| 03.17.2018

Cliche premise, strong finish — Strong plot twists save a struggling movie premise


Josh Grissom | Rawr

As one of the earliest horror films of 2016, “The Boy” takes an overused storyline and delivers one of the better twists of recent years.

Viewers are initially presented with several classic stereotypes of a horror movie: a remote mansion distanced from society, an eerie forest and an unnerving porcelain doll.

The film struggles to engage the audience during the first hour of the production, attempting to establish a half-hearted background for the main characters in the film.

In addition to poorly developed roles, the movie suffers from a weak premise that is hard for many viewers to fully accept.

rawr5As the film progresses, the audience is left wondering if the movie is a repeat of something that they have seen before. “The Boy” possesses a collection of stereotypical characters and environments, including the mysterious elderly couple that owns the mansion.

The villain of the production is an uncanny porcelain doll that appears to become more life-like the longer that you stare at it. What’s even more abnormal is the bizarre set of instructions that the protagonist must follow as she is employed as the caretaker of the doll.

The movie primarily relies on a series of cliché jump-scares, instead of fully developing the characters and mood to add a thrilling element to the film.

For the majority of the movie, viewers are left wondering what exactly is happening in the film. Is the doll haunted, or is the protagonist simply going crazy?

The saving grace of director William Brent Bell’s production occurs near the end of the movie, during a climatic encounter involving the porcelain doll.

To reveal any details of the twist would spoil the plot and ruin the film for potential movie buffs. But I can admit that I was momentarily caught off-guard during the pivotal scene and spent several seconds trying to solve the puzzle.

The final seconds of the film are constructed in a way that hints at the possibility of a sequel. However, given the ending of the movie, I find it hard to believe that Bell would attempt another production in the series.

Overall, the movie serves as a temporary “fix” for horror junkies. “The Boy” employs a decent atmosphere and possesses several unsettling scenes.

The downside is that the film takes too long to develop and most viewers are left bored when the pivotal twist occurs. If the audience can remain focused for the first hour of “The Boy,” they will be rewarded with a surprise ending.

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