At First Glance: “The Boy”

It’s like a sub-genre all its own. The creepy doll movie is one that just won’t go away. Some are far better than others and some are merely mildly creepy. The creepy doll part never seems to be overlooked, just the story or the freshness of the story. If this part isn’t nailed right off, it was all for nothing and I’ll be demanding my money back.

The upcoming STX Entertainment film “The Boy”, is certainly setting out to be a really creepy movie, but then again, so did so many others.

This horror film stars Lauren Cohan (“The Walking Dead”, “Reach Me”), Rupert Evans (upcoming series “The Man in the High Castle”, “The Canal”), Ben Robson (“Vikings”, “Dracula: The Dark Prince”), Jim Norton (“National Theater Live: Hamlet”, “Jimmy’s Hall”), Diana Hardcastle (“Jenny’s Wedding”, “The Second Best Exotic Marigold Hotel”), James Russell (“Forever”, “Deception”), and Javier Botet (upcoming “The Revenant”, “Crimson Peak”).

The film is directed by William Brent Bell (“Wer”, “The Devil Inside”) and written by Stacey Menear.

The film is expected to open on Jan. 22, 2016.
  
If it’s about a creepy doll, or creepy dolls, and I think the rest of the story looks good, I’ll be ready to see the film at some point. So far, even if the overall film didn’t fully do it for me, I’ve enjoyed films about creepy dolls. Even if the creepy dolls weren’t even the central part of the plot, if they’re creepy looking or doing things that are downright disturbing, then I’ll be another frightened person. I for some reason can’t get enough of these types of films, even if they seldom live up the way I hope.

Creepy kid doll thing, that may or may not be alive, or as the tail end of the trailer suggests, is probably just possessed, is creepy. There. That’s about all the trailer really needed to sell. When I watched this trailer the first time, as opposed to the second time, I was actually a bit scared by what I was witnessing. Everything in the trailer just blended so well and built up a bit of suspense. This suspense, I must say, at least right now, has me interested in this film. I doubt I’ll go out of my way to see it in theaters, but at some point next year, I will.

After the creepy doll, the story is really all that’s left to look forward to. The acting will probably be okay, but as it’s a horror film and opening in January, I’m not expecting anything spectacular. I should clarify too about the story part. I’m more thinking about how this story is going to unravel. If the trailer did its job, you’ll already be interested in wondering if this doll is really alive or not. I want to know how will the pieces fall and reveal whatever is really going on. Within this, we’ll also discover if this film can build suspense and scares, or just rely on lame and easily accessible jump scare. If it’s just jump scares, like that scene at the end of the trailer, then I’ll be pretty upset. I’m hopeful this film can be really creepy and work as a horror film as it also has the setting and house to add to the creepy atmosphere. Then again, “Crimson Peak” in its opening weekend couldn’t (unfortunately) draw a big enough crowd, and it had so much more than just a big creepy house.

Horror movies are truly hit or miss. What draws you in at first, especially if you don’t put too much thought in, is the creepy trailer, which hopefully had you on edge. When you arrive and sit through a horror movie, that’s when your feelings change, and usually not in the direction you hope. Now days, I’m more skeptical than ever. I’ve seen a few, A FEW, good ones that had me at every moment, but that was it. They were also so far spread out that a bit of my excitement for horror died. I don’t think this film is going to be a blessing in disguise or something, but I’m hoping, at the least, it’ll be creepy enough that I’ll consider it a good few hours spent.

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