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ARROW IN THE HEAD REVIEWS

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The Boy(2015)
Written by: The Arrow
Director: William Brent Bell

Starring:
Lauren Cohan/Greta
Rupert Evans/Malcolm
Jim Norton/Mr. Heelshire
Diana Hardcastle/Mrs. Heelshire
6 10
PLOT-CRUNCH
A hot chica on the run (Laura Cohan) hits a vast and isolated mansion in the UK to take a job as a nanny. To her surprise she’s asked to care for a life size porcelain doll by an old couple that treat it as if it was alive. So is it alive?
THE LOWDOWN

THE BOY is the fourth horror film by William Brent Bell who has helmed STAY ALIVE, THE DEVIL INSIDE, WER and now this sucka! Taking into account the release date (January) I danced into the theatre with my guard up, expecting another dumped stinker aimed at a younger target audience than me and what I got instead was a silly yet surprisingly entertaining little dittie. Stay with me here! Personally, the film’s biggest asset was Bell’s sumptuous and inventive visual style and the way in which he ideally captured his strikingly macabre main location (the mansion that is). Graceful yet oppressive camera movements, clever plays with focus, inventive shot compositions. The flick looked fantastic and I was truly impressed by the imagery that was served up.

The initial premise greased me right too! Hot chick in a house with a “living doll”. I’m a sucker for that kind of shit! Big fan of Child’s Play, Pin and Magic right here! And THE BOY definitely had a “heebie jeebies” inducing doll at work that’s for sure! I loved the overall design: the blank stare, the pasty white face, the soul-less brown eyes while Brent Bell sure knew how to milk the little terror for maximum shivers. Then there was the fine cast keeping me in the game. Lauren Cohan handled her first lead role in a horror film admirably; the lass had presence, sex appeal and gave a grounded show. On his end Rupert Evans brought in the charm and the comic relief, much like he did in Hellboy – love that dude! Finally Jim Norton and Diana Hardcastle were endearing and credible as the Heelshire couple. Add to all that a couple of decent boo scares, random moments of efficient suspense and one back-handing surprise and you get a pleasant sit down!

Unfortunately, there were some VERY predictable elements at play here (a potential love interest and an evil ex-boyfriend – guess what happens) but worse yet, our lead dame often went about things in weird ways. Before she discovered the doll was alive, she treated the thing like a piece of trash. After all the love the old couple showed it in front of her, it made me lose sympathy for her. You’re being paid for this girl and the old kooks obviously REALLY CARE about the doll, show a little f*cking respect. And it didn’t get better once she did find out that the doll “lived”. Next thing you know she’s acting WAY TOO CLOSE to the doll, like in a coo-coo “motherly” way. I know she had a past and all but still –it was a bit much,  I didn’t buy it. Then we had the last act, which took a different direction and didn't fully succeed at it. Sometimes a turn goes down better on the written page than it does in action and for me that was one of them cases here – it took me a while to “go with it”.

Moreover, looking back, this new direction didn’t fully hold up in terms of logic and came with WAY TOO MANY unanswered questions. Further details as to the HOW and the WHY would have helped make where they went with it plausible. Alas, they went out of their way to NOT explore or back-up anything hence I didn’t fully believe it. All in all though, even with its flaw in tow, THE BOY made for an okay sit down. The film looked sleek, had a solid leading lady and one hell of a creepy doll. I had fun with it. It's when I looked back and thought about it the cracks started to show big time.

GORE
We get two stabbings. Meh.
T & A
We get a Laura Cohan shower scene which keeps the goods hidden. Yeah… exactly.
BOTTOM LINE
THE BOY had a groovy set-up, lavish visuals, impressive set designs and a scary as f*ck doll. Its cast was up to the task with Laura Cohan making for a captivating leading lady. Sadly the flick came with some predictability, its heroine kept acting in weird ways in terms of the events at hand and its surprises didn’t hold up in terms plausibility when looking back. Too WTF and not enough explanations or details as to the HOW and WHY to back it up. It is still worth a tap in my useless opinion though but I’d wait for VOD or Blu-ray and watch it on a lazy Sunday morning with a stranger's face in your lap, but that's just me!
BULL'S EYE
The film initially called In a Dark Place" and Jane Levy (Evil Dead) was going to be the lead.

The film was shot in Victoria , British Columbia.
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