“Brahms: The Boy II” – Movie Review

Four years after reminding us why dolls are so creepy, Brahms is back to terrify us again.  But given how the first film went, how can the story even continue?  And most importantly, does the sequel justify its own existence?  Let’s take a closer at Brahms: The Boy II and find out!

(Spoiler free for this movie, but spoilers for the first one)

Already Traumatized
The film begins with Liza (Katie Holmes) and her son Jude (Christopher Convery), as they prepare dinner.  Her husband Sean (Owain Yeoman) is working late again, and won’t be able to make it.  Later that night, a home break in results in Liza getting assaulted.

Months later and Jude is suffering from selective mutism, only communicating via pen and paper.  The family moves from London out to the English countryside to get a fresh start.  There, they occupy the guest house of the Heelshire Estate.  While walking through the woods, they encounter the groundskeeper Joe (Ralph Ineson), and Jude discovers the infamous (newly repaired) doll, in the dirt.

While not a household name just yet, Ralph Ineson can be recognized from Season 2 of Game of Thrones, and The Witch.  As well as a small, non-speaking role in the last two Harry Potter films.

Right away, he takes a liking to it, and even starts speaking to it in private.  Despite being a bit creeped out by the doll, Liza and Sean are just happy that their son is starting to speak again.  But of course, creepy things ensue and cue all the same horror tropes and clichés we’re all familiar with.

Shifting Subgenres
Between Puppetmaster, Child’s Play, Annabelle, and countless others, we’ve seen a myriad of horror films about supernatural dolls carrying out evil deeds.  And while many have imagined creepy dolls coming to life, deep down, we all know that such things can’t really happen, and are merely fiction.

What made The Boy so unsettling however, was just how realistic it was.  Discovering that it wasn’t in fact the doll, but a demented adult living in the walls was all the more scarier because it could actually happen.  However, in order to prolong the storyline, Brahms: The Boy II introduces a supernatural element (which is all we’ll say to avoid spoilers).

Ultimately, the supernatural plot doesn’t seem necessary. But to be fair, it’s the only natural place to take this sequel, if said sequel was needed (which it kinda wasn’t).

Such a shift as this could work, but only if it was interesting or compelling enough to do so.  And unfortunately, Brahms: The Boy II does neither.  It just reeks of a cheap cash grab.  And what’s most unfortunate is Katie Holmes gives a pretty decent performance, as does the young Christopher Convery.  Their talents of acting deserve a much better script than this one!

Katie Holmes previously demonstrated that she can pull off horror in Don’t Be Afraid of the Dark.

What did you think of Brahms: The Boy II?  Who’s your favorite creepy doll from horror movies?  Let us know in the comments below.  And for more reviews, rankings, lists, and other fun horror content follow Halloween Year-Round on Facebook and Twitter!

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