BRAHMS: THE BOY II


WARNING:
Spoilers for Brahms: The Boy II ahead… but really, who cares? 
 
I never saw the first The Boy movie, but by all accounts, it’s absolutely terrible. It was just another spooky doll movie, but there was one unique twist that made it seem a bit more interesting: it turns out the doll isn’t really alive and real villain has been living inside the walls of the house the whole time. It’s stupid and you really have to suspend your disbelief, but at least it was unique. How does one do a sequel with a spooky doll when the whole concept is that the doll isn’t even alive? I don’t even think the filmmakers knew. 
 
Brahms: The Boy II follows mother Liza (Katie Holmes), who suffers a violent home invasion, along with her son. Terrified to stay in the area, she and her family move across country, right across the street from a spooky mansion where crazy old people resided. On the creepy house’s grounds, her son Jude (Christopher Convery) finds a doll buried in the ground. He tells his parents that the doll told him his name is Brahms, and while they’re satisfied their son is now happy, they become more and more concerned as Brahms convinces Jude to tear their family apart. 
 
As I mentioned above, The Boy was critically maligned, but the audiences weren’t too hot about it either. Whenever a horror film has a negative reaction from critics and audiences, you know it’s gonna be terrible. So, who was really clamoring for a Boy sequel? Clearly just the studio, who brought back director William Brent Bell and screenwriting Stacey Menear to “tell us the truth about Brahms”, like he’s some kind of horror icon. So, what ends up being the truth about Brahms? Well, it turns out he actually is a sentient, evil doll that’s been around for decades, influencing kids to murder their families, before he moves onto the next one. Not only is it now just a vague ripoff of Sinister, but it seems to undermine and retcon everything that was revealed in the first film. Unless your name is Charles Lee Ray, you are the antithesis of scary when you’re a horror movie doll. The ending for the first film seemed stupid, sure, but at least it turned out to not be just another generic killer doll movie. 
 
Since this is now just a generic killer doll movie, it means we get all of the classic, erm, I mean, cliched scenes of the kid silently interacting with the doll, being off-putting and weird, the parents trying to get the kid to tell the truth, and the kid telling him the doll is doing everything the whole time. Since the trauma of the home invasion has left Jude speechless, he communicates simply with pen and paper (he writes amazingly fast for someone his age), which I guess it supposed to make it creepier? I don’t know. It seems like to me that this Christopher Convery kid was an awful actor during the screen tests, so they took out as much dialogue for him as they could. Since the kid is just a blank slate, he’s a horribly boring character who just sits around and stares off into space. It’s the classic non-Chucky killer doll scenario where the doll does absolutely nothing and the filmmakers follow suit. 
 
And I mean literally nothing happens here, not just in the scares, but in the story department. The first ten minutes don’t even feel like a horror movie. It opens with a sudden home invasion on Liza and Jude, which is a genuinely realistic and disturbing, but that’s the only time the movie is even close to suspenseful. They set up here and with a couple other moments that she’s having PTSD from this traumatic event, but it’s never resolved in a satisfying way. Even worse, it doesn’t even connect to any of the stuff with Brahms. When she eventually defeats him at the end, it’s not satisfying, because it’s not tied into her actual character. She’s still the same traumatized woman she was before. So, all you really get is a kid carrying a doll and writing stuff in a notepad, while his parents look concerned. 
 
Brahms: The Boy II is the third horror film released this year and it joins the club with The Grudge (2020) and Gretel & Hansel, as some early contenders for the worst movies of the year, but some of the worst horror films of all time. At least those other two films had a bit of passion in them, but there’s no passion to be found here. Everyone looks like they’re just ready to get out of there and head right down to the bank to cash their check. We all found out the truth about Brahms here… it turns out he just sucks. 
 
1.5/10 

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