The Loneliest Boy in the World (2022) Review

Spoiler-free so you can read before you watch

The Loneliest Boy in the World (2022) Review

Horrorific content by adrian on August 25th, 2022 | Movie Review | Comedy, Back from the Dead, Single Mom, Zombie, Suburb, Zombie Comedy, British

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It's about Oliver, who assembles an undead family to teach him how to live after the death of his suburban mother.

The Loneliest Boy in the World was directed by Martin Owen (Let's Be Evil) and stars Ashley Benson (Ratter), Hero Fiennes Tiffin, and Ben Miller.

The Loneliest Boy in the World (2022) Review

Losing a loved one is one of the most challenging experiences a person can go through. The pain of grief can be overwhelming and all-consuming. In the face of this pain, it's not surprising that many people strongly desire to bring their loved ones back to life. Oliver does just this in the movie The Loneliest Boy in the World.

The Tim Burton-esque depiction of suburbia in The Loneliest Boy in the World signals a different type of horror movie than we're used to. One freak accident further isolates the timid and lonely Oliver, sparking a desperate quest for friendship. Unfortunately, he ends up finding it in death, which creates a touching coming-of-age story that is similar to 2006's Fido.

Oliver is a hermit who lives in the suburbs with his mother. He seldom leaves home, finding friends through her and his favorite sitcom, "Alf." This changes when a series of unfortunate events leads to mom's death, with her impaled on a garden gnome. Oliver is now at the mercy of a social worker, Margot. Margot is concerned with Oliver's lack of social interaction and mental state. She gives him a limited amount of time to find friends before she intervenes. He listens to her carefully and digs up the recently buried, bringing a makeshift family of corpses home. Overnight, his dead and decomposing family come to life and help him learn how to live.

Director Martin Owen, working from a script by Piers Ashworth, gives Oliver's story a fairy tale look. The '50s meets the '80s, making it unclear what time and place it is and giving it a surreal feeling. Oliver's view of the world is tinted by his love of sitcoms; everything appears to him in a pastel-hued glow. This perspective isn't just evident in his home's bright, candy-colored decor but in the strange, undead family he has formed.

The parents act like they're from the 1950s, the younger sister adjusts to her new role, and the older brother takes on the persona of a cooler sibling. Brief glimpses into the people's personalities before death reveal a different, protective world in which Oliver clings tight. Through a series of humorous gags and reality-based obstacles heightened by this zombie reality, Oliver develops authentic bonds that prepare him for life.

The sets and colors in this movie are very whimsical. The makeup and prosthetics help to make the jokes about the undead family decomposing more believable. Unfortunately, the VFX occasionally makes the small, intimate story less believable; for example, a CGI zombie dachshund can be distracting instead of causing an emotional response. Owen wisely limits these moments.

Harwood is great at keeping a childlike sense of sweetness and longing; his pleasant nature makes him relatable and likable to the audience. You hope he succeeds even when he's at his most socially awkward. Unfortunately, the subplot involving Margot and her collaborator is not compelling, and it feels like it's only there for the humor later.

Worth Watching? 

"The Loneliest Boy in the World" is a fairy tale that uses the sitcom format to satirize the nuclear family while offering the protagonist a chance for growth through escapism. It is a charming story that tells a straightforward plot with mainly expected beats. The delightful zombie comedy is an amusing way of dealing with death.

The Loneliest Boy in the World Review (2022) Worth Watching? - ALL HORROR Tweet it

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