It always surprises people when I tell them I’m not a big fan of horror movies. I love Halloween, and while scary movies are a part of that, my love is for the holiday itself. That being said, I do enjoy horror flicks when I do get around to seeing them. Which is why, on a cool January night, I found myself at the Pacific Theater in Winnetka to check out ‘The Boy’.
I first saw the trailer for The Boy when I saw ‘Krampus’ (an excellent film!) back in December and it looked pretty good. A creepy doll, a big spooky mansion, and the very beautiful Lauren Cohan- I was sold. It also looked like it’d be a ghost story, which was a big plus in my book. On the downside, it’s a PG-13 rated horror movie which could lead to it feeling watered down, and in the end, that rating actually would negatively effect my experience- but not quite in the way you’d expect.
For this adventure, I was joined by my friend Shannon, who has some pretty impressive horror community credentials herself. The theater we picked had two showings of The Boy on a Saturday night (Not a great sign, considering the movie had only been out a week), 7:50 and 10:30. For some reason, I decided we should see the 7:50 showing… this would prove to be a huge mistake!
We ended up seeing this movie with the second worst audience I’d ever had the displeasure of sharing a theater with. (The worst was Insidious 2 at AMC Citywalk. I’ll never see another horror movie there again.) This was, I think, because we chose to see a PG-13 horror movie at an early show time and got a theater full of kids for our trouble. Kids who talked constantly, especially following any of the films numerous jump scares- which killed any tension the movie tried to build.
(From here on out, there may be spoilers.)
All that aside, the movie itself was better than I expected it to be. The Boy is the story of American nanny, Greta Evans (Cohan) who is hired by and elderly British couple to babysit their son Brahms while they go on holiday. However, when Greta arrives at their big, spooky mansion, she finds that Brahms is a porcelain doll.. who just might contain the spirit of a young boy who died years before.
The film was well acted and very atmospheric- the house itself almost felt like a character of its own. There is the prerequisite horror movie plot twist and while its reveal was VERY well done (this got genuine gasps of shock from the audience) the more I think about it, the more I feel it cheapened the overall movie. Still, I enjoyed The Boy and would definitly recommend seeing it… at the very least when it inevitably makes its way to Netflix.
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