Wednesday, January 27, 2016

The Boy [2016]

MPAA (PG-13)  CNS/USCCB (A-III) (1 1/2 Stars)  AVClub (C)  Fr. Dennis (2 1/2 Stars)

IMDb listing
CNS/USCCB (J. Mulderig) review (C. Lemire) review
AVClub (K. Rife) review  

The Boy [2016] (directed by William Brent Bell , screenplay Stacey Menear) is pre-teen / teen oriented "scary movie" a young late-teen / early 20-something American woman named Greta (played by Lauren Cohan) who, fleeing some issues back home, takes a job as a nanny at a somewhat distant / isolated Manor House somewhere in the midst of the English countryside (think mildly perhaps of Downton Abbey [2010-])

How hard could the job be? And who'd ever look for her there?

Well, it's been "a few years" since "Downton Abbey time."  So the Manor House that Greta arrives at is not exactly "bustling with activity."  Gone is anything resembling "a staff."  There's just an older couple, Mr and Mrs Heelshire (played by Jim Norton and Diana Hardcastle respectively) whose home this is.

To be sure, the place remains quite elegant / well maintained,  no doubt in good part because Mrs Heelshire liked to "keep things in order" (to the point that the the Heelshires set traps for mice/vermin _outside the house_ so that they don't even get in ;-) ... I found that very odd ;-).  But the house is clearly WAY TOO BIG for an older couple like this to manage on their own.

Yet they have ... managed on their own ... 'Cept ... they've apparently decided after much thought to ... hire a nanny.  WHY?  After all, THEY WOULD SEEM RATHER OLD to be responsible for a young child NEEDING A NANNY.

Well, it gets stranger when this older couple introduces Greta to their "mischievous" son, named Brahms, and ... their "son" turns out to be ... a 3 foot tall doll.  What the heck is going on here?

Well clearly there's a story there.  To go too far into said story would begin to spoil it.  Clearly however Greta is as skeptical of the elderly couple's claim that the doll is "really alive" as we, the Viewers, are.  Yet ...

The isolation of the house helps "add" to mix.  All in all, it's _not_ a badly spun tale that does have its "jumps" and otherwise "bumps in the night." ;-)

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