Writer: Stacey Menear (Screenplay)
Starring: Katie Holmes, Owain Yeoman, Christopher Convery, Ralph Ineson, Anjali Jay, Oliver Rice
Plot: After a family moves into the Heelshire Mansion, their young son soon makes friends with a life-like doll called Brahms.
Tagline – He’s made a friend
Runtime: 1 Hour 26 Minutes
There may be spoilers in the rest of the review
Verdict: Too Much Baiting
Story: Brahms: The Boy II starts when Liza (Holmes) and her son Jude (Convery) suffer a burglary gone wrong, which sees Liza injured and suffering in her own way and Jude turned to a mute, communicating only with his notebook, to escape and try to rebuild their lives, Liza, Jude and Sean (Yeoman) escape to the country, to a guest house next to Heelshire Mansion.
Jude discovers Brahms the doll buried in the woodland area around the house and starts to use it to communicate, but the rules Brahms wants in place lead to Liza getting worried about the power it might be having over him and the promises it is making.
Thoughts on Brahms: The Boy II
Characters – Liza does suffer a head injury after the burglary gone wrong as she was protecting her son, she is suffering her own traumas, but is trying to stay strong for her son, even though her trauma is rubbing off on him. She does start to question Brahms, with everything that she does, being for Jude. Sean is the typical father in horror films, he will always be the child’s best mate, try to be the voice of reason and usually not around when anything scary is happening. Jude is the young boy that witnesses his mum get attacked, he used to like pranks and now he is left to communicate through a notebook, he finds Brahms and brings him back to the house and is getting overly attached to the doll. Joseph is the local groundskeeper that always appears when the story needs just a little bit more mystery or explanation thrown in.
Performances – Katie Holmes does well in the leading role, it is more her dealing with the trauma that shines through over anything to do with the horror. Owain Yeoman had a difficult job because the character is so flat, it is hard to bring him to life. Christopher Convery is creepy at times through the film, which does add plenty to the film.
Story – The story here follows a family looking to rebuild their life and solve the trauma they have been through with an extended stay in the country, only for the son Jude to find Brahms the doll and bring him back to the home to join the family, which only leads to creepy events around the house. Well, this story was a lot to digest, first I would praise the fact that we are dealing with the idea of trying to overcome a trauma, which would explain a couple of events in the film, including why the doll was used as a way of getting back on his feet and how Liza could be unsure of what she is seeing. Where the story gets confusing, is by knowing what happened in the first film and while it might well get explained, it does feel like we are watching a completely different Brahms than we saw first time out. A lot of this, does first change the tone, it is a light feeling babysitting gig, it is a personal story about overcoming something, with a much darker tone through the film, that does give us a couple of potential theories as to what will happen, I personally had three different ideas of how it would end and none of them happen.
Horror/Mystery – The horror in the film is the basic jump scares, we know we will get silence, loud noise as something scary happens, they all happen to Liza, because the mother will always be the target in this style of film, though the doll does give us a creepy vibe. The mystery is why is Brahms different this time around, while we do get the generic research and slowly unwinding story from supporting characters, we don’t get enough clues or hints to anything that happens here.
Settings – The film is set in the guest house next to the first film’s house, while still on the same land, the hallways are less creepy and we do spend time at the original house, it just isn’t the primary setting.
Special Effects – The effects in the film are used sparingly through the film, they seem weird when used around Brahms, though could be saved by something in the final act.
Scene of the Movie – Let go of the hat, that kid deserved it.
Final Thoughts – This is a sequel that feels like they wanted to try and create a franchise, the performances are good enough, the scares are basic and we don’t spend enough time on the true trauma of the characters.
Overall: Strange Sequel.