Archive for the ‘The Boy (2016)’ Category

Blu-ray Cover.jpg

Distributor: Universal Studios

Release Date: May 10, 2016

Region: Region A

Length: 98 min

Video: 1080P (MPEG-4 AVC)

Main Audio: 5.1 English DTS-HD Master Audio

Subtitles: English SDH, Spanish, French

Ratio: 2:40:1

Notes: This release includes an Ultraviolet copy of the film. A DVD edition of this title is also available.

“I think we hope that children are inherently good, and if anything, that bad luck can lead them wrong. But to know that this is an 8-year-old boy that he can do harm to all these adults, or really manipulate all these adults, is really scary. I think dolls themselves are scary. I think that dolls are a little bit unnatural.” –Lauren Cohan (Bust)

Greta (Lauren Cohan) is a young American woman who takes a job as a nanny in a remote English village. She soon discovers that the family’s 8-year-old is a life-sized doll that they care for just like a real boy, as a way to cope with the death of their son 20 years prior. After violating a list of strict rules, a series of disturbing and inexplicable events bring Greta’s worst nightmare to life, leading her to believe that the doll is actually alive.

The film is another take on the “possessed doll” premise, which has long been a staple of the horror film, but Stacey Menear’s script does attempt to take the material in a new direction. It is probably stretching things to say that he is successful in this endeavor, as his script is full of the clichés one expects to find in contemporary horror films. There are certainly flaws here, and William Brent Bell’s direction could hardly be described as inspired.

Having said this, the film was a modest at the box office, and overall audience opinion seems to be rather positive. It isn’t particularly surprising. The Boy is quite the fun ride when taken on its own terms. It isn’t a classic of the genre, but it is certainly on par with other recent genre films. There is a pretty simple test that one can take in order to find out whether or not they will enjoy this film: If you read the film’s synopsis and think that it sounds silly or stupid, you probably won’t want to waste your time watching it. If it sounded interesting or like a fun concept for a movie, you will likely find things to enjoy in the film.

The Boy - One Sheet.jpg

The Presentation:

3.5 of 5 Stars

The disc is protected in a standard Blu-ray case with film related artwork that originated on one of the film’s foreign one sheets (this artwork has been altered slightly), and the case is protected by a special slip cover with the same artwork. The artwork earns points for not attempting to add Lauren Cohan’ likeness to the cover in a pathetic effort to reach a larger audience, but it must be said that the film’s domestic one sheet was in every way superior to what we have here. It is too bad that this artwork wasn’t utilized.

 The menu utilizes different film related artwork and is accompanied by the film’s score. The cover art or domestic one sheet art would have been preferable, but the image used is certainly atmospheric.

Picture Quality:

4.5 of 5 Stars

Universal’s High Definition transfer of the digital source material is a pristine presentation with few flaws to address. While some of the darker scenes might have some noise issues that keep this from being a perfect transfer, this is the only real criticism that can be made (and this is an issue that would have been present in the source). Detail is remarkable as it registers the finest textures present within every frame. Blacks are rich with perfect shadow detail that is marred only by the aforementioned noise (which is never distracting). Color seems to be accurately represented with health flesh tones evident throughout. Compression and other digital anomalies are never evident. This seems to be a perfect rendering of the source cinematography. The one flaw is inherent in the source, so it really isn’t even a real issue.

 Sound Quality:

5 of 5 Stars

Horror films rely heavily on their sound design, and this film is no exception. Universal’s 5.1 sound mix is at once dynamic and sophisticated. It is truly an immersive experience. The subtlest effects register with the listener as the soundtrack wraps around the viewer bringing them into the film’s universe. Dialogue is always clear and well prioritized while the music and effects are well spaces and dynamic. There are absolutely no issues here.

Special Features:

0 of 5 Stars

The disc doesn’t include any supplemental material.

Final Words:

Fans of the possessed doll genre will likely find a lot to enjoy while watching The Boy. This Blu-ray release is currently the best way to watch the film at home, so turn out the lights and give it a spin.