Thursday, February 27, 2020

Review: Brahms: The Boy II

Release date: February 21, 2020
Running time: 96 minutes
Starring: Katie Holmes, Owain Yeoman, Christopher Convery

The Boy was a creepy and surprisingly enjoyable 2016 movie about a porcelain doll who was taken care of by a grieving family.  The movie was self-contained, had a good amount of tension throughout, and concluded with a satisfying, if ridiculous ending.  Brahms: The Boy II continues this story when a family finds the porcelain doll after moving near the house of the first movie.  As soon as they bring Brahms home, their young son changes and strange occurrences happen around the house.  

Brahms: The Boy II keeps many of the things that made the first movie an enjoyable thriller.  The doll Brahms is back and he seemingly is alive despite him being an inanimate doll.  There is plenty of tension as things happen around the house that appear to be caused by this doll, and several unexplained noises and events occur.  And the film has some solid performances.  It was good to see Katie Holmes back on the big screen, and young Christopher Convery does an admirable job as Jude.  Convery is especially convincing when the movie calls for some more unsettling scenes, and he effortlessly switches from innocent to sinister when needed.  

However, in this film the filmmakers tried to give Brahms more of a supernatural origin.  They use effects to manipulate the doll's expressions to give it subtle changes, for example making it appear to smile.  This Brahms is also more overt in its movement, with several scenes showing the doll actually moving.  This is a stark departure from the first move, which took great lengths to ensure that the porcelain star never overtly did anything, only suggested that it might.  This unfortunately puts a different take on the events of the first movie.  On top of movement, the filmmakers also added sound effects that sound like Brahms is talking, another change from the first movie.  And the story of this film just doesn't make a lot of sense.  There are too many convenient tragedies or plot devices that cause Brahms to enter the family's lives.  And then, with the aforementioned supernatural aspects, the film has a ridiculous plot twist towards the end that again, goes against the spirit of the first movie and some of the characters.  It really is a shame because I genuinely enjoyed the first movie and was curious to see how a sequel would be handled.  Sadly, I doubt we will be getting a third film in this franchise.  

Brahms: The Boy II has many similarities to the original film, especially the creepy doll Brahms and some solid performances, but is ultimately a sequel to a film that did not need one.

Pass on it.

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