In an effort to escape an abusive relationships, Greta (Lauren Cohan) accepts a nanny position in the UK and puts a sea between her and her past. Little did she know that the control issues she sought to run from are nothing compared to what awaited her at the Heelshires. Upon arrival she realizes that the Brahms do not have a child, rather they had. Her job is to care for Brahms, a porcelain doll with a strict schedule and an apparent tantrum problem. They provide her a list to follow strictly, including when to feed him, music time, etc. and rush off on holiday. Once alone with Brahms Greta immediately ignores her doll watching duties and fills the void in her day with wine, phone calls to her sister, an the occasionally fraternizing with the grocery boy Malcolm. However soon Brahms has enough and Greta begins to understand that perhaps Brahms ins’t just a doll after all. Once objects begin moving and scurrying is heard around the home Greta quickly spirals into a sort of madness attempting to determine if what she sees and hears is really Brahms or just her imagination. After discovering that Brahms was once a real boy who perished in fire at the age of 8 she finally begins to care for him the way his parents requested, but also develops feelings for Malcolm as well. And unfortunately for Greta, Brahms was never really good at sharing.
As Annabelle was to Dolly Dearest, The Boy had the potential to be to this generation’s Good Guy doll. But unfortunately at every opportunity, The Boy missed the mark. From the moment we are introduced to the main characters, The Heelshires and Greta, both their stories and background seem trite and dull considering very little time is given to develop them. Greta’s incredibly quick flip from non-believer to devote caretaker had little transition and never felt real enough for the viewer to care much. And while Lauren Cohen is arguably a really good actress she just couldn’t muster enough emotion to make her prior or current character plight believable. The story itself wasn’t so terrible and the twist ending was unexpected and fairly well executed. But not even a good ending could save a story that dragged on from the beginning. While Brahms may not be the next animated toy to haunt us with sequels for years to come The Boy may be worth watching for people who are looking for something to tide them over until the next possessed inanimate object film, which let’s be honest, is probably coming sooner than later.