DIRECTOR William Brent Bell SCREENWRITER Stacey Menear STARS Katie Holmes Owain Yeoman Christopher Convery
RATING PG-13 RUNTIME 86 minutes RELEASE DATE February 21, 2020 STUDIO STXfilm
After a family moves into the Heelshire Mansion, their young son soon makes friends with a life-like doll called Brahms.
The following post contains spoilers for ‘The Boy’ (2016)
The Boy didn’t exactly redefine the haunted house sub-genre when it hit screens back in 2016. Still, it managed to stand out from similar feats of mediocrity thanks to some competent tension building and that oh-so-wild reveal at the end where we learned that Brahms, the titular creepy doll, was not possessed and that, in fact, a man living inside the manor’s walls was manipulating him the entire time. You don’t forget something that silly.
Now personally I don’t like to whip out the phrase “cash grab” because every movie is on some level an attempt to make money. That said, if ever a movie qualified for the title, it’s Brahms: The Boy II. The first film wraps up so finitely that even the idea of continuing the story goes against its very nature; however, because it recouped its production costs during its opening weekend, Hollywood law states we must get a second one.
The script desperately grasps at straws to explain the doll’s resurrection and quickly tosses the logic which guided its predecessor out with the bath water. Suddenly, Brahms is turning his ceramic head, blinking his glass eyes and running from room to room on his own volition ((later we find out he can make things fly with his mind(?) like a Jedi Master)). The presumption that moviegoers will shell out their hard-earned money for anything flashing on a movie screen regardless of such blatant carelessness isn’t just conceited, it’s insulting.
Adding insult to injury is the total lack of scares. Brahms excessively relies on overt musical cues from Brett Detar’s score to remind us that we should be squirming in our seats. After the first 30 minutes, those cues became more obnoxious than anything else.
Having said all this, I’m also of the belief that no movie is without some merit. What director William Brent Bell does succeed at here is fostering an environment which encourages wonderful performances from his cast. The three leads share essentially every single scene here and never did I feel the necessity or want to introduce new personalities. They were always enough, even if the rest of the film left much to be desired.
Those are my thoughts on Brahms: The Boy II. Have you check the film out yet? Is it even something you ever plan on getting around to? Sound off in the comments below and let me know your thoughts either way! I want to hear from you!