I was wondering how they’d try and sell Craig William Macneill’s THE BOY, which both Quint and I liked quite a bit, and I’m relieved to see that they aren’t pushing the more lurid, genre-y aspects of the film. At it’s heart, it’s about this young boy, Ted, (played excellently by newcomer Jared Breeze) living with his head at this dead, middle-of-nowhere motel in the pre-digital era, and the loneliness and hostility that starts to bubble up inside him. The trailer gets that across, while also setting up the empty, dusty world he inhabits as well as his relationships with his father (David Morse) and their latest, mysterious guest (Rainn WIlson).
I have to mention that the film never amps up the pace like the music in the back-half implies; it’s very much a slow-burn, and we get a lot of drawn out moments with Ted (including that long shot of him in the pool, which goes on much longer in the film) that put us directly in the shoes of this troubled, alienated young kid.
I wish this film was getting a bigger rollout, but I’m glad to see its playing theaters at all. It has a relaxed pace, but it escalates at key moments which were great to enjoy with a crowd at SXSW. I personally enjoyed it quite a bit more than IT FOLLOWS, and I would’ve been stoked to see it get the same type of wide release, but if you dug that film or indie horror in general, keep an eye out for this one in whatever medium it’s available to you.
THE BOY grows up on August 14th in theaters, then on VOD on August 18th.