- Alternative Character Interpretation: It seems like the Heelshires were built on this trope. Seriously you could ask twenty different people the reasons for their actions and odds are you'll get a different answer from each and that's just assuming they're on the same boat about everything (which itself is up for debate). Aside from the more common questions about the moral conundrums of them sheltering their Psychopathic Man Child within their home instead of bringing him to justice and leading many potential nannies unwittingly to their doom, there are also other aspects of the film that call their character into question, such as the fire that only occurred in Brahms's room. Did they start it, if so why? Also did they kill themselves out of guilt, or was it them taking the easy way out instead of facing some hard earned jail time? Good luck sussing all that out.
- Broken Base: The audience is divided by the dispute about whether the final twist is an original deconstruction of the Creepy Doll or an inappropriate transformation of an effective paranormal thriller into a Cliché Storm Slasher Movie.
- Draco in Leather Pants: Brahms. He definitely is not the guy with whom you want to have a relationship, but his slightly stunning appearance makes him rather charismatic.
- Heartwarming Moments: Brahms apologizing for playing pranks on Greta by leaving a sandwich outside her bedroom. It's after this event that Greta realizes that all Brahms wants is to be taken care of and she starts taking her job seriously from that point on. However, this moment becomes Harsher in Hindsight when the twist comes in.
- Jerkass Woobie:
- The Heelshires. While leaving Greta at the bay of their murderous son is definitely a bad thing, you can't blame them for being desperate to escape him. The fact that they committed suicide after they left could be interpreted as them not being able to handle the guilt of having protected Brahms' secret for so long and for leaving an innocent woman at the mercy of a dangerous killer.
- Brahms himself. A lot of the tragedy that happens in the movie could have been averted if he had gotten the professional help he desperately needed. Instead he gets burnt in a fire which must leave him in no small amount of pain, for which he, presumably isn't getting any medical attention for, can only communicate with people via the doll while he has to stay hidden within his own house, and mind you the only people he can talk to completely abandon him. By the time Greta arrives, its really no wonder he's gone completely Axe-Crazy.
- Harsher in Hindsight: Although numerous Accidental Innuendo like "it looks like he wanted a young .. and beautiful" and "he wants you" is pretty creepy, they get a second level of disgust after the final turn.
- Moral Event Horizon:
- Brahms crossed it before the events of the movie when he killed his playmate.
- The Heelshires crossed it when they basically gave Brahms Greta so he could "have her" and they decide to kill themselves to not live with the pain. And it's implied this isn't the first time they did this..
- Greta's ex-husband Cole crossed it when he abused her so badly that she miscarried.
- So Okay, It's Average: General consensus sees the movie as decent at best, focusing less on doing jump scares and the twist ending working to it's advantage.
- Squick: The adult Brahms keeps a makeshift doll wearing Greta's dress in his bed, if one looks closely there appears to be a couple balled up tissues on the bed. Draw your own conclusions.
- Unintentionally Unsympathetic: Greta makes absolutely no effort to do the job she's being paid for for a surprisingly large portion of the film. Considering she herself finds it weird that she's taking care of a doll, it somewhat is understandable. She does become more sympathetic when we learn she suffered a miscarriage because of her abusive ex, hence why she slowly becomes attached to the doll. Even so, she always had the option of simply refusing to take the job. It's implied that she's paid quite well, in addition to having no living expenses since she stays in the Heelshires' house.
- Uncanny Valley: Doll Brahms.
YMMV / The Boy