The Boy (2016)

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William Brent Bell directs Lauren Cohan, Rupert Evans and Jim Norton in the woman looks after a creepy childlike doll potboiler.

Perhaps the worst trip to the movies I’ve been on in ages. Why is this 97 minutes? You can literally see the cast staring at the clock for the first 85 waiting to reveal the dud twist.  There are two filler dream sequence jump scares for fuck’s sake, one involving a ridiculous amount of lit candles near soft furnishing for any house with a fully paid ‘leccy bill. During that dull dull dull treading water time so many nits present themselves to be picked that zero fear and tension is generated. You are just so distracted mulling over why they thought that would be a believable shot. Our scream queen emerges from the shower in full make up. A black cab drives out to the countryside (“that’ll be £19,000, please Miss”) and then the cockney driver passes on instructions from the house (“Not my facking job, maaaate”) then seemingly is still waiting out there a day later (“S’alright guvnor, I left the meter running.”) There are a full cast of British actors on set who could have just said “Don’t let her travel hundreds of miles in a black cab to establish we are in Great England, you’ll make us all look like prized plums.” It is so ineptly made you don’t even trust the obvious red herring character to be a red herring. You can’t credit the film makers with the imagination to bother actually pulling the wool over your eyes. The most significant thing to happen in the first hour is a sandwich is made. When the big reveal smashes out at us there are a few seconds of shock but then nothing else of value really transpires. Credits roll on a purposely bloodless, sexless time waster that wouldn’t hold its own as a weak quarter short in an old portmanteau. Bishop Len Brennan from Father Ted plays the doll’s Dad and genuinely looks embarrassed to be the closest we get to a big name… at least in the Hammer / Amicus days we’d have a slumming it but beloved Bette Davis or Joan Fontaine sort to psychobiddy some camp mania into this watery dross.

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