The Boy Behind the Door on Shudder

Horror. It is a tricky film genre. Many have ventured there, but few have come out unscathed. By that I mean plenty have made horror films with the best of intentions and have made bad films. Painfully bad films. Making their attempts at scares more like (unintentional) comedies. Laughs instead of jumps. So much so that horror film fans often go into the watching of that genre’s films with very low intentions.

Happening over the course of a night, this film combos kidnapping and young people trying to get the better of adults. A cool combination in my books. As you get the scares along with the rooting for the ultimate underdogs. Who doesn’t want the kids to come out on top no matter the unlikelihood. Cat and mouse between kids and adults…I’m in!

Best friends, 12-year-old Bobby (Lonnie Chavis – from television’s This Is Us) and Kevin (Ezra Dewey – from television’s Criminal Minds) are looking forward to a fun evening together playing baseball. But on their way home they are abducted. Brought to a place in the middle of nowhere where they are being held, Bobby manages to escape from the trunk of the car where he is being held. Kevin, who was moved into a house, is left behind. The screams of his best friend leads the youngster to realize that he cannot think only of himself. Bobby decides he cannot leave Kevin behind.

Bobby is back in the house where Kevin is being held without his captors knowing he is there. Things get even more dangerous when another person arrives who seems to have some kind of arrangement with the kidnapper. And this seems like bad news for Kevin. Wanting to help his best friend, Bobby is on his own due to the remoteness of the location as he cannot get to a phone.

A simple idea behind this one, but simple does not translate to uninteresting in this case. What you have here is a solid horror film. Horror and not gore. High on tension and not relying on gross out or blood. Co-directors David Charbonier (The Djinn) and Justin Powell (The Djinn) have made their second feature together and this is a better film than their second similarly themed film. They write and direct here and don’t overreach. Keep it simple stupid is the name of the game. They expound on a rather simple idea to make a rather engrossing film.

Some might find the endangerment of what are basically children and child trafficking a little too disturbing to watch while others will love that darker side. That solid story is accompanied with a good young and older cast and some great atmospheric visuals.

The film is now streaming on Shudder.

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