MOVIE REVIEW: The Boy (2015)

The Boy: How to Make a Killer

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The Boy

The Boy is a chilling coming of age movie, chilling because it's the coming of age of a serial killer. The Boy is Ted, played by Jared Breeze, a lonely boy living a lonely life with his single father at a run down motel in the middle of nowhere.

His father, played by David Morse, is far from a bad father. Indeed he seems to be doing, or at least trying to do, a good job as a single father. However, young Ted has some real issues. Ted has issues with violence and a growing fascination with death which go unnoticed, or possibly ignored, by his father. The situation already seems volatile when Rainn Wilson (yes that Rainn Wilson) enters the scene as a recently widowed loser who may have just killed his wife. We watch as Ted abuses and kills animals, and, in a chilling scene, torments a young boy staying at the motel. This all builds to an ending that sees “the boy” finally develop into a full fledged mass murderer.

The Boy is a disturbing film, due largely to its subject matter. There are scenes that some people, especially parents of young kids, may find too extreme. The Boy is the first movie in a planned trilogy, that shows Ted's growth into a killer, at ages 9, 13, and 18, where he adopts the iconic mask of a serial killer. While it is disturbing to see a young boy being abused and abusing others, the film is relatively bloodless. Although it makes up for this in the final ten minutes or so, it's still not a gory movie by any means - even while racking up an impressive body count.

The film's slow, brooding pace will be the complaint of most people trying to watch it. It can be hard to stay with it, it was hard for me to stay with it, but The Boy is worth the effort. The film is moody and thick with doom. You know what's coming at some point. Then there are those moments, such as the scene at the pool, that snap the tedium, make you sit up and pay attention, make you shiver inside. The pay off, those last ten minutes or so, are totally worth patiently sitting through the rest of The Boy.

Like most people I'm most familiar with Rainn Wilson from The Office, but he does a great job here. He befriends the boy and inadvertently helps to mold the killer growing inside the boy. Everyone in this film helps mold the boy. Supposedly it takes a village to raise a child, The Boy shows a village can also raise a monster.

So give The Boy a chance, and stick with it. Apparently there's more to come.

Posted by Allen Alberson

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