The Loneliest Boy in the World is billed as a modern fairytale—except with zombies. When the sheltered and unsocialized Oliver is tasked with making new friends after the sudden and devastating death of his mother, he decides that digging a few up (literally) might be his best bet. However, when he awakens the morning after his excavating escapades, he discovers that his newly acquired friends have mysteriously come to life overnight, launching them all into a series of misadventures as they try to keep their secret safe from neighbors, classmates and social workers alike.
What We Thought:
Part of me liked The Loneliest Boy in the World, part of me expected something different. It has a fun 1980s camp factor, but it also doesn’t explain how the zombies came back to life. I kept expecting more, like a total mental breakdown being the explanation for the zombies, but ultimately it’s just a dark comedy that doesn’t explain itself.
A teen boy in the 1980s loses his mother in an absurd accident. I’ll be honest, I howled at that scene. It’s a strange movie, but even that scene is pretty over-the-top laughable. After returning home from a mental asylum, two social workers give him a week to make friends or he can’t stay on his own. The problem is, he was raised by his mother, never had friends and doesn’t know how to make any. He watches Alf, makes frozen pizzas and talks to his mother at her grave.
So he does what anyone would do in that situation, he digs up some dead people and brings them home. Some died in a plane accident, one had a funny death in a car. Without explanation they become zombies and he finally has some friends. His friends become like his new family and help him on a date and to take care of bullies. Yeah, it’s weird.
But honestly, I kind of liked it. The lack of an explanation made me have different expectations, but the lead actor playing the boy gives a great performance as this weird, super positive outcast. A different actor and the film doesn’t work at all. He gives it his best effort and I liked him for it. The setting, the 80s backdrop with Alf and music also worked for me.
The Loneliest Boy in the World isn’t for everyone. If you hate it, I get it, but it overall worked for me I guess. I could see myself watching it again at some point because it’s just different enough to be watchable. Don’t go in expecting a zombie flick or you’ll be disappointed. It’s pretty out there and I can respect that. If you liked dark comedies like Brigsby Bear you could like this.