The Boy

2015

The Boy (2015)

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Critic Consensus: No consensus yet.

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In the summer of 1989, the Mt. Vista motel has been slowly deteriorating on an isolated roadside, and its proprietor, John Henley, is not faring much better. Since his wife left him and their nine year-old son, Ted, John has drifted into despondency. With no parental or adult supervision to guide him, the young Ted's darker impulses begin to emerge, leading him to explore a growing fascination with death. This fascination blossoms into a bizarre and dangerous method for roping in the occasional passing motorists for an unplanned overnight stop at the motel. When a mysterious drifter is forced to take up residency at the Mt. Vista for several days, he and Ted forge a unique friendship that sends the boy down a dangerous path.

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Critic Reviews for The Boy

All Critics (21) | Top Critics (6)

Mr. Macneill and his co-screenwriter, Clay McLeod Chapman, have developed a feature stunning to behold if somewhat unpersuasive in narrative.

Aug 20, 2015 | Full Review…

The film feels overly long, and while lingering shots of the mountain scenery do help convey the isolation of the deserted motel, too many of them feel repetitive.

Aug 18, 2015 | Rating: C+ | Full Review…

While the score goes out of its way to make his every action feel sinister, the picture doesn't fulfill its horrific potential until the third act.

Aug 12, 2015 | Full Review…

While it's admirable that director Macneill and his co-scripter Clay McLeod Chapman opted to emphasize mood and psychology over the story's more exploitable elements, it nonetheless results in a listless tedium.

Aug 10, 2015 | Full Review…

The scariest aspect of "The Boy" is the extent to which Macneill makes it possible to sympathize with the troubled protagonist -- even as its haunting final shot hints at the horrors yet to come.

Aug 10, 2015 | Rating: B+ | Full Review…
indieWire
Top Critic

A 9-year-old sociopath stubbornly fails to become scary in this stillborn thriller.

Aug 10, 2015 | Full Review…
Variety
Top Critic

Audience Reviews for The Boy

As innocuous as its title, it is awfully directed and edited, poorly paced and hugely incompetent in whatever it is trying to do as it fails to portray the kid's evolution into a psychopath (he comes off as just annoying), and it is only not a complete disaster because of its forceful ending.

Carlos Magalhães
Carlos Magalhães

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