Monday, January 25, 2016

Monday Movie! "The Boy"

I put this one closer to the "monuments" end of the DZA review scale, somewhere between "awesome" and "fantastic."

You can stream The Boy here.



The Boy is about an American woman babysitting a porcelain doll in the UK. Easiest 5K you've ever earned, right? Just one teensy little catch: it's haunted. It's like Chucky, but good.

The doll/boy's name is Brahms. Twenty years ago he died in a house fire when he was eight. The doll showed up soon after and the parents have been caring for it ever since, growing all kinds of weird.

I saw this with my mom and her BFF Cat.* They're both in their mid-forties, they're moms, they're responsible adults, so when the nanny Greta starts breaking the rules like "put the doll to bed" and "feed the doll" and all the other stuff...

Mom & Cat: "Follow the rules, you dumb bitch! That's what they're paying you for."

Me (age 20): "Whoo-hoo! Par-ty! If I were in that mansion I'd grab all my sorority sisters, order pizza, and--wait, what's with the creepy kid laugh and footsteps...? Crap, it's haunted."

So, yeah, the characters are pretty darn realistic, since Greta's closer to twenty than forty. :)

What I really liked about this movie was not just the fact that there was a minimum of stupid horror movie mistakes and clich├ęs, but it was about domestic violence. Greta left an abusive relationship in the US and ran right into another with Brahms, the doll. So while she makes some dumb decisions (doesn't go for the cops or leave the house when she should), there's a real reason for it. Pulling teeth is easier and less painful than trying to get DV victims to leave their abusers.

Anyway, it was a great movie, and actually scary. I wouldn't put it on my top 5, but probably top 15.

And now for my favorite part...

I knew I should've taken the job at McDonald's.

Spoilers!


Greta lands her job at Crazy Estates, and the parents leave for a month-long vacation. Immediately she starts breaking the rules of how to care for the boy/doll, because it's a doll and it doesn't look like there are any nanny cams anywhere.

It's looking like a pretty typical horror movie: Creepy stuff happens. There's the romantic interest with the grocery boy, Malcolm. There's zero cell service at the estate and no nearby neighbors. Kid's laughter and crying and footsteps are seeping through the walls and footsteps. And things get progressively worse when Greta continues to ignore the rules...

And then the doll starts moving. Greta comes into the bedroom and it's sitting up next to the list of rules, calls her on the phone, makes her a sandwich, totally freaks her out...that puts her in line (re: domestic abuse, pattern of abuse). Malcolm thinks she's crazy until she puts the doll in a room, outlines it in chalk, leaves, comes back and it's moved to the radiator. So, definitely not crazy, doll's definitely possessed.

Malcolm decides this is the moment to tell Greta that Brahms was a creepy little punk who probably killed the neighborhood girl before setting the house on fire, and that they should get out of here. Greta refuses to leave.

Then Greta's ex shows up, having gotten her new address from her 10-year-old nephew. The conversation goes something like this:

"Sorry I beat you and made your life so miserable that you ran to the other side of the planet. I promise I'll be better. We leave tomorrow morning."

And Greta thinks, "Hey, this haunted doll scared the shit out of me. Maybe it'll do the same for my ex and chase him away."

Brahms apparently agrees, because Greta wakes up in the middle of the night when the doll has moved to the other room and written Get out in rat's blood over the ex's head.

Malcolm comes in when the couple's arguing (he stayed outside in his car when Greta insisted on not calling the cops because he's smart) and tries to mediate, but the ex takes the Brahms doll and smashes it. Destroys it completely.

And the house starts shaking and the lights flicker and Malcolm and Greta and the audience are like, "Oh, shit, we've just released the spirit."

Yeah...there is no spirit.

Brahms is alive and has been hiding out in the walls for 20 years.

Yeah.

He comes out, wearing this creepy porcelain doll mask, kills the ex and attacks Malcolm. Malcolm gets knocked out, Greta escapes...and comes back, because she knows Malcolm will be dead by the time the cops arrive (remember: no cell service, and Brahms cut the phone lines).

So she comes back, grabs a screwdriver, hides it in her pants, and puts Brahms to bed.

And it looks like she'll be able to do this without bloodshed, because Brahms is crazy and just wants to be an eight-year-old boy cared for by a pretty nanny. Therefore, Plan A is to put him in bed, grab Malcolm, and get out, letting the cops handle it.

Unfortunately, Brahms also has a weird sexual fascination with Greta (hanging out in the walls is not a good way to get the girls, so he's a horny virgin with a homemade sex doll of Greta in his room), so he pushes for sex, and Greta stabs him with the screwdriver. She grabs Malcolm and leaves.

The end!


You can stream The Boy here.

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*I changed the name of Mom's BFF because of creepy Internet people.

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Thanks for reading! :)

If you know a good movie, show, or book, or have any questions or concerns, please contact me.

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