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The Boy by Bear McCreary (Review)

posted Feb 1, 2016, 7:45 PM by Kaya Savas

Bear McCreary has always been one of the best composers working in television, which is why it’s refreshingly nice to see him foray into films once again. Recently he gave us a pair of horror scores with The Boy and The Forest (and 10 Cloverfield Lane coming up). Here we’re looking at The Boy, which is a horror film about a nanny who is hired to babysit a couple’s child only to find that the child is a... doll. Is the doll a real boy? I’m leaning towards yes! But creepy creeps are inbound. If you’re looking at both of McCreary’s recent horror scores side by side, The Boy is a totally different approach than The Forest and it’s a pretty effective genre entry.

The first thing that jumped out was that this score immediately reminded me of Hans Zimmer’s The Ring. So much so at times that i’d be willing to bet that it was temped with The Ring. I mean that opening Main Title and Track 8 at 1:50 are examples of very “Ring-esque” moments. But that feel doesn’t overtake the whole score, and Bear is able to do a much more light-handed approach than the very aggressive approach Zimmer took with The Ring. The score’s first half does a great job of building atmosphere and adding a little suspenseful intrigue. You know bigger things are coming in the second half of the score, and they do. The climax is quite bold in Bear’s stylings and the music definitely is focused on showcasing the danger at hand versus trying to scare you. It’s a nice different approach to a genre where creepy dolls have been scored every which way possible.

In the end the score to The Boy does what it needs to do. It services the film just fine even if there isn’t anything revolutionary to the way Bear approached it. It was nice that the score wasn’t trying to jump scare the audience, and instead became more of a slower build to an adrenaline-filled climax to the story. It’s harmless horror fun from a great composer just adding his take on the genre and is worth a listen.