Horror Reviews

‘The Boy’ Ruins Itself In The Twist

After escaping an abusive relationship by accepting a nannying position in the UK, Greta soon realizes her new job is less than normal. The child in her care is not a child at all, but a porcelain doll named Brahms. Soon after her arrival, bizarre things begin to happen and it would seem that Brahms is more than a doll and possibly something more sinister.

Spoiler Warning Below

Greta is left in charge of Brahms as his parents are away on an extended holiday. She is given a list of peculiar rules of which she ignores initially. The parents treat the doll as if he is a real living boy, giving him music lessons and reading to him, and Greta is to do the same. The only visitor to the estate is Malcolm, a grocery delivery man. He informs Greta of the sad history of the family. That Brahms was a real boy who died in a fire over 20 years ago.

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As Greta settles into life at the home, while ignoring the rules, she begins to experience strange things. She can hear a child crying, her things go missing and Brahms is sometimes found in new positions and places. She recognizes that she must follow the rules and that Brahms is “alive”.

Malcolm begins to worry about Greta as she is seemingly losing her sanity. He explains that the real Brahms was a suspect in a girls murder at the young age of 8. She was found with her skull crushed and soon after Brahms perished in the fire. But she believes Brahms would never hurt her and chooses to ignore Malcolm’s warnings.

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The film is very creepy. Just like Dead Silence and Annabelle, we are left wondering what is the secret hiding behind the dolls vacant stare. There are many great jump scares and moments that leave the viewer uneasy. All around, the film is very enjoyable and frightening, until we arrive at the “twist”.


Spoilers Below

After Greta’s abusive ex Cole surprises her at the home, he becomes enraged by her love of the doll and her refusal to return to the US with him. He rips Brahms from her grasp and smashes the doll into pieces. The lights begin to flicker and movement can be heard from behind the walls. Cole places his head against a mirror to hear where the noise is and it bursts. They look on in horror as an adult Brahms, wearing a similar porcelain mask, crawls through.

We realize that Brahms did not die in the fire 20 something years ago. Instead he’s been living in the walls, peaking through and watching his parents and Greta while living vicariously through the doll. While running through the walls trying to escape, Greta finds a suicide note by Brahms’ parents explaining that she is a sacrifice to him and that they can no longer care for him. Greta presumably kills Brahms in a struggle and leaves. However we soon see him repairing the broken doll.

This “twist” really ruined the film for me. It reminded me too much of Black Christmas, where the killer was living in the walls after being presumed dead. I wonder why the parents would keep him there, and how they built such an intricate system of wall tunnels and secret doors. A supernatural reasoning would have been so much more appealing and terrifying. For me, humans with motivation aren’t quite as scary as the spiritual.

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2 comments on “‘The Boy’ Ruins Itself In The Twist

  1. The twist completely caught me by surprise! I definitely didn’t expect it and when you see the hand emerge from the wall / broken mirror, I thought at first it was something supernatural. I still found him creepy because he was this scruffy, lanky man with a “child’s face” and that was still scary. However, it was a shame to lose all the supernatural elements we’d been led to believe like the doll moving and the special rules and the phone calls. I suppose I would have liked a more supernatural ending, but on the whole I enjoyed the twist. 😊

    Liked by 1 person

    • The hand grabbing the wall through the mirror was so unexpected and spooky. I think that set me up even more to think it was a ghoul or something nonhuman, and then it wasn’t. I just love a good ghost story.

      Liked by 1 person

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