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  • ...And it brings out the worst in people. Take Ted and his dad for example. John (David Morse) is depressed and bit of a drinker, running a run down motel in a middle of nowhere, where guests arrive only by accident. Ted is a cute little blond boy, who caught an acute case of sociopathy, he's fascinated with death and very weird young man.

    The running thread in this film is vast, unavoidable loneliness of the place and characters, not a healthy situation for a kid, who's getting bored and his anger for being stuck there builds slowly.

    Creepy kids are often quite annoying, that's just how things are, and it's kinda hard to actually root for them but there are certain aspects of his life that can make us feel bad for Ted. At least occasionally, and for a brief moment. Mom's run away with some random guest, so he's left with the father, a decent guy but kind of lethargic and a loner himself. And the dream that he'll one day leave this miserable place and join his mother.

    The pace is very slow which of course stresses the atmosphere, the actual misdeeds that we witness break away from the overall melancholy and outbursts of anger provide much needed dynamics. There are moments of tension which get slowly drowned by the tone of the film, building on leisurely drama rather than lifting the horror elements. But the finale is certainly fitting, as all we'd seen before it led to the big resolution.

    This film is not particularly original, let me mention brilliant The Good Son, as a reference; but it follows the recent trend in cinema where slow burn drama dominates even straight genre work, making them seem more arty and meditative at the expense of action sequences. Making even US films like this one, seem more...I don't know...European in tone and style.

    The film doesn't really dwell on the boy's nature, it doesn't raise obligatory nature vs nurture question as we are aware this boy's life is not happy. On the other hand it deals with father - son relationship a bit, making it very clear mom's absence and isolation has really affected the kid. But has it really, or did he just want to break away from boring routine where nothing happens unless you make it so yourself? "Oh well. We all do what we can not to think about life" I suppose.
  • The Boy follows the evolution - or the beginning of it - of a young boy from troubled son of a failed motel manager, to budding serial killer. Cinematography and music score are simply outstanding, as are the performances by the whole cast, and the film carries a tremendous atmosphere of brooding menace, whilst simultaneously capturing the carefree curiosity - and cruelty - of a lonely child. I am saddened, but not surprised, by the lazy, idiotic reviews given by some people on this site - just so you know guys, this is how stories are supposed to be told, unfolding naturally to a great climax rather than throwing five murders into the first few minutes and then having absolutely nothing else to say for the next ninety... and all shot on "found footage", blah blah blah. True kudos to the director; this is a terrific calling card from a real filmmaker that will hopefully start a great career.
  • Warning: Spoilers
    (Contains conceptual but not plot spoilers)

    The Boy is a slow film because it needs to be. The audience is given much to think about. Ted is a 9 year old sociopath. What degree of that is due to his experiences and how much is down to his genetics is an open question for the audience to consider. It is set in the late 1980s, prior to the start of the pedophile panic in the mid-1990s so Ted gets the opportunity to interact with the guests, each of which he uses to further his goals. A modern audience will likely worry for his safety, but it quickly becomes clear that the guests are the ones who are unsafe as Ted uses his access and position of presumed powerlessness to get what he wants.

    Like any sociopath, Ted is short on emotions. He is entirely goal-driven and utterly amoral in his pursuit of those goals. Other reviewers have described him as angry, but the only time he ever appears angry is when his father interferes with Teds goals. The rest of the time he is a typical sociopath with a flat affect, displaying no malice, anger, or any other emotion.

    The classics are all there - abusing and killing animals, arson, manipulation, hurting other people just to see what happens, and unwavering pursuit of arbitrarily-chosen goals. Overall a chilling depiction of a sociopath and a warning to not expect moral restraint of their actions, regardless of their age.
  • I would advise viewers to ignore most of the critic reviews on this one. I was engrossed from start to finish. There are no car chases and no fancy plot twists, but The Boy is a thoroughly enthralling film about a young boy who not only is dealing with a lot of boredom living at and running a remote motel with his father, but is also experiencing a good deal of anger and angst over the fact that his mother left them.

    The actors were outstanding, and I was impressed by the character development. Some have complained that the movie is "too slow," but I think the pace captures the boy's experience quite well, and offers up chilling dinner table fodder. I highly recommend to anyone who enjoys a solid psychological thriller.
  • First, let me say that this film is very underrated because of those that don't appreciate psycho/social storyline building that does not have instant gratification. If you are one of those then move on- you wont appreciate this understated and psychological story.

    The story shows how the pain, anger and isolation of a frustrated young boy can create just the right recipe for a Sociopath. It presents a story that is realistic and chilling as you watch the progression of the boy's desperation and thus psychosis taking hold of him. The atmosphere is quietly horrifying as you feel the constant loss and emptiness that surrounds this boy and the way it understandably sets the stage for his survival. He needs to get out of there and get away, but is becoming more and more socially awkward do to the isolation and heavy depression that surrounds him. This creates an emotional numbness that leads him to distract himself with creating drama and destruction around him until he finally decides to find his opportunity to escape by any means necessary.
  • ppsolved3 September 2015
    The reviewers who disliked this movie didn't understand it. It's more European in its pacing and story arc, not for the simple-minded or those who do no outside reading. It is the best movie I've yet seen on the genesis of a sociopath and murderer, but it'a "quiet" film and assumes the viewer may know at least SOMEthing about one of the biggest topics of the last 50 years, serial murderers, and how they got that way. This boy has no guidance or love, his father is too wounded to notice or be of any real help. David Morse is always good, and Rainn Wilson's performance was revelatory.

    I liked The Boy and have been recommending it to people I know who will "get" it. It gave me the creeps.
  • Growing up without internet or video game is bad enough, but Ted has to live in a remote motel in the middle of nowhere. The premise of a child gradually becoming more bizarre in his nature is executed fairly well, it gives audience a clear view of how the isolation and what little interaction he has shapes his mind. However, with runtime almost two hours and majority of it is uneventful, this slow burner might not appeal to mainstream audience.

    Thriller or horror nowadays is leaning towards faster pace developments. For example, Gone Girl delivers twists and turns frequently. The Boy is more of a slow burner, it portrays Ted and his strange mental process. Much of it is by his body language and others' influences. This keeps the audience guessing on his state of mind as the young boy seemingly perceives things awkwardly different than we would.

    The better parts of the movie show that Ted might just be the victim of condition or unlucky encounter with wrong people. From his father and guests, all have inherited flaws which Ted may misguidedly follow. The other angle is he's already disturbed from the beginning and takes advantage of others. He doesn't talk much, and it's probably better that way since the scenes are more effectively when he's silent.

    The main concern is the slow pace. Sure, it has good cinematography, but there are many lingering shots. Music is steadily becoming grim, and this is more weird than dreadful since there's barely significant development as the scenes are prolonged more than they need be. It feels as though the movie hypes a dreadful scene only to shift to normal dialogue.

    It's eerie at times simply by how isolated and lonely The Boy is portrayed, but it could benefit from faster screenplay, especially in few bland moments that barely contribute to the story.
  • Warning: Spoilers
    This is actually a beautifully told story about the consequences of failing as a parent. The father neglects his boy drinking and watching TV. The mother ditched both her husband and boy at the beginning of the movie. You reap what you sow with kids. Give them guidance and ask them if they are happy. The father in this movie asked more questions than he gave guidance with crap like "You know why I'm doing this don't you?" Uhm...NO, he's a 9 year old. Or "There are some kids coming to celebrate prom. We're going to let boys be boys and girls be girls, know what I mean?" Uhm...NO, he's a 9 year old. The finale is worthy of Hannibal.
  • Warning: Spoilers
    (TV Viewing)

    In a world in which more and more titles are released on demand, either alongside a theatrical release or without one, I find films like The Boy to be excellent examples of how some films are better off being VOD. If only because it is the type of film which requires patience, and isn't necessarily something which you may be able to, or want to, watch in one sitting. For with it handling its subject matter in a way which isn't sensationalized, like The Omen or films of that nature, it forces you to watch this film as a character study. For Ted is not someone killing just because he can, but because it may be the only way out of a situation he doesn't like. Hence the TV Viewing label for this film isn't at all about the shock of a child killer, but more so how a child slowly reaches the point of becoming capable of killing anything from an animal to a human being. A process which isn't at all quick, but ultimately is, for a lack of a better word, satisfying.
  • To be honest, it seemed like an interesting idea that simply didn't work as a film. Although there's some great acting, the plot moves so slowly that it's like pulling teeth. I found myself getting very bored quite early on and things just never really picked up from there. The characters are interesting and well developed, but just don't seem to engage the audience, leaving you with little sympathy for them as events unfold. As always, I stuck with this movie to the end hoping that it would improve or that I'd be dazzled by some shocking twist in the plot towards the end, but to no avail. As a study into mental health disorders or the origins of psychotic or sociopathic behaviour it's probably excellent - as an entertaining movie to watch one evening at home, unfortunately it fails on many levels and leaves you wondering why you bothered to waste your time.
  • mjsreg18 June 2016
    Brilliant acting and a near accurate portrayal of the development of a psychopath

    I watched this film by accident (thinking it was another film with the same title) and was drawn into the story from the very first shot.

    This is a film that has been crafted - a rarity in US film making nowadays. Each shot carefully considered and in tune with the development of the characters as we get to understand their story and who they are.

    I am not a fan of child actors, many of whom fall short of portraying strong characters. This kid in this film (Jared Breeze) is definitely an exception. His portrayal of the boy is natural, believable, and very, very strong.

    The other actors are just as strong, which brings us a well rounded interaction between them that is as realistic as it could be without being there.

    It is a film you have to watch - and not glance at occasionally. The story and the cinematography do the rest to make this one of the best films I have seen in a long time.
  • Let me start by saying that I generally do not like Drama movies because more often than not I find them to be excruciatingly slow and boring. I'm a huge horror movie fan. The Boy is not your typical horror movie. In fact, it's not even scary for the most part. I had no idea what it was about before watching it and only through reading the IMDb reviews after watching the movie found out that it was trying to show us how a sociopath was born. Surprisingly, I did not get bored at all during the movie because I found the shots to be artistic and I could feel the loneliness the boy had to endure. The ending made me feel so bad that I thought to myself "this has got to be true terror", in spite of the fact that I have a liking for jump scares, which were completely absent from this movie. This movie is not for everyone. Most people will bash it for being too slow, but it's the slow built-up that will make you terrified at the end. Also, the movie creates false expectations and sympathy for the wrong guy, which is a quality I absolutely love to see in any movie.

    8/10 for a perfect atmosphere, good acting and an effective ending.
  • begob10 September 2015
    Warning: Spoilers
    Boy tries to break out from his isolation by killing everyone around him.

    Hard to write a logline for this without spoilers. Lots to praise - cinematography and editing are excellent, the lead performers perfect, and the sound is always interesting. People complain about the pace, but I think it's judged just right.

    But there are huge problems with the story, and that's why it's tough to get a set-up logline for the movie. It's not a horror. Not a psychological thriller. Not a character study. The boy lays traps, but this isn't used in the climax. The boy vents his rage by booting a chicken to death, but the cute bunny is left unharmed - very tame. The sheriff is a pure exposition character. And the prom sequence has no imagination in the otherwise excellent direction. The fight scene between the boy and the bullies is rage-making, but that's as energetic as it gets and it feels one dimensional.

    Overall, it looks and sounds good but the story doesn't come together. Needs a strong dose of crazy.
  • "Your wife is nothing but a pile of dirt now."

    Couldn't you fall asleep the last few nights ? Or you just finished a heavy night shift ? Or those nagging rascals at home are driving you bananas all day ? In other words, you are completely groggy and you long for a good rest, then you definitely shouldn't watch "The Boy" because I guarantee you that you'll be dozing off. This psychological thriller (and certainly not horror) about a would-be psychopath in the making is eerie slow and creepy boring at the same time. Before a witch hunt is being unleashed against my little person, let me mention briefly that I really understood (probably) the initial intention of this film (which is surely successful when it comes to the images used). Although you could interpret it in different ways.

    Perhaps the film was set up in such a way that the monotonous, isolated and lonely life of Ted played a central role. A boring and daily routine without any expectations of improvement. Hence the recurrent slow still lifes and moments. The hoisting of a car is shown in detail, sheriff Whit looking at the motel in his patrol car patiently for a long period and especially Ted apparently accepting his fate and looking at the distant horizon all the time. Or maybe, Ted is devising an ingenious plan so he can get out of this hopeless situation? Are all carefully executed actions a part of that larger plan? And a good plan obviously needs a precise preparation. Or is it simply the story of a teenager growing up and wandering around unsupervised in the vicinity of the motel? A tedious daily struggle where he tries to amuse himself by collecting rubbish that he discovers here and there and collecting squashed carcasses of animals who tried to cross the road. Or are we really witnessing the slow birth of a psychopath who is fascinated by death? Personally, I think it's a mix of all this.

    There isn't really much happening in "The Boy". It takes almost an hour and a half before the demonic part is unleashed (slightly exaggerated terminology). It's also a fiery apotheosis in which one can assume that the meticulously prepared plan (if there was one) has the perfect result. But I'm afraid that the animal rights activists will make more fuss about this film. It isn't really exciting and calling Ted a real psychopath is also a bit exaggerated. The tension is a kind of playing-the-lottery tension, as I call it. You wait anxiously for the result, but you're always disappointed because the outcome is absolutely nothing. The same thing happens in "The Boy". There are moments where you expect it will finally begin. But eventually you just sit there unsatisfied while the story continues calmly. It seems like an art-house psychological thriller filled with placebo scares.

    What remains are the magnificent snapshots and beautiful renditions. Jared Breeze as Ted, who's on his own, has an innate naturelle. There's not a moment you feel as if he's acting. It looks like he's just using stuff that happened in his personal, young life. David Morse as the melancholy, boozing father who realizes that the day will come that his son leaves for California to find his mother. A beautiful, demure rendition. And Rainn Wilson as the unfortunate traveler who stranded in that deserted place after a rough collision with an animal. The friendship that grows between him and the strange boy is on the one hand quite surreal and on the other hand fascinating. "The Boy" will not be appreciated by everyone and is certainly not an easy film to digest. Apparently it's the first part of a trilogy. Let's hope the next two sections have a stronger content and less emphasis on the symbolic and atmosphere.

    More reviews here :
  • Ted, the boy in this film doesn't seem to be an abnormal boy, but certain things piqued his curiosity in death. His subsequent experimentation with death and dangerous situations was very unsettling. His poker face expression through the worst of deeds was almost horrifying, and caused a lot of worry throughout the movie. This was a brilliant work by the director, letting it go the way it did. The solitude is presented without apology, and no shortening of lonely scenes. Who knows what anyone is capable of, in the wrong circumstances, the wrong family, the wrong relationship dynamics. This was a true gem.
  • Warning: Spoilers
    The film centers on Ted (Jared Breeze) an overly bored 9 year boy who lives alone with his dad (David Morse). They run a motel that has seen better days. Ted stays busy "baiting" the roadway and getting paid a bounty for roadkill. He has developed an unhealthy fascination about death. We later find out his goal is to be united with his mother, somewhere in Florida.

    The film is an interesting character study as we wonder about the near sociopath nature of Ted arising from the desire for companionship and not being able to achieve it. Guests pop in and out from time to time and Ted manages to maintain an unacceptable relationship with the guests, spurned on by his frustration and desire.

    Guide: F-bomb. No sex or nudity.
  • Warning: Spoilers
    I never write reviews on here (this is the first I've done so it'll be short and sweet) but for any fan of a slow burn psychological thriller you definitely should see this. The story of a young boys transformation into a psychopathic killer is a hell of a good one, and kept my wife and I glued to our seats the whole time. All the actors do their parts well (Morse as the depressed, beaten dad was a highlight for me, although Rainn Wilson and Jared Breeze are both exceptional too) and you can actually feel for the boy as his mind starts to warp and you see why he is the way he is. We were actually meant to watch the 2016 "The Boy" but I'm glad we picked the wrong one because I feel like it was by far the better one. It's a shame that it might be overshadowed and lost
  • chasebot30 June 2016
    Warning: Spoilers
    To start off, I want to say that Jared Breeze performed AMAZING in the movie. I can really sense and feel Ted's loneliness through the his eyes. I really want to enter the movie and befriend him. It was so agonizing to witness a child grow up in such an isolated and deserted place. If I was Ted, I would literally stomp right out of that motel and never come back.

    You can also see that Ted does so much, only for one purpose: To find his mother who has apparently left with a 'trucker' years ago to Florida (which I'm fairly certain the trucker is actually 'William Colby' - played by Rainn Wilson).

    Ted's father, John Henley (David Morse) tries to care for his son, but I guess he's too depressed to do so, leaving Ted to wonder off on his own every day.

    The thing I don't get is there's literally only him and his son Ted in that deserted motel, with occasional customers. John also mentioned that he knows Ted gets very lonely in the motel and that he has no friends. So why does John not spend more time with his son? Is he THAT depressed to the point where he just sits in the motel all day and do nothing, EVERYDAY?

    It was just something that I felt I had to get off my chest when I was watching the movie. COME ON JOHN, YOUR SON NEEDS YOU. Why're you still sitting on the couch?!

    The scene where the bunch of prom teens bullied Ted was also pretty brutal. I felt SO sad for Ted, like really sad. Screw those teens... BUT the worse part was when Ted went to seek his dad for comfort, and John just reprimanded Ted for not leaving the customers alone.


    To conclude, this movie was AMAZING. The cast performed great and contrary to many who say the pace of this movie was too slow, I felt that it was necessary. It was necessary for the audience to witness truly how lonely and boring life was for Ted - which will then allow them to understand why Ted was so eager to leave the motel and look for his mom.

    This movie definitely won't make you feel happy and I'm pretty sure it wasn't made to. But this movie was able to evoke many emotions from me, which I think is what makes a movie successful. A good movie doesn't always have happy endings or make audiences happy.

    I'm no great movie reviewer or critic, all these are just my thoughts after watching the movie.
  • Well.. Many people finds this movie piece, boring, slow. To me, it's a gem, wonderful!

    I don't really see why anyone should think it's boring. The "slow" phase of the movie is just character development.. In many of the scenes, the boy does unspeakable things that are sitter natural or common. And he pushes the limits more and more.. And makes the film more and more exciting and creepy! And the story is so very creepy, and good, thanks to excellent acting!

    I really love this indie film, the cinematography and acting, not to mention the director in this movie is brilliant! Who would have guessed that a comedian from "The office" was this talented and perfect for the creepy-vibe role!? The kid also nails his part! I really love this flick, recommended highly! (Try to get inn the story, and not give up... It's not boring, it's character/story development!
  • Warning: Spoilers
    First, let me say that this is not a horror picture. It isn't a slasher picture. It's a good psychological thriller. I think some of the bad reviews were because it was made by a film company specializing in such movies.

    Second, Elijah Wood made an excellent first effort in producing this film. I consider it equal, if not a little better than the Good Son, Elijah's psychological thriller. That picture also starred the excellent David Morse. Jered Breeze is a revelation and has a good future in film if he chooses it.

    Ted Henley, the protagonist plays a nuanced sociopath. He doesn't kill animals, even his pet rabbit. He's an average boy in a desolate motel on a lonely highway that was probably cut off by an interstate. His father is drowning in his regrets and barely takes notice of his son. His father did seem to provide some motive for Ted's behavior. Near the end, Ted had quickly graduated into a proficient mass murdered with carefully chosen words to deflect attention away from him. Rainn Wilson skillfully plays a similar character in William Colby who set up as the fall guy.

    I find it interesting that the writer chose 1989 to shoot this in. That was probably the last year when land-line phones were still in use and cell phones weren't commonly used. Ted had no video games and no Internet to occupy him. Just a TV with over-the- air broadcasting. It would have made no sense to make it contemporary and writer wisely chose wisely no to do so.

    In short it was a very good drama made by new people, except Woods, and a tight budget. I'll wait for it's promised sequel.
  • Well, innocence is not angelic by definition. At least not always. It can be evil as well. This story underlines this fact in the most straightforward way i have ever seen on screen. Actually i am one of those who think that as people grow up, it's instinctively the evil that prevails in their choices and it's only through education, culture, experience and guidance that they get to understand that moral values should prevail as the only way of coexistence with other human beings. All living beings have instincts, so do humans. All living beings have "wants" cause they have needs, so do humans. Only humans, unlike animals, have also a brain that makes them want more than just a basic self preservation demands. And once they are not efficiently trained to pursue their demands without making second thoughts about a coexistence code given the existing human society, the only rule that prevails in their brain is the rule of the jungle. The "boy" in this film looks like an angel and actually could be not far from being one. But living without anything that could provide him with essential things to face the absolute loneliness and lack of any code of how far he can go with his -actually not at all excessive - demands he just gets to consider normal, things that should otherwise be taught to avoid. Trying to do his life better(he actually wants to escape from the isolated place he is doomed to live in) he gets gradually more and more accustomed with death and finally does not hesitate -actually he does it as if it's a fully justified, natural thing- to bring about the ultimate horror. Ted -that's the boy's name if i remember well- is not at all illustrated in this film as the cursed satanic "Demian" of the "Prophecy" child. What we have here is the case of a very normal, intelligent, extremely sweet, really adorable little fellow and not of any evil spirits possessions, anything but that. Actually that's what makes the story and its leading character more frightening than any corresponding "Profecy" or "Halloween" screen child murderers. It's just a sweet next door little man we have here, could be mine or yours and yet far too unknown far as his needs are concerned, needs which potentially under certain circumstances may cause destructive events and get us to really know him through them when it's too late. The film itself is very "flat" in the sense that not too many things happen in the most of it, but it's this "flat" approach that makes it realistic and so very interesting to watch as it slowly yet persistently introduces us to the "boy" 's world. In brief, a very honest, very good American film about two beautiful blue, sweet, angelic, innocent and yet evil eyes.
  • jtlpeavey13 November 2015
    Warning: Spoilers
    After seeing the commercials and watching the preview for this movie I was excited to see it. However, after actually watching it on IFC on Friday night my excitement quickly subsided and I was amazed at how boring the movie turned out to be. I kept hoping it would get better but it didn't. It was hard to watch the whole movie but I wanted to make sure I gave it every chance to get better. It did not get better. The characters are very weak and there is not a lot of depth to them. The acting isn't bad. The movie has some good talent in it. The writing (or lack there of) is what kills this movie. We are essentially watching a bored child mope around a motel and take his frustration out on everything and everyone around him. Perhaps they could have done a little more background on the farther son relation so that we had a better understanding of the back story. The movie billed itself as a thriller but this was anything but. Not a worthwhile movie to watch. Very boring.
  • Warning: Spoilers
    "The Boy" was a bit of a mixed bag for me. It wasn't completely amazing but it definitely stopped short of being completely worthless.

    On the good side, the film has some stupidly amazing performances from Rainn Wilson, David Morse and, especially, Jared Breeze. Additionally, director Craig William Macneill did a tremendous job of creating atmosphere and through visuals and music definitely gave the film an uneasy feeling that promised suspense and terror. On the bad side, the film never lives up to the atmosphere that was created due to a running length that felt too long, a story that dragged too often and poor character development.

    The film had some potential but it stopped short of achieving it.
  • This movie is pointless ! I mean what exactly is this movie's message for us ?! What 's the point of the whole thing ? Where exactly is it going ??

    I started this movie with a good vibe it's gonna be something , then I went beyond the first 30 minutes where the events kept playing in a very slow dull pointless course ! after the first hour I found out I'm seriously wasting time here.. the movie is going on in its dull non-sense course . I continued to watch just to know how it's gonna end , or what's the point of all of this.

    The ending is shocking and can't be predicted from the course of events , which is a good thing about the movie. Another couple of good things are; one , the acting of the young Ted , he nailed it ! having this expressionless empty psycho face.. and two, the atmosphere the director managed to put us in through the whole time of the movie.

    Don't recommend it for anybody.
  • A more descriptive title for this film might be "A Portrait of the Psychopath as a 9-Year-Old Boy," but whatever you call it, it's a creepy, mostly effective examination of profoundly disturbed child Ted (Jared Breeze) trapped in an isolated existence in a run-down, failing motel run by his broken father (David Morse).

    Death and decay are the overriding preoccupations here, especially young Ted's growing fascination with anything dead and dying, so much so that he starts to engineer the outcomes he's intrigued by with increasingly dire consequences. This isn't a film that necessarily can be spoiled (though I won't give away plot developments) because you can see where it's going almost from the first scene. Director/co-writer Craig William Macneill is not interested in surprises or twists, but in constructing an atmosphere that leads inexorably to the what seems like the inevitable finale. He does so through long, static (or nearly so) shots of scenery and action that is often filmed at a remove -- characters half-hidden by obstructions of various types or framed in the background. He gets a lot of mileage out of the desolate beauty of his location. This was filmed in Colombia, but is set in non- specific rural U.S. roughly two days drive from Florida (that's as specific as it gets). Like Macneill's angelic-looking star, the scenery here could be quite pleasant, peaceful and innocent, but the film instead emphasizes its (and Ted's) more menacing, uncaring qualities. The particular combination of stylistic characteristics he evokes is a bit like Alfred Hitchcock meets Peter Greenaway, minus the lushness.

    Breeze and Morse carry the lion's share of the film on their very capable shoulders. Rainn Wilson and, somewhat surprisingly, Mike Vogel are also on hand in smaller, not terribly demanding roles. Breeze, especially, is very effective without resorting to showier. idiosyncratic or self-conscious acting that child performers in horror movies are often directed to perform. Breeze's matter-of- fact, naturalistic performance helps sell the extent to which some of what Ted gets up to is what any lonely kid trying to amuse and occupy himself would do, while some is only what a child lacking any empathy could do.

    This is a pretty dour movie -- there aren't any obvious characters to root for or even be engaged by save Ted and his unfortunate father. There's not much to cheer here, nor much relief from the bleak view of humanity, nature and how they intersect. As such, it's not a fun watch, but it is intriguing and stylish enough to hold viewers' interest, if they approach it in the right frame of mind.
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