‘The Boy Behind the Door’ Review: Best Friends in Perilla


Bobby and Kevin are tied up in a car trunk. After Kevin is taken out and whispered, Bobby is released inside, but he manages to get rid of his restraint and get out. However, instead of running for his life, Bobby heads to the huge house where Kevin is held prisoner: “Friends to the end,” the friends had sworn to each other.

You know the promise is about to be fulfilled, because like these two 12 year old boys take these matters seriously.

Bad, bad things happen to Bobby (Lonnie Chavis, Randall “This Is Us”) and Kevin (Ezra Davey) in the horror-tinged kidnapping thriller “The Boy Behind the Door.” And, it must be said, for the most part they take place on screen. This is not common in US releases, where violence towards children is suggested, abstract in the form of metaphors or cartoons. David Charbonnier and Justin Powell’s film stays away from exploits, however, because the camera doesn’t look away from Bobby and Kevin’s woes—there’s gore—it does so in a clinical, almost neutral way, again, we’re used to. Are not seen applicable to children. (Some viewers may find this detachment distasteful.)

“The Boy Behind the Door,” which is Streaming on Shudder, ruthlessly leaves no room for anything other than straight suspense mechanics: Bobby spends the entire film trying to free Kevin, while escaping from his captors, which includes Kristin Bauer van Stratten, ” True Blood”, Capricorn as the opaque embodiment of evil.

We don’t know why the two were kidnapped, or what their world is like other than when they play on the softball team – the film never quite cuts it for worried parents. Charbonnier and Powell, themselves childhood friends from Detroit, with an unwavering focus on the boys’ loyalty to each other.

This intent is minimalism also because the film doesn’t move beyond its virtuoso, almost succinct storytelling. Especially when some surprising, attention-grabbing flourishes slip inexplicably, especially a scene that borrows from a super famous one in “The Shining.” And why, exactly, pan over the Make America Great Again bumper sticker on the kidnappers’ car? The real world intrudes on the stylistic suspense with a stub instead of a loud jolt.

the boy behind the door
not evaluated. Running time: 1 hour 28 minutes. Look at Shudder.



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