The scary doll “Annabelle” has now made three films. Now her male counterpart follows suit and gets with BRAHMS: THE BOY 2 a sequel that makes you wonder whether the makers even understood the strengths of their previous film. We reveal more about this in our review.
Jude has found a friend in Brahms.
The plot summary
Liza (Katie Holmes) and Sean (Owain Yeoman) and their son Jude (Christopher Convery) form a happy family. Until one day this harmony is shaken to its foundations: mother and son become victims of an attack, as a result of which the boy stops communicating with those around him overnight. In order to recover from this trauma, the family moves far away from the scene of the horror and moves into the guest house of the Heelshire estate. But none of them have any idea of the terrible past that overshadows this place. When Jude, to the surprise of his parents, finds a new friend on site, everything initially seems fine. But this new friend is not a boy of the same age, but Brahms, a porcelain doll whose influence on the youngest member of the family takes on increasingly frightening features…
Brahms: The Boy 2 Movie Meaning of ending
“This is a little different!” we announced almost exactly four years ago in our review of William Brent Bell’s “The Boy ,” when we put the horror film about a creepy doll named Brahms in the same breath as films like “Poltergeist,” “ Annabelle” and “Chucky – The Murderer Doll” were compared. What we meant by that was the following – and at this point there are spoilers for the first “The Boy” film: Unlike the genre contributions mentioned, this was not about a cursed toy that develops a deadly life of its own. Instead, the otherwise quite interchangeable FSK-12 horror film proved to be surprisingly clever in the finale. The danger did not come from the doll itself, but from a person living in the walls of an old mansion who was trying to communicate with Brahms’ help. Not so stupid: If everything in horror films always points to a haunting, that’s usually the case. Screenwriter Stacey Menear skillfully played with expectations at this point when she didn’t deliver what was expected of her. Few people would have expected to follow up with “Brahms: The Boy II”. Actually, the story about the eponymous porcelain journeyman had already been told. But as it is, when a film grosses more than six times its budget (in this country the film was probably a success due to its low age rating in the horror genre), the sequel is not far away. The only question is whether everyone involved was at least somewhat aware of the events of the predecessor, because in the second part they simply throw the concept overboard. And that takes revenge worse than Brahms…
Liza (Katie Holmes) and her son Jude (Christopher Convery), along with doll Brahms.
With Lauren Cohan and James Russell, two actors from the first “The Boy” film canceled the sequel. The actress’s busy schedule was communicated, but the Brahms actor’s schedule was kept silent. It makes sense to assume that the embarrassing quality of the script (again by Stacey Menear) may have played a not unimportant role. It should be noted that as a script for a stand-alone, again very tame puppet horror film released for ages twelve and up, “Brahms: The Boy II” would even cut a halfway passable figure. Although the game is tiring with standardized jump scares, as the camera work by the German Karl Walter Lindenlaub (“Fully hungover”) is simply far too predictable in terms of speed, selected motifs as well as brightness and darkness, the ominous setting of an old, dilapidated mansion is pleasing with its richness -green gardens and the dark wood paneled guest house where the family lives. In terms of motifs, none of it is particularly original. The fact that “Brahms: The Boy II” doesn’t even say that this ominously isolated property would be the perfect location for a horror film can only be explained by the fact that director William Brent Bell (“Devil Inside”) once again focused on a very special one serious tonality. There is nothing ironic, self-referential or tongue-in-cheek here. And you have to be honest: If you’ve never seen a horror film before, the depressed atmosphere will probably seem quite impressive.
So that it doesn’t just arise from the situation in which a little boy is suddenly obsessed with a scary-looking doll, which also seems to have a surprising amount of influence on the young man, the creators establish an even more frightening (and also… really threatening!) Scenario: In the very first scene, mother Liza and her son Jude become victims of brutal burglars, as a result of which Jude stops speaking and his parents move with him to the country. Ultimately, the fact that two people are severely traumatized by a real crime hardly matters. Jude speaks normally again sooner than expected, and the few nightmares that Liza has to deal with only serve to add a few more jump scares to the film than it already doesn’t. In order to take “Brahms: The Boy II” seriously on a dramatic level, the film is ultimately far too outrageous anyway. And that mainly has to do with the fact that the makers are moving away from anchoring their horror in reality. Instead, with their doll horror sequel, they end up slipping into the realms that “Annabelle” and Co. did years ago. And conversely, this even reduces the events from “The Boy” to absurdity.
Why with Katie Holmes (“Logan Lucky”) The fact that there is a really well-known actress in the cast can only be explained by the self-sacrificing mother role that she gets to play in “Brahms: The Boy II”. And she does it well, but she isn’t asked to do it at all. Because with her dramatic figure she remains stuck in theory in terms of acting. In reality, William Brent Bell is never interested in telling a sincere drama. Instead, the film ultimately drifts into ever more occult realms, whose actually quite predictable development (including an obtrusive cliffhanger for a possible third part – you never know!) you just don’t realize for long stretches because you simply can’t believe it. how the story develops here. “The Boy II” actually has the potential to draw strength from the nasty atmosphere itself in several places. When Jude one day has to deal with the unpleasant son of a family friend, it’s pretty nasty to see what Brahms (or whatever force) does to the annoying little boy. But without staging the whole thing in an appealing way with blood, there’s no tingling sensation on the gore level either. Like the first part, “Brahms: The Boy II” is a film for horror beginners. But someone who doesn’t seem to understand his predecessor at all.
Conclusion: In terms of the horror factor, “Brahms: The Boy II” is in no way inferior to its poor predecessor and is therefore ideal for horror beginners. However, anyone who liked the first part because of its surprising resolution will be more than disappointed by the sequel. Because what defined “The Boy” seems to have been forgotten in “The Boy II”.
“Brahms: The Boy II” can be seen in USA cinemas from February 20th.