It turns out there are more than just popular wide released horrors happening this year. Yes, they are the ones we all hear about and have been mostly disappointing. But there is indie stuff out there, and the indie stuff ends up being the best.
You know, like The Babadook, It Follows, and Goodnight Mommy. All from this year or last year. So when I found out about The Boy I decided to wait a couple of months to make sure I could review this around Halloween instead. That’s the level of dedication we provide here at Gorgon Reviews. Delaying reviews to fit silly little themes.
The only worry with indie horrors is that sometimes they can go a bit too slow. Usually they build up for an amazing payoff, but if the journey isn’t worth it, then payout be damned, no one will care.
As long as the movie has a good early hook, the rest should be fine.
Life as an only child can be boring. Especially if you live in a small town. Wait. No. Near a small town. You actually live in a hotel by a small mountain highway road. Sometimes people stay there, but usually it is dead and boring as shit.
It doesn’t get any worse for Ted (Jared Breeze). His mom left some years ago with a client who stayed in their hotel frequently, leaving just his dad (David Morse), an empty shell of a man. So he just works in the hotel and finds things to do with his time. Some of these things are bad or questionable, but since he is alone so often, who will care?
Sure people still do occasionally come to the hotel. Like William Colby (Rainn Wilson), who just so happens to get into a crash right outside the hotel and, being a secretive man, doesn’t want to go to the hospital to rest. Or that other family with the little boy, who after staying a night, find that their car no longer works.
Man. Both of those things sure are strange. I hope Ted isn’t behind all of this and, if so, I hope he doesn’t do anything worse.
I, uhh. I got nothing.
As expected, The Boy, like a lot of indie films of this genre, had a slow built up, all culminating towards a huge ending. So, starting from the end, I can say man, that shit was crazy. Imagine me making a gang pose while I said that. Maybe even while covering my mouth and saying “Ohhhh.” It had some very intense moments and the use of visuals and music were excellent with it.
And throughout the film, there were several moments of teetering on evil and not so evil, so that I never really knew when, if, and how often he would snap. They filled their purpose and had me worried.
However, this film is far better defined as a Drama Thriller, not a horror. I would argue a lot of the film is slow and harder to get through (/easier to zone out during). There already wasn’t a large cast of characters, but the mystery about Wilson’s character really started to make me feel indifferent. I no longer cared about the pay out, and started looking for other plot lines to get me interested.
The Boy is not the film for everyone. But if the director turns it into a trilogy (source: another reviewer audibly telling me), then it might have some better moments in the future.