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William Brent Bell

Posted on December 27, 2016

Boyism: The Horror of Delayed Manhood in William Brent Bell’s The Boy (2016)

Guest Post

William Brent Bell’s 2016 The Boy plays a neat trick on us. The film poses as one genre of horror and then reveals itself to be another. It begins with Greta (Lauren Cohan), an American who, after escaping an abusive relationship that resulted in a miscarriage, travels to Britain to work as a live-in nanny for Brahms, the son of an old English couple, the Heelshires, who live in a mansion in the middle of nowhere. When Greta arrives, she discovers something strange about Brahms: he is a doll, the spitting image of the real Brahms, the Heelshires’ dead son, who died in a housefire years back but is “still with us,” the father explains.

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