The Boy: The Best Movie About the Teenage Brain

A horror buff picks the 10 best new scary movies to stream this Halloween

10. The Boy

There’s a new film out, The Boy, and it’s great. It’s the story of four teenagers, two boys (Matthew McConaughey, Thomas Jane and John Malkovich) and two girls, one boy and one girl (Dakota Johnson, Chloë Grace Moretz), who have a strange bond as they learn to cope with their fears and emotions as they navigate adolescence. As the years go by, they learn to understand themselves and each other’s fears and strengths, and the film touches on all manner of complex issues, from anxiety and depression to the psychological impact of religion on young people, identity theft from social media and a variety of other issues. And as always, there are lots of laughs.

The Boy has been described as the “Best Movie About the Teenage Brain” and the “Smartest Movie Ever”, and it’s certainly not the only smart or cerebral movie out this season. What it does do, though, is have the acting chops of a classic horror film. Matthew McConaughey is a truly terrific actor, but who better to play a young man learning to cope with a crippling fear of the dark than Thomas Jane, whose performance in A Single Man was also very impressive. Dakota Johnson does great things in these roles, as her character deals with a range of emotions. She’s funny, she has a sense of humor about her vulnerability, and she’s an able actress. Chloë Grace Moretz is perfect as the girl who doesn’t want to be noticed.

All four teenagers do a fine job of conveying a kind of maturity and acceptance, and it is not the least bit surprising that so many critics have raved about it. I myself found the film to be quite good, and I will definitely be watching it when it arrives in theaters on October 9.

9. The Witch

When you have a horror movie that’s based on a true story–when you actually have a real witch in the movie–it’s very easy to fall down that rabbit hole and fall in love with your character. And that’s exactly what The Witch does. It’s a real witch, played by Anjelica Huston, and based on a real historical figure, the 17th century

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