The Boy (2016) Horror Movie Review With Ending Explained


“The Boy,” released in 2016, is a psychological horror film that toys with the familiar trope of a haunted doll but delivers a unique twist that sets it apart from its predecessors. Directed by William Brent Bell and written by Stacey Menear, the film stars Lauren Cohan, known for her role in “The Walking Dead,” as Greta, a young American nanny who takes a job in a remote English village only to discover that her charge is a life-sized porcelain doll.

The Review (Spoiler Free)

The film opens with Greta arriving at the Heelshire residence, a sprawling, Gothic manor that is as imposing as it is isolated. The elderly Heelshires (played by Jim Norton and Diana Hardcastle) are unnervingly attached to their doll-son, Brahms, treating him as if he were alive. They provide Greta with a strict set of rules to follow, which she initially scoffs at—until strange occurrences begin to suggest that Brahms may be more than just a doll.

Cohan delivers a strong performance, portraying Greta’s transition from skepticism to fear with a convincing depth that anchors the film. Rupert Evans provides solid support as Malcolm, the local grocery delivery man who offers both a link to the outside world and a potential romantic interest for Greta.

The film’s atmosphere is one of its strongest points, with the manor itself playing a crucial role in building tension. The cinematography is effective in creating a claustrophobic feeling, with tight shots that emphasize Greta’s isolation and the doll’s omnipresence. The sound design further enhances the eerie mood, with the creaks and whispers of the house adding to the sense of unease.

Critics have had mixed reactions to “The Boy.” Some have praised its slow-burn tension and the final act’s surprising revelations, while others have criticized it for its pacing and reliance on jump scares. Roger Ebert’s website offered a review that highlighted the film’s commitment to its mood and performances but pointed out the unintentional hilarity of some of its plot points. Rotten Tomatoes’ consensus suggests that the film could have explored more interesting directions but settled for a pedestrian plot with standard horror fare.

Despite the critiques, “The Boy” manages to stand out due to its climactic twist, which reframes the narrative in a way that is both unexpected and refreshing. Without giving away spoilers, the film’s conclusion challenges the viewer’s assumptions and provides a satisfying payoff for those who enjoy psychological horror with a touch of the macabre.


Ending Explained (Spoiler Alert!!)

We learn that the elderly couple in the house had a son named Brahms, who was believed to have died, and the doll serves as a symbol of their son. Initially, the film suggests that the doll is haunted, as it seems to move on its own, leading Greta to believe that the doll is alive.

However, the twist reveals that the doll is not haunted at all; it has nothing to do with the doll’s movements. In reality, Brahms is alive, having lived behind the walls and in secret parts of the house for years, moving around undetected. It was Brahms who was behind the strange occurrences in the house. Clearly mentally unstable and dangerous, Brahms was a source of shame for his parents. They were so tormented by him that they ultimately chose to end their lives.

The story unfolds to show that Brahms has developed an obsession with Greta, intending to keep her with him indefinitely. Greta, upon discovering the truth, attempts to flee from his grasp.

In the Nutshell

“The Boy” is a film that may not redefine the horror genre but certainly provides a fresh take on a well-worn narrative device. It’s a movie that will likely appeal to fans of atmospheric horror and those looking for a story that delivers more than just surface-level scares. Whether you find it chilling or chuckle-worthy may depend on your affinity for horror tropes, but “The Boy” is undoubtedly a film that invites conversation and deserves a watch for its bold narrative choices. It must see. I highly recommend this movie.  I give 5 out of 5 stars.  

If you already saw this movie, help us rate the movie by click on the Star Rating.

movie rating


Genre:  Haunted doll horror

You can watch on: 


One comment

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published.