The Grump Of Horror Reviews Brahms: The Boy II


After a traumatic event, a family move to the countryside to recover from it. Looking round, the son finds a buried doll, one incredibly life like…

The Boy was made in 2016. I know I saw it at the cinema. However, I barely remember it. I checked my old Blog as I thought I had reviewed it, but it appears I didn’t. Thankfully, I get the feeling the filmmakers realised many wouldn’t recall The Boy either so, as is often the case in sequels, we do get a character relating past events just to remind us.

This sequel is written by Stacey Menear and directed by William Brent Bell. They were also the writer and director of the first film. To give this film some credit, it doesn’t simply do the same film again.

However, as for the rest…

While their quality varies, I mostly enjoyed the Annabelle films. One of the things I like is that while there is something wrong with the doll, we never see it move. It keeps turning up in places it shouldn’t be but we, the audience, never see it happen. It makes it more creepy.

Brahms, the doll here, we see it move. And in some ways it damages the film. By letting the audience seeing it move, even a turn of its head for example, lessens the scare factor.

Well I say lessen. In truth there is nothing scary in this film at all. The trailer for the film showed a few scare moments. They didn’t work there and they don’t in the film.

Watching the film, it features just about every cliche I can think of. Jump scares that don’t work, the obligatory random character who reveals the history of the house in question, a moment where a married couple who until that point have been doing well have a moment where one essentially accuses the other of doing something (a horror cliche that annoys the hell out of me) and an ending anyone can see coming, probably from the trailer alone is also ridiculous.

The characters, you don’t care about, one in particular is so annoying, that when we see what happens to him, suggested in the trailer, you wish it had happened as soon as he turned up.

To be fair, the cast are actually okay. Katie Holmes and Owain Yeoman are perfectly fine as the parents, as is Christopher Convery as their son, Jude. Ralph Ineson plays Joseph a gamekeeper of sorts, who gets one of the ‘fill in the back story’ roles but is fine too. The rest of the cast barely register however.

While the film is well made generally, there’s nothing here to grip onto. A horror film needs atmosphere, it needs shocks or scares, something for the audience to get behind and I don’t know if it’s the writing or the direction, or both, but there’s nothing here that does that.

As I said at the beginning, I don’t recall much of The Boy and so I can’t say if this film is better or worse than it. But what I can say is that Brahms: The Boy II isn’t as bad as The Turning was.

So at least it has that going for it. Shame it has nothing else.

Rating: * out of 5

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