Film: Brahms The Boy II
Director: William Brent Bell
Cast: Katie Holmes, Christopher Convery, Owain Yeoman, Ralph Ineson, Anjali Jay, Oliver Rice, Joely Collins, Natalie Moon
The writer-director duo Stacey Minear and William Brent Bell wanting to extend their lacklustre horror focused universe that hoped to drive home some terror (like in the Chucky franchise), to a second outing, is quite preposterous. The first entry The Boy failed to drum up enthusiasm at the Box office wherever it was released. This sequel to the 2016 scary doll flick is both loose in mythology and rather tiresome in narration.
Liza (Katie Holmes), and her son Jude (Christopher Convery) have just survived a traumatic home invasion – so Sean (Owain Yoeman), the supportive husband and father decides to relocate his family to an old English manor. But the atmosphere there is not as tranquil and healing as the family expect. The discovery of a porcelain doll with a sinister history spells terror in that idyllic set-up.
Simplistic scares, loud shrieks representing Liza’s nightmares, suspicious atmosphere, spookiness etc are heavily overplayed here. Brahms not only tortures Joseph’s dog, Oz, but also unleashes painful horrors on children. Liza researches Brahms’s history (there’s a production number stamped on his foot) thus learning what the doll has been up to for the last few decades and more. This is no mystery horror thriller even given the fact that there’s an attempt to sidestep the viewer with some clumsy focus on Liza’s traumatic experience and its possible outcomes.
Brahms hanging around the old mansion in the British countryside is pretty much clichéd. The setting of the new haunting doesn’t have the Gothic atmosphere required to augment the creeps. Lacklustre scripting, cursory characterisation, underdeveloped story and poor direction plague this porcelain monster mess. This woefully misguided franchise redirection has precious little to offer even to the horror fans!