Terrifying. Smart. Well-paced. Superbly-acted. And above all else, expertly and carefully written. These are just a few accolades worth mentioning before a formal review of The Boy begins. It is so refreshing to see not only a well-done PG-13 horror film, but a throwback creepy tale with a real old school style. Director William Brent (The Devil Inside, Stay Alive) Bell had a few missteps at the beginning of his career, but he’s right on track to becoming a horror legend with his newest entry. And writer Stacey Menear crafts a masterpiece of a debut screenplay.
Then there’s the acting. Lauren (The Walking Dead, The Vampire Diaries) Cohan leads a small but powerful cast, including Rupert Evans, Ben Robson, Diana Hardcastle, and Jim Norton. Every character is complex, intriguing, and above all else, believable. There are no missteps in the script, no irrational character decisions or plot moments, and the actors do a great job delivering on the screenplay’s premise. The twists and turns throughout never seem forced, work surprisingly well for such a simple subject matter, and the scares are genuine.
Which brings up the most important aspect of a good scary movie: the delivery. It’s scary. It’s smart. And there’s just enough of a “what the hell was that” factor going on throughout the entire film that when the final element of the story reveals itself, it is one of the most satisfying endings in recent horror film history. There are great thematic elements, though dark, throughout the movie, but it never gives in completely to the subject matter. The inherently creepy tone is established immediately, grabs you, and doesn’t let you go until the final frame of the film. Watchable scary movies are made monthly, but ones that are actually good, or even better, scary, are rare nowadays. Go see this movie in the theater. It’s going to set the tone for 2016 in terms of the genre.
My Rating: 5/5