Cast: Katie Holmes, Owain Yeoman, Christopher Convery, Ralph Ineson
Director: William Brent Bell
When Patrice O’Neal was alive, he suggested that someone should make a show deciding when celebrities are officially washed up. If this show ever came into fruition, then 2020 would be the year Katie Holmes ended up on this list, because she’s on the downward slope to nowhere. Seriously, is Brahms: The Boy II the best movie her agent can get her? A nonsense, typical horror movie that continues the trend of mediocrity in the genre, Brahms: The Boy II isn’t the worst movie of the year, but it certainly gives the lower ones a run for their money.
The film follows a family that is impacted by a home invasion leaving the mother Liza (Holmes) with a head injury and the son Jude (Convery) refusing to speak. Looking to move on from this experience, they move to a house out in the country where Jude discovers a buried toy doll named Brahms and he begins to open up because of the doll. While his family sees this as a good thing, what they soon realize is this doll may not be as benevolent as it seems and there are consequences for having Brahms in their life. While Brahms: The Boy II isn’t the worst horror movie to be released this year, it doesn’t exactly go out of its way to be one of the best. This movie feels like a copy and paste version of the original one with very little detail added in this attempt. Sure the characters and premise are new, but when you follow an almost identical format as the previous movie it leaves little incentive to watch a new version. Don’t get me wrong, there are a few good moments of tension that keep the movie afloat, but this is a genre with many peaks and valleys and Brahms: The Boy II doesn’t exactly go out of its way to be one of the best. For an early year horror movie, it won’t end up being one of the worst ones I’ve seen, but it sure would be nice to see something truly fascinating come out this time of year. One thing I’ve been wondering for a while is when did horror movies lose their ability to be scary? I’m not talking about the tense, creepy movies like Midsommar, but when did mainstream horror movies just decide to not try for scares? I guess PG-13 audiences might find this frightening, but if you’ve seen more than five horror movies in your lifetime you’ll catch the tropes almost immediately. I wouldn’t exactly call Bell’s career as a director a resounding success, but you’d think after all this time in the industry he’d learn from his mistakes and make something somewhat decent. The fact that we see glimpses of a potentially good movie hurts that much more shows that maybe the right director could’ve done something with this material. I think horror is just one of those genres where you can fail upwards and continue to get great opportunities, but STX and Bell have another dud on their hands with Brahms: The Boy II.
Overall, I didn’t expect Brahms: The Boy II to shatter any box office records or be a surprise hit from STX, but there had to be a better way to make this movie. Franchises have built-in fan bases, and I have a hard time believing any fans of the original movie will walk out of this experience wanting a third one. Let’s just cut our losses with Brahms: The Boy II and move on, because I don’t think I’ll be writing about this franchise again anytime soon.
Overall Score: 3/10