The Boy

Mireya Cano, Copy Editor


Directed by William Brent Bell, The Boy is an American horror film, taking place in England where a woman by the name of Greta finds a new nannying job looking after a boy named Brahms. The old couple who are the parents of the young boy tell her everything she needs to know about taking care of their son, along with a list of strict rules that she must follow at all times. The rules include the following:


  1. No Guests
  2. Dress Him Each Morning
  3. Save Meals in Freezer
  4. Never Cover His Face
  5. Never Go in the Attic
  6. Play Music Loud
  7. Never leave him alone
  8. Clean The Traps
  9. Don’t Forget to Feed Him
  10. Kiss Goodnight


To Greta’s surprise, when the woman showed her to the young boy, he was not actually a boy. Brahms was a porcelain doll.

Consistent throughout the movie, there were the classic elements of a horror film. Sprinkled in the plot, there were the obvious pop outs that still got the best of most people. Within hours of an evil presence in the house becoming more apparent, one scene did catch my attention. When Greta had just begun taking care for Brahms, she was upstairs napping when she heard the cries of a young child. Considering there were no real children in the house with her, it was unsettling and triggered a giant “NOPE” in my mind (especially when Greta went downstairs to find what seemed to be tears on Brahms’ eyes).

Aside from the classical supernatural elements, there was substance within the plot. For the most part, this movie wasn’t a random string of events of supernatural happenings. From Greta’s dark past to her motives behind every choice, it can be implied she becomes dependent on the doll because of a loss she has in her life, and doesn’t want to return to the life she left behind in the United States.

While some parts of the movie were predictable, others impressed me. I was left in shock, awe, and confusion by the big twist towards the end of the movie. I didn’t know what to think. Everything that I was lead to believe about Brahms was a lie, except for the one thing that his father said about him: “Brahm’s was an odd child.” The Boy isn’t just a horror film about a porcelain doll, ghosts, and demons. There was much more to the story than what the narrator had revealed to us, and although I enjoy a good twist in a story, I wish there was much more given to the audience than a shallow explanation of the death of a young boy who also had a dark past. I felt that for this story to feel complete without any plot holes and contradictions, there needed to be a backstory as to how Brahms became to be the person he was, an explanation of what information about Brahms and the house the parents actually knew about, and most importantly, why all of it would have been kept a secret in the first place. I simply didn’t see a pure intention behind all of the secrecy.

“I want my money back” was one of a few comments I overheard from a few teenagers sitting a couple of rows in front of me.

My first reaction was to agree with them. I was frustrated with the lack of background on Greta, Brahms, and the truth about Brahms’ death. After cooling myself down about unanswered questions and confusion, I gave the director and writers some credit for their originality.  My friend had said he was hoping for and expecting more paranormal activity from Brahms’ spirit; however, I was pleasantly surprised when the movie had taken a one-eighty on the audience by providing us with a unique explanation to the “supernatural activity” within the house. It’s hard to be original nowadays, so when there was finally a moment in the movie when something creepy in an extraordinary way occurred without my friend calling it beforehand, it was satisfying. To be fair, he also happens to be the icon manager at 13th Floor and a horror fanatic, so nearly everything is no surprise when it comes to horror films. If you enjoy horror films with a strange twist, it’s definitely worth a watch.