The Boy (2015) Blu-ray Review
“The Boy” is a slow but unnerving psychological horror film.
Not to be confused with 2016’s “The Boy” with Lauren Cohan, 2015’s “The Boy” is a psychological horror film centering around a bored and lonely kid (Ted) who lives with his father (John) at his remote mountain motel business. Ted is no ordinary child, however, as he is clearly unstable. He really misses his mother (who left him and John), he develops deep and eerie attachments to customers, and he also has some rather dark and disturbing hobbies involving death. For example, Ted sets up traps for animals so that they will become roadkill (which he can profit off of). One such trap eventually leads to a car accident involving a shady man named William. The rest of the film essentially deals with Ted’s unsettling actions which become increasingly more extreme as time passes.
As a fan of the horror genre, even I am getting tired of the creepy kid movies that seem to come out every other month now as they have become tired. Thankfully, “The Boy” brings something different to the table. Instead of relying on clichés and lame jump scares, “The Boy” is more of an arty psychological horror film that feels very grounded. There’s a sense of realism here as you feel like you are trapped in this rundown motel with Ted and his father.
Now, some viewers may find the film to be slow and plotless and those criticisms are certainly valid. It is not the most eventful film to be sure. However, I think the slow burn style might be the point here as you are meant to feel like time slows down at this particular location. It’s an effective approach that benefits Ted’s eventual Norman Bates esque descent into evil or what have you.
Casting wise, there are a trio of stand-out performances here. The always reliable David Morse excels as Ted’s father John while Rainn Wilson shines as William. Much like the late great Robin Williams, I’ve always felt that Rainn Wilson is a more interesting dramatic actor. As for the titular boy, Jared Breeze deserves much praise for his acting abilities. It’s always a gamble to rely so heavily on a child actor for such a complex role, but Breeze makes his character seem entirely convincing. The final 10 minutes are particularly impressive.
Presentation: 1.78:1 1080p. How does it look? The cinematography by Noah Greenberg is flat-out gorgeous and it really shines on Blu-ray. I think it truly elevates the film overall.
Audio Track: 5.1 DTS-HD MA. How does it sound? This is a pretty quiet film for the most part so the track doesn’t have much to do here. Still, it does the job it needs to do which is all you can ask for.
The lone extra is a 15 minute “Behind The Scenes” featurette which contains set footage, cast and crew interviews and film clips.
Overall Thoughts: “The Boy” (2015) isn’t going to be a new classic, but it’s worth watching if you are into psychological horror films.
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