“The Boy” brings horror back into doll movies

Movie poster for “The Boy”.

Lisa Herdman

The new horror movie, “The Boy,” was surprisingly well-made and brought the horror and suspense genres together.

A young woman named Greta flees to England in an attempt to leave an abusive relationship in the United States. She signs up to babysit for the Heelshire family, but finds that the young boy they want her to watch is actually a doll. The history of the family proves to be rather terrifying. Strange occurrences and a few plot twists make this movie more than just a supernatural thriller.

I didn’t have high hopes for this movie when I first saw the trailer. The disappointment of “Annabelle,” another movie about a possessed doll, still had me a bit skeptical about how far a director can go with a film about possession. Even with all odds against it, I was pleasantly surprised.

There seemed to be about four different segment-like portions of this movie.The first 20 minutes moved slowly. The backstory is lengthy and can get a little repetitive. If you can make it through this first part, you are free to enjoy the rest of the heart-stopping movie.

The second and third parts are vastly different from the first, almost as if the movie ended and a new one started. Greta starts to witness the doll appearing and disappearing, making her question her own sanity and eventually come to accept the paranormal occurrences.

The third part brings in people from Greta’s backstory, and the film takes on a certain suspense that is found more in crime films than horror ones. This is where the story becomes nail-biting and interesting. By the middle of the last chase sequence, the movie has successfully introduced romance, horror and crime thriller themes.

The setting for the movie looked cheesy and overdone but ended up working very well for the story. I was impressed that some of the characters were very developed and even charming. The characters off-screen were as important as the ones on-screen.

Characters were able to move the plot forward without forcing it and made me really care about what happened to them rather than waiting for the horror sequences to start.

I would recommend this movie to any lover of the horror genre. It was suspenseful, romantic and heart-pounding. Don’t take the first 20 minutes as an indicator for what the rest of the movie will provide.

Rating: 3.5/5 stars