— by Jeff Schultz
The creepiest thing about this movie is the boy himself, a life-sized doll named Brahms. (Brendan Heffernan gets the credit as “Concept Artist”.) The haunting face, even though hard and glossy, seems like it may have a spark behind it — and although I wasn’t able to find any references to there being more than one doll made for the production, the face seems to alter slightly depending on whether Brahms is content or upset. In that, it must be said the doll is a better actor than Greta the heroine, played by tv actress Lauren Cohan (Maggie Greene on “The Walking Dead”). True, she isn’t given a lot to work with. But she confuses us by her reactions to the growing realization that Brahms (for whom she’s been hired as nanny) may be possessed. Is she scared? Bemused? Is she falling under Brahms’ spell and starting to care deeply for him? Hard to say. Plus, there’s a draggy relationship with a handsome grocer who shows up from time to time and a silly backstory related in multiple phone calls about Greta’s violent ex. Neither subplot is interesting because they have nothing to do with Brahms. But when the ex shows up, the mystery of Brahms is revealed (a pretty tired revelation), and what remains is a lot of chasing and killing and looking at your watch waiting for it to end. (Wacky double bill suggestion: THE BOY and LARS AND THE REAL GIRL.)

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