Charbonier and Powell are even more successful as directors than screenwriters, and given how great their script is, that says quite a bit. Every single second of The Boy Behind The Door drips with eerie suspense and atmosphere. When Bobby first enters the house to save Kevin, he accidentally knocks something onto the ground. This alerts the evil adult male in the house, and the ensuing game of hide and seek is one of the most fraught, edge of your seat sequences in any movie all year. And it is not even the most perilous and jaw-dropping moment of the film.
All of this makes the movie a darn good thriller, but what sets it above other smartly written, well-directed films is how the filmmakers present the dark side of humanity. There is no backstory for the inhuman people that are exploiting the boys. Not only does this avoid cliches, but it also ups the tension by making them more monstrous than human, as the audience is never supposed to empathize with them.
“…drips with eerie suspense and atmosphere.”
The filmmakers also know that children might be scared of the seedy underbelly shown here, but they also realize that kids are resilient and resourceful. As such, much like the fairytales by the Brothers Grimm, there is a lesson about finding your own strength and using it with all your might.
The Boy Behind The Door is an engrossing, harrowing experience that, in all honesty, might be a bit too much for some audiences. But if you can handle it, then you’re in for a visceral, intense ride that you won’t soon forget.
"…much like the fairytales by the Brothers Grimm, there is a lesson about finding your own strength..."