Movie Review: The Boy (2016)

Susanto Sen By Susanto Sen, 11th May 2016 | Follow this author | RSS Feed
Posted in Wikinut>Reviews>Film & TV>Horror

A nanny is called to tend to a seven year old boy who is but a doll. She begins to be haunted after ignoring her strict responsibilities towards it.

A Curious Rencounter of Fear and Rationality

A haunting often digs into the history of a place, being or culture. On the other hand, there are some others that reflect a past in the present just for the sake of conjecture. In portraying horror, the essence of antiquity is more for retrospect and much less for aesthetics. But this flick pulls off its converse, making aesthetics more pertinent than a dark past. In a typical initiation, the protagonist arrives in an antiquated but alluring mansion, probably of the early twentieth century. The car that drives her in is a classic… making one wander in history, the countryside and through the nostalgia of the World Wars. Maybe, the mansion was a castle that depicted a transformation of aristocracies.

Greta, the nanny, walks straight into solitude at her first entry. In surrounding woods, the scene is potentially set for some mystery and a little haunting. A room full of toys is not a surprising initiation since these have come about as trending accoutrements in many horror thrillers. Greta has to now strictly tend to a doll that resembles Grant – the seven year old son of an old couple – the landlords. She is rationally pressed to believe that such tasking is a result of senile dementia, and obedience to such drivel is imprudence. Startled by a charming young man, she then takes respite in her new job. But Greta’s subconscious still fears the grave convictions of the old couple, who allude to the sensitivities of an inanimate doll. The fears are reiterated with anomalies, such as, nightmares and losses of personal effects. The boy doll haunts no more than Annabelle although the latter is already known to be possessed.

For Greta, a modern mentality eclipses a prevalent orthodox mood. Every clue of a haunting bore some rational explanation to her; the tears from the doll’s eyes were drips from a seeping ceiling, the ghostly apparition in the attic was but a silhouette of a hanging jacket, and the shutting of the attic’s trapdoor was just a mechanical glitch. Such derivations made sense until nightmares suddenly became a reality; Grant’s glare pierces through Greta’s confidence, an abashed Grant indignantly alludes for all attention unto him, and if heeded to, he would palpably abide by her. All the attention to him meant inane service to an unresponsive subject. The nanny’s disdain for the doll soon yields to intimidation. Reading out stories aloud, praying before his bedtime, changing his clothes, and feeding him become the compelled duties of the subdued nanny.

Besides the suspense of a raving doll are reliefs of scientism and a fostering romance. For a lone Greta, her best saving grace is Malcolm – a caring boyfriend. While he is not around, reasoning carries her through. When reasoning abandons her, even Malcolm begins doubting her. At crossroads, Greta is pushed to convince him of the supernatural. Unpredictably, the supernatural is but a covert deception.

A prognostication of the mystery is not straightforward. There could be manifold possibilities if this is a spin-off. Equating by the ‘Child’s Play’ series, the doll could be a convict awaiting redemption. If it is Annabelle, there would be ill-fortune all through the climax. A lone nanny in ‘The House of the Devil’ (2009) ends up as a subject of witchcraft… and so could be a probable direction. If nothing else, then lurking in hallucinations, Greta could deteriorate in lunacy like the delirious Jack (Nicholson) of ‘The Shining’.


Horror Film, Mystery, Psychopath, Romance, Thriller Movies

Meet the author

author avatar Susanto Sen
As a bibliophile, I love to collect non-fiction books, My non-fiction interests are mainly philosophy, spirituality, and some bit of statistics. Other interests are movies and television media.

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