The Boy Behind the Door (AFI Fest 2020); Grade C+
Strictly Films welcomes to you to coverage of this years AFI Film Festival! Our next film on the block: The Boy Behind the Door.
The Boy Behind the Door tells a story about a couple young boys named Bobby (Lonnie Chavis) and Kevin (Ezra Dewey), whom get kidnapped by an unknown stranger. Bobby awakens in the trunk of a car, as he escapes the premises. As Bobby hears the cry from his best friend Kevin, he makes his way back to the house, to help free his boy Kevin.
The Boy Behind the Door captures a dark atmosphere that could’ve been much darker in tone, but I felt had done just enough to make the audience fearful as some locations and images are disturbing. Especially given this one shot of a room, featuring a video camera and a playroom, knowing those whom entered this room must be partaking in some very vile sinister acts. Followed by a solid composed Score, in which a couple moments in which has a nice screeching sound that compliments sequences just fine.
The performances were acceptable for a horror film like this one, but could’ve been much better. Felt both young boys Lonnie Chavis and Ezra Dewey both gave fine performances, there are strengths and weaknesses in both performances, however compared to other child performances in recent horror films... I would have to say both of these stand out fairly well, amongst some pretty unbearable performances as of recent. The antagonist behind this kidnapping I felt gave a pretty underwhelming performance, as it never worked for this characters haunting disturbing description. It also doesn’t help the fact the dialogue in which was given to this character, honestly sounds like a cartoon character, as it becomes rather embarrassing in some moments. For a film like this and a character extremely distasteful... You have to create a character in which terrifies the audience, as this character wreaks in creating that type of reaction towards the audience.
I believe The Boy Behind the Door will work with some horror fans. It’s a horror film that is fast, well paced where every moment feels crucial, as there is no slowing down as it keeps you entertained throughout it’s short run time. For me The Boy Behind the Door is by the books basic. It’s also worth noting that the character decision making honestly throughout the entire film, will have you screaming at the television screen like I did several times, by the level of incompetence especially Bobby was on.
Listen we all know Bobby is a young lad that is not even a teenager yet. But his decision making at times is baffling due to lack of time management in situations, lack of awareness as he can potentially get himself noticed by the antagonist, and also dealing with such logic issues. One logic issue that stood out was definitely cleaning up a death in the kitchen. This was honestly not a terrible choice by Bobby, as he wanted to clean up the mess so the antagonist wouldn’t have notice that he escaped from the trunk. However: Do you know it takes more than a couple dry towels, to clean up a puddle of blood? Blood especially on a paved floor, requires a much strong cleaning solution in order to get rid of all the stains on the floor. For Bobby having to clean the floor without any stain being noticeable, by just two dry towels is unbelievable to the finest by the laws of logic. For what The Boy Behind the Door is... Could’ve done a better job with the characters and situations, but gets the job done.
Overall, The Boy Behind the Door t’was average. I do recommend watching this whenever it gets released, definitely an entertaining movie to watch in the theater or if released on VOD definitely a fun cozy night at home watch as well. -Mitch Smietana