Review of "Brahms: The Boy II” by The Headless Critic
Brahms: The Boy II - 2020
Production by: STX Entertainment, Lakeshore Entertainment, Huayo Brothers
Distribution by: STX Entertainment
A brutal home invasion traumatizes Liza (Katie Holmes) and her young son Jude (Christopher Convery) when a robbery leaves her with a head injury as her son is left watching helpless. Her husband Sean (Owain Yeoman) spent that time as he often does in London working overtime, leaving his family alone. Now Liza keeps having flashbacks to the event and their son Jude has select mutism and hasn’t spoken since that night. Needing to get out of the home where the invasion happened, the family moves to the remote English countryside into the beautiful guest house on the grounds of the abandoned Heelshire Manor. As soon as they arrive to their new home Jude unearths a buried doll in the woods of the estate. At first the doll he calls Brahms seems to be helping Jude communicate more with his parents. Then their selectively mute son begins acting out against his parents blaming the doll Brahms for any actions his parents don’t like. Did the event that triggered the boy not to speak cause him to act out in these increasingly volatile ways or is their more to Brahms than his ceramic face and stuffed body?
A selectively mute kid named Jude who writes really fast and never runs out of paper, played by Cristopher Convery walks into the life of Brahms. Convery looks like a little version of Millicent Simmonds’ character Regan from A Quiet Place. He also looks the part of a doll himself. Convery can walk around quiet in a place perfectly enough but when it comes time for his lines the young actor’s doesn’t deliver. Liza’s husband Sean is basically a non-character in the film, conveniently gone for most of the movie. Katie Holmes is left with the primary character in a feature with mainly five characters if you include those facetiming in. Holmes plays a frazzled mother to a troubled son, makng the forty year old actress seem far older than she actually is. The characters are very typical but overall the performances fit the film. Villager Joseph (Ralph Ineson) has the most intrigue of anyone in the film but Joseph’s dramatic turn is comically cliché ruining the best character of the movie in a childlike fashion.
The original writing and directing duo of Stacey Menear and William Brent Bell return for the next evolution of their boy Brahms. Without clearly giving everything away, if you compare the killer reveal in 2016's The Boy with the unlikely killer in 1980’s Friday the 13th, Brahms: The Boy II reverts back to exactly who you thought the killer would be in the first film, just like how Friday the 13th brought Jason Voorhees back from the dead for part 2. The British version of America's Child's Play Brahms is a whiny little brit with a list of rules compared to wisecracking Chucky. Out of all of the killer doll movies I will say that Brahms takes third billing behind Chucky and Annabelle. Puppet Master even has a ton of cool looking creations if ever done right. A noticeable decline from the unpredictable original film. The Boy II doesn’t have the same originality of a Nanny being hired to care for a doll as if it’s a child. The super natural aspects of the film are elevated for the sequel while the reality and mystery decrease. I guess you could say that The Boy II is the guest house stay of the mansion that was in the original film.
Available Now in Theaters
2 out of 5 Headless Critics