A woman becomes nanny to a doll that may or may not be alive.
In England, an American woman named Greta is hired to be a nanny for a rich couple’s son, Brahms. But surprise! Brahms is actually a doll.
Greta thinks at first she is victim of a practical joke, but the parents are deathly serious and give her a disturbingly specific laundry list of stuff to do with Brahms every day.
The parents leave their ceramic son in Greta’s capable hands then go off to kill themselves in a lake.
The rest of the film is really slow and shows Greta taking care of Brahms and following the laundry list, but she gradually starts believing he’s alive.
At the end, it turns out there’s no supernatural stuff in play, and The Boy becomes Phantom of the Opera. Brahms is an adult man living in the walls of the house (the doll is sort of like his surrogate), and he’s obsessed with Greta. He tries to kill her new boyfriend out of jealousy, but she stops him; Greta stabs Brahms several times and leaves him for dead. However, the final scene hints that he’s still very much alive.
The Boy does a good job of building a creepy atmosphere in its nice, dreary setting. The problem is, all this building leads nowhere; the film tries so hard to be scary, that it disregards logic and the story suffers.
As a lover of creepy dolls and films about creepy dolls, I was disappointed with the twist at the end – which is made to seem more clever than it actually is. Had The Boy stayed on the supernatural course, and maybe tried to have a little fun with the premise, it would have been a lot better. Instead, it went in another direction, ruining what had been built up to that point, and opening up plot holes and unanswered questions.
I got really sick of Greta’s dreams and hallucinations. A bunch of creepy things happen in The Boy, but they all turn out to be Greta’s imagination. Why? Cheap jump scares, and fodder for the trailer to make this film look more interesting than it actually is.