Movie Review: The Boy Behind The Door

April 02, 2022  •  Leave a Comment


Released: July 2021
Starring: Lonnie Davis, Ezra Dewey
Directors/Writers: Justin Powell, David Charbonier

I got an email last week about the Chainsaw Award Nominations so I checked it to cast my votes and saw some movies listed I'd never heard of. The Boy Behind The Door was one of them so I found it online and gave it a watch last night. Just wow!! 

The movie begins with a car driving through the middle of nowhere. It pulls up at a house, the driver opens the boot and there we see two young boys tied up.

We're then taken back to 6 hours earlier with best friends Bobby and Kevin fooling around before their baseball game. While throwing a ball back and forth, the ball goes down the hill and Kevin reluctantly goes down looking for it. When he doesn't return, Bobby starts to look for him and finds the baseball by a tree. Hands come from behind and bash Bobby into the tree knocking him out.

Back to the present, the boot slams shut on Bobby as the kidnapped carries Kevin away and we see Bobby thrashing about in the boot of the car. He manages to rip the tape from his mouth, breaks the cable tie from his wrists and kicks the shit out of the boot until it finally opens. He starts to run when he hears Kevin screaming for help and realises he needs to do the right thing and help his friend. He finds a way to break into the house and sneaks around finding the kidnapper watching TV and drinking a beer. Soon after there's a knock at a door. A man is handing over a wad of cash and is handed a watch with a timer set for 1 hour. The kidnapper leaves and the man heads upstairs. It's at this point where my stomach turned because we're only 12 minutes into the film and we know exactly why these boys were kidnapped and I remember how much I really hate humans. They're scum. 

Lonnie Chavis who plays Bobby does a really good job of carrying the entire film. There are times where I was so completely frustrated with this kid for not being smarter, I was yelling at the television as if he could possibly hear me telling him to "KEEP LOOKING FOR THE DAMN KEYS" but reminding myself he's about 12 years old and not Macgyver. Not every child actor can be like Mckenna Grace who I am convinced is really a 50 year old woman trapped in a child's body. Dumb luck was definitely on his side for one scene and I may have got a little too excited for him because between clapping and yelling HA! I started having an asthma attack. Watching Bobby find an old analogue telephone (you know those ones from the 80's with the dial) and having to ask his friend how to use it amused me, but also we have failed the next generation. 

For half of the film the kidnapper's face is hidden. We're shown a hand, their shoes, or a low-lit full length that gives no real details of who it is and I figured this is either a choice by the director because kidnappers are faceless monsters that blend in with the scenery so the focus is only on the boys, or they're aiming for a reveal later on. The reveal happens during a scene straight out of The Shining and shouldn't come as much of a shock if you've been paying attention.

I put this movie on not knowing a single thing about it. Overall it keeps a steady pace throughout and I spent half of the film on the edge of my couch, hands gripping my face with anxiety on if Bobby is actually going to make it out of here alive or if his lack of common sense will get in the way. By the end of the film I felt proud of him for trying his best. 

FINAL THOUGHT: In Australia this can be found on Shudder. It's rated MA15+ but I feel like a tween could handle watching this if you want to put the fear of "Stranger Danger" into them. 




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