Monday, May 9, 2016

The Boy (2016) - Blu-ray Review - Universal Pictures Home Entertainment


The Boy Blu-ray cover

Blu-ray + Digital HD
Released by: Universal Pictures Home Entertainment
Release Date: May 10, 2016 
Production Year: 2016
Region Code: A
Running Time: 1:37:47
Audio: English DTS-HD MA 5.1
Video: 1080p (2.40:1 Aspect Ratio)
Subtitles: English SDH, Spanish, French

The Boy screen cap

THE FILM - [ 3 / 5 ]:

Greta (Lauren Cohan, TV's The Walking Dead) 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.

That pretty well sums things up. I love killer doll/puppet type films. My great-grandmother had a doll that sat on a chair in her bedroom and as a child, that thing creeped me out. I never wanted to go in to her bedroom and just as you entered the bathroom, you would get a glimpse of the doll as it came in to view from the open doorway. I think I was convinced that one day that doll would get off the chair and sneak up on me. Maybe that is what set me down the path of being fascinated with those types of horror films. I like to think so. Anyhow, in director William Brent Bell's "The Boy" we have Brahms with his milky white face, well-kept hair and oh yes, he is very nicely dressed. For me, there is always something slightly unnerving about that still and never changing face as I wonder what lurks behind those (seemingly) lifeless eyes. 

I couldn't help but completely side with Greta for most of the film in both the emotions she conveyed and the actions she took. At least until late in the film where I would have acted a bit differently. But it's a movie and how often do we ever totally agree with the actions of a character. The house that the Heelshire's live in looks amazing haunting and while we do get a fairly good look at it I would have liked to see even more. I thought the acting in the film was quite good with Jim Norton and Diana Hardcastle coming off very believable in their roles as the parents of Brahms. Lauren Cohan was not only gorgeous as usual but also did a fine job of carrying the bulk of the film on her shoulders. Her reactions to what happens throughout the film help further build tension. Rupert Evans ("Elfie Hopkins") also did a good job in his role as Malcolm, the helpful and mild mannered delivery man. 

The Boy screen cap Lauren Cohan

AUDIO - [ 4.5 / 5 ]:

The Blu-ray has one audio track which is English DTS-HD Master Audio 5.1. There are also optional English SDH, Spanish and French subtitles included. The sound quality was incredible. I loved hearing the little noises from the old mansion. The creaks and groans at the right moments help add to the ominous ambiance of the film. The weather effects like the rain also sounded great. I really need to watch the film on a night when it is also raining in real life because I think it would make the movie watching experience even better. I thought the sound levels were balanced really well. I did not notice any technical problems with the audio. I should also note that the film features the haunting music of Bear McCreary whose name may sound familiar from a number of TV shows and films including "The Walking Dead" and "The Forest." 

The Boy screen cap

VIDEO - [ 4.5 / 5 ]:

"The Boy" arrives on Blu-ray thanks to Universal Pictures Home Entertainment. The film is presented in 1080p with a 2.40:1 Aspect Ratio. The video quality looked excellent with an abundance of fine detail in close ups, while still looking very sharp in general. Colors, when present, tends to look very robust against the mostly drab background. Black levels and skin tones both looked good as well.. I'm really hard pressed to find anything to complain about in regards to the video quality. Again I have to talk about the house. It's just amazing looking with lots of character and the picture quality does a nice job showcasing some rich textures whether its wood, stone or the fabrics of the furniture. The hair, faces and clothing of the characters all look wonderful too. Oh and I better mention that Brahms also looked great, since I wouldn't want to make him angry. 

The Boy screen cap


Unfortunately there are no extras on this Blu-ray release. However, a Digital HD copy of the film is included.

The Boy screen cap Lauren Cohan

OVERALL RATING - [ 3 / 5 ]

Keep in mind the overall rating takes everything in to account. On technical merits alone for audio and video the Blu-ray would be 4.5 / 5.

The Boy screen cap

The Boy screen cap Lauren Cohan

The Boy screen cap Diana Hardcastle

The Boy screen cap Lauren Cohan and Rupert Evans

The Boy screen cap

Read More »