The Boy Behind the Door (2021)

The Boy Behind the Door (2021)

2021 88 Minutes


After Bobby and his best friend Kevin are kidnapped and taken to a strange house in the middle of nowhere, Bobby manages to escape. But as he starts to make a break for it, he hears Kevin’s screa...

Overall Rating

6 / 10
Verdict: Good

User Review

  • d_riptide


    5 / 10
    So this movie, “The Boy Behind The Door” deals with a terrible subject that some can actually relate to: kidnapping and/or child trafficking. That alone is enough to make your equivalent of a real life horror film if given the right ingredients.

    The end result here? Could’ve been a lot worse.

    Aesthetically speaking, it looks impressive. A forbidding eerie tone is established very early, effectively setting the mood for the rest of the runtime and the cinematography heightening dramatic streaks of light to illuminate ominous hallways and cramped quarters does supply the movies foggy look and mood. Production design also has this neat ‘Hello Neighbor’ appeal despite too many visual cues leading directly to the Shining.

    And yes, Lonnie Chavis and Ezra Dewey deliver dramatic and rather poignant performances as two kids struggling for survival and they portray their friendship well. The rest of the acting is solid also.

    What starts out as a promising classic cat-and-mouse thriller, however, stumbles and goes downhill after the opening half hour, thanks to a parade of cliches such as the police officer instantly dispatched by the psychopaths or an extended climax that is all too predictable and drags out WAY too long. The film uses a done-to-death tactic to keep the suspense going that doesn't work for prolonged periods but directors David Charbonier and Justin Powell insist on using it. Even a rather judicious musical score couldn’t mask the rather….directionless direction.

    Yes, on it’s own, the direction is competent as it lets the friendship between the two friends take center stage but something is still left to be desired in terms of characterization and storytelling. While the writing doesn’t lean too much on shock value (and thank god for that), walking that fine line between the darker subtexts and showing that immediate sense of danger became really difficult to uphold after a while. Even with all that it boasts, it still felt egregiously tame.

    Hell, I’ll admit the pacing had this film going longer than it was because I just couldn't stand the decisions the main characters make. For everyone else saying these decisions made were smart, blow it out your ass. Yes, I realized the entire purpose of this was to see how kids would actually react to adult situations and the film luckily doesn’t forget that…..

    ….but my god, did I end up getting aggravated. They may be children and they are in a scary situation, so they can't be presumed to have the most logical survival instincts but they would not do what they did and be called smart for it. The antagonists and general logistics of the occurrences in the film were met with constant eye rolls as well.

    It’ll definitely create a star out of Lonnie Chavis and it most certainly looks the part of your typical thriller but there’s a difference between talking the talk and walking the walk and most of these puzzle pieces just could not connect for me. For what it is and what it could’ve been, it’s fine.