The Boy Behind the Door (2020) Poster

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Well done but fatal flaw ruins movie
goods11631 July 2021
Warning: Spoilers
This could have been a nice little gem of a movie. Good atmosphere and tension, some good horror here. But key fatal flaw ruined the movie for me. Minor general spoiler: It's annoying that the attacker is incapacitated on numerous occasions, but each time the boy immediately runs away. Does not bother to disarm, fully incapacitate, etc. Of course attacker got up each time. Is this the best the writers can come up with? After perhaps the 5th time this happens I kind of lost interest and it became silly.
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Child actors good. Story line horrendous. Oblivion takes all.
imdb-2382130 July 2021
Saving you 2 hours you won't get back. The story line is set early and in the synopsis - 2 boys are kidnapped by unknown men. It becomes a tense battle to stay alive, with the men being about as oblivious to what is going on as one can expect in a low grade horror film.

What starts out with true suspensful promise unfortunately goes downhill about a quarter way in. The film uses a tactic to keep the suspense going that doesn't work for prolonged periods but the director iinsists on using it. At that point, at the halfway mark, the film takes a marked turn for the worse when the stuidity heightens.

4 stars for the kids. Zero for the script. No rating for the camerawork which is almost always in the dark because... it's more suspensful that way. This was a total waste of time. As usual there are connected people posting fake reviews.
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Speaking of dumb decisions..
be-jan31 July 2021
Warning: Spoilers
I was about to stop watching several times, because the boy's actions were so illogical or just plain stupid. Yes, he's supposed to be quite young, but even at this age and under stress you just wouldn't have done some of these things, e.g. Checking out a safe and flipping to photos of victims while your kidnapper is taking a shower a few metres away.

Apart from that, there were the usual hackneyed thriller elements such as "fleeing without taking the gun" and "leaving the perpetrator lying unconsciously without trying to immobilise him/her in any way".

Besides that, how has an old dial phone a modern RJ11 plug, and how could the kid completely clean up such a massive amount of blood in such short time with just two tea towels?
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Good and bad choices
kosmasp29 October 2021
Now do characters here (and kids furthermore) act and do stuff that you would deem ... not helpful to their situation? You bet they do. Is it the old and established, well if they did everything right, we wouldn't have a movie kind of thing? Maybe in some cases yes, maybe you feel in most cases too.

But having said that, the actors (kids - which I can't stress out enough are not easy to find - well not good actor kids like the ones you get here at least) are really not to blame for anything here - if you actually don't like the movie that is.

If like me you buy into the story and suspend your disbelief, you'll have quite the ride. A well choreographed and well shot one at that. For an independent production with a limited plot and time - that is all I ask for.
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A parade of cliches
gedikreverdi7 August 2021
Warning: Spoilers
The child actors were good and that's about it. The script felt like a bunch of cliches one after the other. They were kidnapped and taken to a huge farmhouse with an oil rig in front of it. Bobby managed to get out of the trunk and hid in the house to save his friend who's shackled behind the locked door. And he made every single illogical decision. I don't expect them to be perfect survivalists but those kids seemed very bright and I think the writers should be ashamed that they couldn't come up with smarter decisions. He managed to kill the guy, shackled the deranged woman to the pipe after she killed the officer who came after his 911 call and got shot in the leg because why should he take the gun from her? (And there's that Shining scene at the bathroom, too). Did he leave the house then? Of course he didn't. He got to unlock the door and his chains. But there was a collar around his neck which gave him electroshock once he passed a point. They managed to cut the collar and tased her and ran into the woods. Just as Bobby was about to get killed, the officer shot the woman (that felt like very cheesy '90s thrillers). And they survived. It started off really good and turned into a clichefest at the second half.
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How Many Times Can You Roll Your Eyes in 80 Minutes?
Jonny-ironica8 August 2021
Warning: Spoilers
Found this on Shudder and thought it was going to be a thrilling little flick. It certainly started off that way and as things went along, you forgive the little mistakes characters make that are standard for cheap horror. You appreciate the references to other horror films such as the axe through the bathroom door. You start to get excited about the twists and turns. You note a MAGA bumper sticker that lets you know these villains are absolutely terrible people.

Then a character leaves a gun by the villain when trying to escape.

And you know that scene at the end of slasher films where the final girl drops the knife because she assumes she's killed the killer but he's DUN DUN DUN still alive? When you realize that's all this film is for the entire hour and a half, it's harder to forgive. You almost want to see the characters get killed off just because their stupidity is too ridiculous, even for kids. Then you just don't care. By the last 20 minutes, I was just repeatedly checking the time, hoping it was almost over.

Hard pass, this wasn't thrilling.

It wasn't even cheap fun.

Only bonus was screaming "oh my god, it's Pam from True Blood!"
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Suspenseful but rather weak story writing.
deloudelouvain21 January 2022
The Boy Behind The Door has good and bad moments. The good things are the suspense building (nice intense moments that kept the movie alive), the decent acting (even from the kids) and the cinematography. The major bad thing about this movie was the extremely bad decisions that were taken by the kids but also by the villain. I get it that a kid doesn't think rationally but the amount of very bad decisions brought the quality of the movie down. It's good enough to watch once though, but I can't say I would watch it a second time in the future. For that there are better movies in this genre.
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Love Letter to The Shining
thesar-228 August 2021
You know who also said "Friend to the End?"

Two innocent boys playing had their entire life shattered by incredibly awful humans one day. They were abducted and taken to an enormous house - too big for the two residents. But, be that as it may, one of the boys actually managed to escape. If only this would be so simple for him - he couldn't leave his friend behind. And now, getting his friend back and alive will be a living nightmare.

This was clearly made by people who had an affection for Stanley Kubrick's The Shining. More than a few nods to that masterpiece. But, why did they have to make this political?

Listen, I hate turmp as much as the next sane person, but I watch these movies to escape these horrible times we live in. Making our villains even worse by being turmp-supporters is unnecessary.

BUT...the rest of the movie, fantastic. This little boy had to carry pretty much the entire film on his tiny shoulders and he should be commended. Hope he has a great career in front of him.

Though, that said, I understand his character makes many...questionable decisions. So many times he could've ended the madness and get his friend out of the horrible house and away from these evil abductors. But, I gave him MANY passes. He couldn't have been more than 9-10 years old and the stress he was put through to get his buddy out safely could permanently harm even the best of us.

This is very simple story of Boy 1 trying to rescue Boy 2 from and Evil Twosome in unfamiliar surroundings. It's quick, tight, knows when to pull back punches and when to add more suspense. Maybe a bit too many deus ex machina's, but like the boy, I gave a ton of passes. This was also a love letter to the old 80s-90s thrillers when things were simpler for all of us.

And speaking of nostalgia...I loved the fact the boy had to learn how to operate a rotary phone. Made total sense.

Absolutely recommended. Steve Reeves says: check it out.


Final Thoughts: Almost 30 years later, I never forgot this quote: Groundskeeper Willy : (gasps) Boy... you read my thoughts! You've got the Shinning.

Bart Simpson : You mean "Shining".

Groundskeeper Willy : Shh! You wanna to get sued?
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Another major failure.
amufan6 September 2021
Warning: Spoilers
Do you know Hollywood needs to spend less time on worrying about they hit all the Right or should I say left checkboxes, The more time focusing on the actual movie the plot and the writing.

One black main character, check! One Hispanic main character, check! One Trump supporter bad guy, check! Writing that made sense and plot that made sense? FAIL!.

I don't typically take a stand on saying that characters in the movie make bad decisions because as someone who has experience very stressful situations individuals who are not trained for them tend to make bad decisions. However the decisions that were made in this movie from the kidnappers to the boys some cells were so bad that all you could do was laugh at how hilariously stupid they were. I just going to point this one part out the kidnapper takes two boys takes the time to put one of them in a locked room and then completely forgets about the other one It was in the trunk of a car. After putting the other kid in the locked room the kidnapper decided make some himself a cup of tea. Meanwhile the boy in the trunk escapes and instead of running to get Help makes the decision to go back and try to save his friend. Now you don't have to be a trained person and stressful situation to know that the kid would not have gone back he would've gone and got help and that would've been the right choice that would've been the obvious choice. But if that would've happened in this movie it Would've ended in about 30 minutes and that would've been the very best thing that could've happened to this movie.

Honestly if the movie was even halfway decent I'd be willing to overlook their pathetic political agenda but unfortunately this movie was a catastrophe. I have news for Hollywood you're not really doing your agendas any favors by making bad movies that nobody wants to watch and can't even make it through the first five minutes. Another major failure.
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The plot is incredibly stupid!
charlesantoinedutil1 August 2021
The plot can't get any worse.. The kids make decisions that make my brain hurt The actors are the only slightly good thing about that movie.. This movie is all about being stupid.
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Dumb and Dumber
salemsol13 September 2021
This kid had all the time in the world to get his friend and be out. What were the writers thinking? It was like watching someone play the worst game of Hello Neighbor.
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The Writers Must Be Younger Than The Actors
BillGreene20 March 2022
The Writers give themselves away, early on, with their lack of understanding about human nature and their own vulnerabilities to cliches. Sadly, it took two of them to write this and two of.them to direct.
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So I married a MAGA Murderer
sfrostman13 September 2021
To say this movie was suspenseful would be to kind, humorous would be more accurate. The move starts off promising in the first 5 minutes.

The movie features hysterical children lots of suspense cliches and a car with a MAGA bumper sticker. We are to assume the villains are Trump supporters. Completely unoriginal plot it's propaganda ... whatever your political affiliation it's lame.

Leave your politics out of the film. The writers are looking for cheap thrills nothing more. The main villain made me chuckle. Especially with the shining reference. At that point I knew the movie didn't take itself seriously.

Do yourself a favor miss this one. Unless you want a good laugh.
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Likeable kids and a tense story ensure this film works
jtindahouse4 August 2021
Warning: Spoilers
Kids in horror movies (most genres actually to be fair) are a real sign to steer away from in my experience. There are two main reasons for this. One, they are safe. Very few movies are willing to harm children and so any tension built around those characters is always false. The other reason is that they are often very annoying. So I actually had no intention of watching 'The Boy Behind the Door' until someone else watched it and told me it was very good. I'm glad I did, because this film didn't fall into either of those traps.

This paragraph contains some spoilers. The film does unfortunately fall into some sloppy writing pitfalls near the end. The old one of someone being shot (a child none the less) and having nothing more than a slight limp. I've talked to someone who has been shot and they said it is the most painful thing that has ever happened to them by a comfortable margin. Also a cop at the end saying "Let's get you kids home." Again one of them has been shot. You need to get them to the hospital. Finally, a cop being shot and apparently there was no follow up on this. Cops don't just go out willy-nilly and if they get shot then too bad.

The rest of the film though is pretty tight. There's a very good twist halfway through. The kids were likable. A menacing villain meant that they didn't always feel safe. 'The Boy Behind the Door' was a surprisingly good time and a film that I would recommend checking out. 8/10.
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I would have given the a good review until...
johnlathrop19 March 2022
Why did this move HAVE TO GO POLITICAL. They writers of this movie had to show the bad guys vehicle with a "Make America Great" bumper sticker. Hollywood is just a propaganda machine for Lying Marxist Democrats and this movie is part of it.
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Great Child Actors, Not A Fan of the Rising Action
cmharels28 September 2020
The major component of what I enjoyed about the film is the dynamic and poignant performances of the child actors in the film. However, my general feelings of the film's story progression is one of frustration and eye rolls.

I do realize that film's protagonist is a child so poorly thought out action makes sense. Child characters can't be presumed to have the most logical survival instincts. Still, I felt more irritation toward the antagonist or general logistics of the occurrences in the film.

Still, I definitely give it kudos for both taking on a dark real life subject as well as the actors performances.
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Political agenda in disguise
smcbride-9515724 October 2021
Crazy how blunt they are in this movie about their political party. Not entertainment at all.

Also the kidnappers are dumber than the home alone movie, too many stupid things.

They kids can act though that's it.
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Very well acted, tense, atmospheric, well shot
PedroPires9011 August 2021
As a thriller/suspense film it's probably a 7, very tense, with a good atmosphere and a good score. I would say that the friendship between the kids, their acting and the very ending transform this in a 8, as it adds a new layer to just "a simple good thriller".

PS: Loved the sticker. It's their art, their product, so writers/directors should represent whatever they want. 😉
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Directors always gotta inject politics
Dime-Baggins17 January 2022
It was tolerable until they show a 'Make America Great Again' bumper sticker on the bad guys car. Ended up shutting it off after that. I don't understand how crapping on half your audience is gonna sell your low budget movie with boring plot.
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Not Bad
Draysan-Jennings5 August 2021
I actually kinda liked this movie. It had all the elements of a classic cat and mouse thriller with just the right amount of stupid decisions. It got a little ridiculous with all the missed opportunities to escape but I was still somehow entertained. I especially liked the shot of the Make America Great Again bumper sticker. That was hilarious, but we all know Democrat's are the real child traffickers. All in all this movie wasn't bad. Not something I'd watch again but I will say it's worth checking out . 6 stars.
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pjkblue-3592627 March 2022
Warning: Spoilers
At least it was a payday for the cast and crew.

Were they trying to make a bad movie?

This could be one of the most moronic, predictable and poorly acted films I have seen in a long time. Just as bad as the new "Cats" CGI mess.

First...what 12 year old would get out of a trunk and hang around but not run down to the road and try to get to help?

He breaks into the large, unknown house and walks around like he knows every nook and cranny, checking other rooms and able to stay away from the first kidnapper.

Of course, he somehow doesn't get overpowered by the man in the kitchen, then stabs the guy who bleeds out and dies.

You can figure out that kidnapper #2 is a woman since they never showed the second person early on.

The kid then drags a dead-weight/dead body and rolls him down an back outside staircase leaving a blood smear. Then amazingly, the kid hears kidnapper #2 coming and cleans up a blood soaked/streaked floor with only - LOL! - TWO towels!

The kid has the wherewithal to hide under a bed, watch the kidnapper open a safe and stash money away, as well as remembering the keypad combination. Then, being psychic, he somehow knows how long the kidnapper will be not in the area and opens the safe and calmly checks out the safe and some human trafficking/pedophile photos. Back under the bed he goes and doesn't use the kitchen knife he has to slice both Achillies tendons of the kidnapper. One would think that would be in his repertoire of tricks.

The old telephone: the police dispatcher says stay on the line and instead of hiding the phone behind the curtain with the handset disconnected so the line would be tracible, he unplugs it.

Let's see...oh, yes. After the policeman was axed (cheap copy of the axe hit in "The Shining" as well as the door smash with the axe and the bathroom scene where the kid cuts the kidnapper's hand) our intrepid hero goes back into the house instead of going to the police cruiser to radio for help.

What else...why didn't they just look for the sensor that activates the neck shock collar? Or better yet, just step over the beam of light? The collar also had a buckle, so he couldn't figure out how to unbuckle it?

Oh dear...I can't even believe I just watched 90 minutes of this foolish film. It wasn't any "cat and mouse game", it wasn't any type of thriller with any redeemable or remarkable "scares" and when was the last time you saw a "generic" police cruiser: no ID on the doors as to where the "fictitious" locality was, even if the made up a town it would at least been reasonable to see.

I'm sure I missed a lot more stupefying and ridiculous moments but this is giving me a headache even remembering the $3.24 I paid on VuDu.

I hope at least the catering company got some good business!
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The Movie That Could've Been
mmusa-524458 August 2021
My title should've been the title of this movie.

1. Was the MAGA sticker in the back of the car necessary, what were the writers insinuating?

2. Cleanup was a mess, impossible to clean up all those blood in so little time with just two hand he towels

3. Numerous times the main character, the hero, the boy could've just grab the predators weapon(s) and either put the baddie away or incapacitate completely. The Gun, the Ax, etc. Could've been used differently to incapacitate the villain

4. When the boy was shot running away, he was hot in the back of the thighs, next scene, you see him stopping the blood from the back above his calves.

5. The last scene when the cop/sheriff told the other officer to take them boys home instead of seeking medical assistance. One of the boys have a bullet wound for crying outloud.

Above observations are just what I remembered, the may be more I may have missed.

Like I said, this movie could've been so much better. The story and pacing was good but the important parts they missed or intentionally placed are so obvious. I blame the writers, directors, and producers of this film.
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devils_neighbor_66726 December 2021
Yes there are a few too many (wow that was close) moments, and the kid had many opportunities to run away for help. But it's so well acted, tense and thrilling that you can see past that.
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Either we're all getting dumber or someone's paying off critics
jlindstrom131 August 2021
I never make an effort to write reviews, generally just read them if I'm making my mind up to invest time for a new film-and this time something seriously is afoot here.

This movie was painfully, woefully dumb. Lazy writing, ridiculous plot with even more ridiculous loop holes and confusing, insulting character & narrative choices. I was so excited to screen this based off all the hype, and walked away wondering when the last time was I'd seen such a seriously weak film.

Whatever is going on here with current critical reviews, I'm not sure, but buyer beware. Unless your thing is to rejoice in the concept of being proudly offended by a topic that's literally been around for centuries - which isn't even taken on here with any real sense of bravery or understanding by the writers - or the theme of best friends till the end in a film can erase any & all of your general common sense and expectations of quality, reality, detail and respect to your intelligences, then I'd highly recommend passing this one up.

As a true lover of all genres of film, again, just wow. What a total bomb this was, not to mention a waste of time.
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Worst script EVER
neannehung6 September 2021
Unrealistic storyline, this kid has multiple times to escape but chooses to stay and hide in the most stupidest places you could think of. Two tea towels to clean up blood from a dead body and then hiding under a bed to moving a chest of drawers to nose at pics all whilst the kidnapper is in the en suite taking a shower lol FIRE THE SCRIPT WRITERS...
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