affects my opinion of it that much, I just felt it was worth pointing out. This movie is below average. Lauren Cohan is pretty decent in this movie and she is absolutely gorgeous, but that's not reason enough to recommend this mediocre film. Google pictures of Lauren and I guarantee you that that will be more satisfying than this flick.
    Jesse O Super Reviewer
  • Jun 25, 2016
    The Boy is a creepy and suspenseful horror film. The story follows an American nanny who's hired by a wealthy English couple to look after a porcelain doll named Brahms, who they treat as a surrogate son after having lost their real son in a fire; but when the nanny neglects to properly care for the doll strange things begin to happen. Lauren Cohan leads the cast and gives an especially strong performance. And the script is well constructed, particularly in how it sets up the plot and builds mystery around the doll. However, the pacing can be kind of slow at times and some parts of the plot don't quite work. Still, while it may seem like a typical possessed doll type film, The Boy delivers a few chilling surprises.
    Dann M Super Reviewer

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