Opinions & Assholes: The Boy (2016)

I am shocked, shocked by the negative press about The Boy. Rotten Tomatoes has been particularly critical, giving it a 25% rating (as of this writing). While I would not say it’s the best movie I have ever seen, I think it is being unjustly disparaged. IMDb has its average at 6 out of 10, which is a bit lower than I’d give it, but about right.

Why the low opinion? I’m guessing it’s because of the slow burn of the movie. It is not a grab you by the throat film. It builds its suspense, something that does not work well for the ADHD attention spans that fast cuts, jump scares, and gore has fostered in horror fans. I will admit that the plot does drag at points, but all together the apprehension builds nicely overall.

One of the complaints I have read was it was unbelievable. That is, someone would not be stupid enough to stay in the mansion alone when all the weird stuff started happening. That’s debatable. Yeah, maybe some wouldn’t, but there are others who would. Particularly someone in Gretta Evan’s (Lauren Cohan) situation, a young lady trying to start her life anew and get away from an abusive relationship. A trip to a foreign country, to stay in a mansion, to be paid a small fortune each week, all for basically house sitting? No, it’s not a stretch that she would stay. Even if the owners where eccentric Brits who thought a doll was their son.

Plus, how many movies would be over before it started if the protagonist: didn’t go into the cellar, called the police, left the camp, etc. Yeah, it would be a much better story if plot holes like that didn’t exist at all, but those are small concessions that do not ruin a movie.

Other reviewers have argued that the third act ruins the movie. I am reluctant to mention anything because I thought the third act worked, and quite well at that. In fact, it’s the third act which really made the movie for me. Looking back with knowledge of the whole, the first two acts seem to be leading to… who knows? But when the final act drops, it is game on. Buckle up. Here we go.

Normally I do not spend time worrying about what other people think because, like they say, “Opinions are like assholes. Everyone has one and they all stink. Except for mine.” The reviewers who voiced their negative views have every right to their opinions, even when they are wrong, as they are in this case. I hope that The Boy will do well despite them because it is a decent horror flick. It’s refreshing in its difference from the norm. But don’t take my word for it. Go see The Boy for yourself. I think you’ll be pleasantly surprised.

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