Screamfest movie review: ‘Loneliest Boy in the World’ is a heartwarming zombie adventure


Max Harwood is “the loneliest boy in the world”. Photo courtesy of Well Go USA Entertainment

LOS ANGELES, Oct. 13 (UPI) — The loneliest boy in the world, which premiered Wednesday at the Screamfest horror festival, is an original comedy horror. It has a lot of horror dog gore and violence, but also a surreal heart.

Julius (Evan Ross) and Margot (Ashley Benson) are going to visit Oliver (Max Harwood) before a hearing in a week to determine if Oliver is fit to live on his own.

Oliver lives in the pink-decorated house he shared with his mother (Carol Anne Watts), who died in a bizarre and graphic accident shown in flashback. Oliver tries to befriend Chloe (Tallulah Haddon) at school, but he gets along much better with the recently deceased bodies he digs up from the cemetery.

The bodies of Mitch (Hero Fiennes Tiffin), Susanne (Susan Wokoma), Frank (Ben Miller), and Mel (Zenobia Williams) become Oliver’s family. They come to life when he speaks to them, though they still bear the wounds responsible for their death.

All the aesthetics of The loneliest boy is artificial sets on a sound stage. The pink house and its backyard look 50s, and its big-screen, well-lit, and colorful presentation gives Loneliest Boy an edge over many theatrical studio films now.

Olivier watches ALF on VHS tapes on an old TV, which says the 80s, but he recorded them when they were on TV, so he had to keep them for a while. If Oliver is still in high school, maybe his mom recorded them for him before he was born.

Julius, Margot and Chloe seem to live in the present day, creating a juxtaposition with Oliver’s world. The town they live in is called Hubris, which is fanciful in itself.

The movie seems to sympathize with Oliver. He obviously knows that living with corpses is unhealthy, but he doesn’t judge him for it.

Throughout this endeavor, Oliver opens up to living people. In addition to Chloe, he also talks to the gravediggers in the cemetery.

The theme here could simply be that if you give shy people enough time, they will open up on their own terms. But then Oliver’s zombies also start interacting with his living friends, so the rules aren’t clear – but still fun.

The makeup is good, the friendly zombies are a sweet support system for Oliver, and the film champions creating your own family wherever you can find it. Well Go USA Entertainment will release The loneliest boy in the world for morbid dreamers to see.

Fred Topel, who attended film school at Ithaca College, is a Los Angeles-based UPI entertainment writer. He has been a professional film critic since 1999, Rotten Tomatoes critic since 2001, and a member of the Television Critics Association since 2012. Learn more about his work in Entertainment.

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