Brahms: The Boy II
by Hope Madden
Wow. Who would have guessed that director William Brent Bell could drive his lackluster 2016 scary doll flick The Boy to a sequel? Not the half dozen or so of us who saw it.
But here you have it, Brahms: The Boy II is a real live movie.
Katie Holmes is in it. She plays Liza, concerned mum. She and her youngster Jude (Christopher Convery) survived a trauma and now they are recuperating, along with supportive dad Sean (Owain Yoeman), in an old English manner.
Jude finds this creepy doll buried outside, just his little white hand poking out from the ground. They take him inside and clean him up and keep him because they have never seen a horror movie.
If you have, you can definitely skip this one.
While there’s not a lot to like about Stacey Menear’s script, the problem here—as with his 2016 effort that began this whole killer plaything saga—feels more like poor direction. The story sets up a slight twist on a common horror theme: someone survives a traumatic experience only to find themselves in a potentially super natural circumstance. This begs the question, is this person insane, or is this super natural event really happening?
Scads and scads of horror films have wandered the psychological corridors of this premise. In this case, there are two possible crazies (both Liza and Jude). So, there is something here. We could twist throughout the film wondering, is this doll sentient evil? Is little Jude a budding maniac? Or is Liza suffering from PTSD and imagining it all?
We don’t wonder, though, because Bell clarifies the true culprit early and often. He’s so clear on the matter that the subsequent moments of Liza questioning her own sanity, or of Jude staring menacingly at his bully cousin, amount to an idiotic mishandling of material.
Ralph Ineson (The Witch) and his grizzled baritone make a quick appearance. There’s also a Google search or two—damn, horror movie Google searches deliver results, don’t they?! And how lucky to bump into that stranger in town who 1) asks where you live and, 2) happens to have all the info you’d ever need on the entire history of the home you’re renting. Too nutty!
But let’s be honest, do you even want to see this movie?