The Boy Behind the Door is a tough movie to recommend because it's a tough movie to watch. I mean, how can you in good conscience recommend something that features more than one scene of a kid being tortured?
I think you can as long as it doesn't feel exploitative, and as long as it's well done, and The Boy Behind the Door succeeds on both those fronts. This is definitely one of most intense suspense stories I've seen in a long time, even if some of the characters do exactly the things in horror movies that make you want to yell at the screen, "WHAT ARE YOU DOING?! DON'T DO THAT!"
There's nothing supernatural here, just the real life horror of the kidnapping of two boys, Bobby (Lonnie Chavis from TV's This Is Us), and Kevin (Ezra Dewey, who impressed me earlier this year in his role as mute boy in the indie horror film The Djinn). One boy is able to break free but doesn't escape. Instead he stays behind, trying to rescue his friend from the kidnappers, resulting in a nail-biting 90 minutes of creeping, fleeing, fighting, and, yes, some gouging.
This isn't a "fun" horror movie, but it's a very effective and often surprising one; I'm glad I watched it. But I'll probably never watch it again...
The Boy Next Door is currently streaming on Shudder.