“The Boy” (2016) Directed by William Brent Bell. Starring Lauren Cohan and Rupert Evans. Greta Evans takes a nanny job for an eccentric rich couple. The catch? They want her to babysit their doll, Brahms. They claim he is possessed by the spirit of a boy. But, is the doll really possessed? Or are they just crazy?
Greta accepts a job as a nanny for the Heelshires, whom live in a nice big country house type mansion building. When she is introduced to their son Brahms, she is presented with a doll. Not a boy. A doll.
She laughs at this, but ends up shaking the doll’s hand and tries to take it somewhat seriously since they’re going to pay her to watch him/it.
So we’re lead to believe the doll is the Heelshire’s son, though its later shown that it is not true. Nope. Not at all. Stupid twist endings. Spoilers!
Mrs. Heelshire tells Greta that she has to wake Brahms at 7 am and dress him, and that he has 3 hours of lessons each week. He loves having poetry read to him and listening to music. (Not sure about you, but at this point, I’d be declining the job and getting the heck out of there.)
Does the doll have their son’s soul?
They treat the doll like it’s an actual kid. Which is rather creepy if you stop to think about it. Yikes. Even creepier? They tell her that the doll chose her to be his nanny. But…did he really? Or is there something else going on? Do we even care? Read on to find out!
Anyways after that creepfest, Greta is given the run down of the doll’s house rules. Don’t feed Brahms after midnight, don’t get him wet, and don’t let him watch Jerry Springer. Wait..that’s Gremlins. It would’ve been more interesting if she had to be a nanny for Gizmo though. (Note to self, write Gremlins fan-fiction and sell it.)
So yeah. Follow the house rules, Brahms is cool. Don’t follow them and he will be mean or go all Chucky on her or something.
Then, one night, Greta is alone in the big scary mansion-house of doom, and covers Brahms with a blanket because the doll creeps her the eff out. She falls asleep on a chair, and when she wakes up, the blanket is no longer on the doll. It is on the floor. Nooooo!!! You mean, gravity made the blanket fall off? Or…did it? Dun Dun Duuun!
Later, that same night…
Greta wakes up, wanders around the house for no good reason, and then stops and stares at the family painting. A doll hand pops out of the painting and grabs her and, oh..wait. Sorry. That was just a cheap jump scare. She was having a nightmare. Tee hee!
Hey movie makers, take note: This is NOT how you win over your audience. The whole, it was just a dream cliché is overdone, overtired and freaking annoying. Thanks.
Where was I? Oh yeah, stupid crap happening in a movie that was marketed as a supernatural thriller but really actually isn’t.
It would’ve been neat if they established breadcrumbs (of ideas) throughout each scene that made the audience question what was really going on, but no. That’s too hard. Instead, we’ll just show you random crap, like someone peeping through a keyhole in a door, and stealing Greta’s clothes when she’s taking a shower.
Could it be that Greta isn’t alone? Really? What gave that away? The blanket?
So yeah. Blah blah blah, things happen. The (new) BOYFRIEND shows up for moral support or some crap, and then Brahms disappears. Freaking out, she looks for the doll because I guess she believes that the doll is haunted or something? The attic ladder is pulled down, so she goes up to check and is locked up in there. Not even once considering that someone could’ve broken into the huge mansion without her hearing it. I mean, at that point, I’d probably call the cops. Then again, this plot suffers from movie logic and you can’t apply reality to that.
Greta is knocked out and comes to the next day, still in the attic. So she leaves, not even once worrying about the fact that she might have a concussion, and goes about her day.
The magical (new) BOYFRIEND Malcolm shows up, and Brahms the doll is shown listening to them while they play pool and chat about stuff. But is he really listening to them? What is going on here? Wink Wink. Nudge Nudge. (Seriously, this gets old so fast)
Then Greta has yet ANOTHER NIGHTMARE where supernatural stuff happens and wakes up AGAIN. Really? Really?
Anyways, Brahms calls her and tells her to be good, and promises he’ll behave if she is nice or some crap, and then makes her a PB&J sandwich because he’s really a nice ghost boy doll, whom is not really doing anything and all the actions are actually being done by someone living in the walls. Oh…did I give it away? Oops.
Then Brahm’s cray cray parents commit suicide and Greta is stuck with the not-so-haunted, haunted doll in a huge mansion. She refuses to leave, and when The (new) BOYFRIEND asks why, she confesses that she had a crazy ex-boyfriend, Cole, whom beat her when she was pregnant and she lost the child. Like any sane person, she fled the States to live in the UK because nothing says safe more than an ocean put between you and an asshole…I guess.
Some other crazy “supernatural” things happen. The (new) BOYFRIEND tells Greta spooky tales about Brahms and the people that played with the doll went missing or died and…oh who the eff cares at this point? I know that I don’t.
Speak of the Devil, after Greta says Cole’s name, he flies ALLLL the way over to the UK to get her back, because reasons. Yup. Most people can afford to just drop everything, plunk down a couple thousand dollars on a plane ticket and fly 8+ hours over the Atlantic to find and beg their ex to come home.
Cole shows up at the mansion because he magically knows where Greta is, thanks to her saying his name. I guess that makes him like a summoned demon or something? If she clicks her heels three times does he disappear in a puff of pink smoke that smells like cotton candy? Nobody knows!
Anyways, Cole shows up, begs Greta to come back and gets into an argument with her and Malcolm (The new BOYFRIEND) and breaks a porcelain doll. The house then starts to shake, because reasons, and Cole inexplicably puts his ear to a mirror, which shatters and knocks him out. I guess? What the eff is going on in this movie?!
Then, to no-one’s surprise, the real, living man-child Brahms (whom has been living in the walls, because reasons) pops out of the wall, and is wearing a doll mask. He tries to protect Greta and attacks Cole but she and The BOYFRIEND stop him.
Wait. What? Kill that son of a bitch. He has it coming. Then call the police and get them to arrest Brahms for being a creepy stalker.
Brahms (the real one) chases Greta and The (new) BOYFRIEND around the house. They find his stash where he kept the doll named Brahms and the clothes that he stole from Greta. Spoopy!
So yeah, the BIG REVEAL?
Somehow, even though he was fuggin’ nuts and lived in the freaking walls, Brahms the man-child had total control over his elderly parents and forced them to do things. He held them hostage, because reasons (nothing in this damned movie makes any sense). So they offered Brahms a new plaything in order to be let out, and what do they do once they’ve escaped his evil clutches? They commit suicide. Yup. Instead of just going right to the police to report elder abuse, they jump off a cliff into the water below and drown.
The twist ending is lame, all the plot points are weak, and there’s no real supernatural things going on in it whatsoever. Talk about a ghost tease. What a jerk.
So, in the end, Brahms never died. Brahms is still living in the walls and has some strange ability to force people to do what he wants by pretending to be a malevolent spirit possessing a doll that has the same name as him. Or something. At least, I think that is what the filmmakers were going for. Unfortunately, they failed miserably.
You want a good creepy doll movie? Go watch “Child’s Play.” It’s a classic and it’s 110% scarier than this craptastophe.