Okay. Well. So this past year was sure a confusing time for both me personally, and for film, especially when two films come out with exactly the same title. This review is for the 2015 release of The Boy, about a cute little sociopath. IF you’re looking for the Laurie Cohan creppy doll movie, click here.
Anywho, for those sticking around for the movie with the antlered sociopath little kid and that dude from the Office, well you’re in for a treat.
So join me now as we delve into what happens when an internet hashtag gains sentinence and becomes a film. Also, I’m exaggerating here, but I’m not really kidding. This film is based off a chapter in a book by Clay Macleod Chapman. So. Yeah.
It’s 1989, the summer, and a failing motel run by a drunkard and his son, is on it’s proverbial last legs. Dad is coping poorly with his wife running off with a motel guest leaving him with his creepy ass kid, and he spends a lot of his time at the bottom of a bottle (don’t we all).
And let’s be real, the only divorced dad I give a fuck about is this one:
Anywho, as most people do who spend a shitload of time at the bottom of a case of cooking sherry, Dad doesn’t really seem to give a fuck about much, certainly not about his son’s creepy ass behaviour and growing alienation and fascination with death.
I mean, the movie starts off pretty strong, showing you a lot of long and wide angle shots that are meant to highlight the dusty despair that this broken family faces. This is at first really effective in what it is trying to get across for the viewer, but after the first twenty minutes or so of it, it just becomes boring and you start looking at your watch wondering when it’s going to end, which is pretty weak for being less than half way through the film. I dunno. I’m all for artsy attempts to be different, but there’s a fine line between subtlety and artsy crap and unfortunately, this film delves really quickly into the latter as opposed to the former. But again, this film is based off a chapter in a fucking book. A CHAPTER. It’s not like it has super firm ground to stand on, and like any painting that lacks the underpainting.. this doesn’t have far to go before it’s damn near unwatchable.
In between being paid to pick up roadkill (dream job for me tho, seriously), and staring listlessly into nothingness, not a whole fuck of a lot happens at the hotel for little Ted. Rainn Wilson from the Office shows up and he randomly has a box of a dead person’s ashes and the little kid who has spent much of the film fucking around with dead animals and crushing chickens and squeezing rabbits, is immediately fascinated with the idea that a human being can be reduced to a box of calcium salts and nothingness. HOW CREPPY.
Anyways. Since the kid wants to either eat or jerk off into the ashes, he decides to push Rainn Wilson into a pit and leave him there to die, which is kinda neat, I guess. Rainn Wilson has a real rough time in horror films, it would seem. Anyone remember him in Rob Zombie’s House of 1000 Corpses?
After this, there’s more epic shots, more animal death and generally not a whole fuck of a lot else. This is where I struggle with a lot of films, because again that fine line between tension and tedium is so fucking fine.
The whole thing kinda fucks itself in the end when a group of sexy teenagers roll up to the hotel to party and go buck wild, as you do, and then little Ted sneaks into a room to attempt to smother a passed out woman and her boyfriend walks in, and justifiably beats the tar out of the kid.
Ted staggers to his father, covered in blood and Dad awakens briefly out of his whiskey coma to chastise him for bothering the customers, and after this, Ted snaps and locks all the drunk kids in their rooms once they pass out and then takes a gasoline can and goes full Varg Vikernes on the whole hotel and just sits back to watch the fucking thing burn. Some men, or in this case children, do in fact want to watch the world burn.
Oh and he does this all with a pair of antlers strapped to his fucking head for some reason?
I couldn’t really figure this part out, if only because it was so nonsensical?
I found this following passage in a movie review, though, and click through if you want to read the whole thing:
THE BOY has some elements that I would call unintentional Easter eggs, if not purposefully inspired moments of homage, but that’s purely speculation. Macneill crafts a wonderful story that is somehow touching and terrifying all in one awkwardly pleasant character study. Notice the antlers worn by Ted in the poster. How often have we seen these play an integral role in modern stories of serial killers? Take the most recent examples of the TV series Hannibal and True Detective. Antlers are more than just horns, like that of the devil’s simple, minimalist presence, but are twisted, intertwined structures that branch out and shift directions, all wrapped up in something we see as beautiful and natural, but could kill in an instant if provoked.
Seriously, I’m pretty sure this is a fucking reach on why the antlers were included in this piece of shit, but I dunno. It makes a dope as fuck silhouette, but beyond that, who fucking knows.
Dear old Dad burns to death in the fire as well, and the little kid is picked up by the police who don’t bother to question why none of these kids broke windows to escape their fiery inferno.
Anyways. This movie was, in short, artsy crap. It had some cool aspects, but nothing more than one would glean from a chapter in a book, which is hilariously, what it was based on. Note to self, when creating a film, perhaps storyboard the whole thing before you just fucking wing it and go GOOD ENOUGH and slap a “fin” on the end and call it a day.
Oh, and there’s definitely a FUCKING TRILOGY of films based off of this fucking shitpile planned… so yeah, two more films. TWO MORE. If the Hobbit taught us anything, and it didn’t, it’s that things that are singular, should not be spread thinner than butter on the bread in households just before welfare Wednesday. Please just stop. PLEASE.