released OUT NOW! 2016 | 15 | Blu-ray/dvd Director William Brent Bell Cast lauren Cohan, rupert evans, Jim Norton, diana Hardcastle
This horror comes across like an extreme spin on My Fake Baby, a 2007 BBC documentary on the phenomenon of “reborns” – ultrarealistic dolls that are sometimes bought by bereaved parents to comfort themselves.
The Walking Dead’s Lauren Cohan plays Greta, an American nanny taken aback to discover that her new ward Brahms is not a real boy but a porcelain doll. Twenty years ago her employers lost their eight-year-old son to a fire; since then, this simulacra’s taken his place in their affections. They promptly leave it alone with Greta, who becomes increasingly convinced it’s become the vessel for the disturbed boy’s spirit.
A spiritual heir to evil ventriloquist’ s-doll flicks of yore, The Boy doesn’t exactly bear close analysis – quite where such an uncanny creation came from is just one of several glaring unanswered questions. But creepy it undeniably is, especially once a weird psychosexual undercurrent swells (it seems Brahms may have a thing for Greta). There are a handful of decent jump scares, and the audacious final act twist, which turns everything on its head, is quite something – if you can ignore the fact that it doesn’t make a scrap of sense.
Extras Two brief promotional featurettes (three minutes).
Screenwriter Stacey Minear says the ending was inspired by two weird ’70s horrors: The Baby and Bad Ronald.
Young Tim got a little tense before the prom.