Saturday, December 5, 2015

The Boy (2015) - Review - @BrandonCSites

The Boy (2015) **
D: Craig William Macneill 
C: David Morse, Rainn Wilson, Jared Breeze, Bill Sage, David Valencia, Mike Vogel, Zuleikha Robinson, Aiden Lovekamp  

Plot Synopsis: An intimate portrait of a 9-year-old sociopath's growing fascination with death.

Review: In The Boy, we watch as a kid by the name of Ted (Breeze) wanders about his father's isolated motel. Dad (Morse) has pretty much given up on life. Out of a combination of isolation, boredom & loneliness, Ted finds himself drawn to the darker recesses of human nature.

First, it starts with Ted luring various animals to their death. Then it escalates to Ted becoming fixated on a mysterious stranger (Wilson) who's wife has disappeared. Dad notices something is amiss, but by then, it's too late as Ted's disposition for violence has started to take shape. Jared Breeze does a credible job of showing how his character evolves. Director Craig William Macneill tangibly brings to life this isolated environment that Breeze's character inhabits.

However, The Boy trips up in the most rudimentary way in that it fails to tell a story. Every film has to have three distinct acts - a beginning, middle & end. By the time we reach the conclusion, it only feels like the end of the first act. By the time The Boy is over with, we've only witnessed Ted begin to follow through with his violent temperament.

What's next? Is Ted going to continue to follow through with these urges? Is Ted lost or can he be redeemed? What's ultimately going to happen to Ted? A more considered film would've addressed these issues. Instead, The Boy simply sets up a scenario and then ends. 

As I was putting together this review, I learned three things: (1.) The Boy is a feature length take on a short film. (2.) The short film, on which this is based, was an adaptation of book, but of only one chapter from that book. (3.) It's part one in a three part trilogy.

The people behind the The Boy have simply token what was one part of multi faceted material and padded it out into feature length running time. Since this is supposed to be entry one of three, the filmmakers are holding back in telling a story. That isn't how a trilogy works. The first three entries in the Scream franchise were part of a planned trilogy, yet each film had a contained storyline that dealt with the main character having to deal with the Ghostface killer in various stages of her life - teen years, college years and adulthood.

This kind of material would've been better served in a TV series format, even if it was as a limited series like the X-Files revival. This kind of format would've allow the people behind this to take on the open ended approach utilized here.

With that said, this isn't a TV series or even a miniseries, this is feature length movie. I have to judge it based on what's presented vs what all three films might be like combined. As such, this is all setup with no real story. People, in part, watch films to connect with a story that interest them and The Boy fails in delivering upon that very basic idea. [Not Rated] 105 minutes.  
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  1. Wow, what an ignorant review. This was one of the most powerful and unsettling films I've seen in a long time. It's sad that hacks like you are even linked to from IMBD.

  2. Judging from the lack of comments on your reviews, it seems that most agree. Hang it up, pal. You REALLY suck at this.