'The Boy' Trailer Proves This Movie Is A Recipe For Terror With These Specific Ingredients — VIDEO
Halloween is right around the corner, which means it's time to get psyched up for an onslaught of scary movies. New horror movie The Boy won't actually be out in time for the holiday — it debuts on Jan. 22, 2016 — but the trailer for The Boy has arrived just in time to put us all in the mood for All Hallow's Eve. From director William Brent Bell (The Devil Inside), The Boy stars The Walking Dead 's Lauren Cohan as an American nanny hired by an elderly British couple to look after their son, Brahms. The catch? Brahms is actually just a porcelain doll the couple pretends is real.
Oh, did I say "just" a doll? I'm sorry, I meant an evil possessed doll that will haunt your nightmares for all eternity.
The two-and-a-half minute trailer for The Boy is packed with plenty of thrills and chills — like the sight of inanimate Brahms creepily crying a real human tear — but it also contains just as many homages to horror movies past. With such an oversaturated genre, it's almost impossible to make an entirely original film these days — but when done right, homage can be an effectively tool, playing with the audiences' expectations. Given the blend of influences on display in this trailer, I think it's safe to say that The Boy has achieved the perfect recipe for that — and that it will have something in it to scare just about anyone.
But, what exactly is the recipe for The Boy's terrifying moments? Here are the seven ingredients that totally included, per the trailer:
1. One Cup Of The Walking Dead
Obviously, the biggest ingredient here is star Cohan, who plays fan-favorite character Maggie on AMC's The Walking Dead. If the highest-rated television show on the air right now can bring a large portion of its audience into the theaters, then The Boy should do well at the box office.
2. Three Tablespoons Of Annabelle
There have been plenty of creepy doll movies throughout history, from Child's Play to Poltergeist to Trilogy Of Terror — but Annabelle, the spinoff of James Wan's The Conjuring, is the most recent example that comes to mind. The possessed doll moving of its own accord is a trope that never fails to send tingles down many a spine.
3. A Heaping Teaspoonful Of Gremlins
The trailer for The Boy clearly outlines the rules of nannying Brahms, including "Don't cover his face," "Never leave him alone," and "Don't forget to feed him." This is highly reminiscent of popular '80s horror-comedy Gremlins, which came with its own set of rules: "Keep them out of bright light," "never get them wet," and "never NEVER feed them after midnight."
4. A Dash Of The Woman In Black
An old-fashioned English manor house with creaky hallways and dimly-lit interiors surrounded by expansive grounds covered in fog, complete with tales of dead children and an angry spirit? The setup for The Boy could be right out of the recent Daniel Radcliffe chiller.
5. Season With Some Pinocchio
Before the trailer gets completely creepy, the idea of an elderly couple replacing their deceased child with a doll is a poignantly tragic one. Their overpowering desire for the doll to be real is like a strange, Kafka-esque twist on the Disney classic.
6. Remove Any Trace Of Pride And Prejudice And Zombies
Originally slated for release on Feb. 5 of next year, that release date would have seen The Boy go head-to-head against two juggernauts: the new Coen Brothers movie Hail, Caesar! and the highly-anticipated Jane Austen horror mashup Pride And Prejudice And Zombies . The Boy was moved up to a January release to avoid this stacked competition.
7. Simmer In The Soundtrack Of The Strangers
The right soundtrack can make a scary movie even scarier. Case in point: the home invasion movie The Strangers, which employed a country song and a skipping record to create a nerve-jangling atmosphere. The Boy uses a similar trick, juxtaposing its unsettling images with the twangy tunes of Renee Olstead's "Sleepwalk" cover.
Mix those seven ingredients together, and voila! You have the trailer for The Boy. Enjoy never sleeping again...
Editor's Note: A previous version of this article misidentified the song in The Boy trailer as The Supremes' "Sleepwalk" when it is actually Renee Olstead's cover of the song. We regret the error.
Images: JoBlo Movie Trailers/YouTube; Gene Page/AMC; Warner Bros. Pictures (2); CBS Films; Walt Disney Studios Motion Pictures; Rogue Pictures