Brahms: The Boy II (2020)
Director: William Brent Bell
Writer: Stacey Menear
Starring: Katie Holmes, Ralph Ineson, Owain Yeoman, and Christopher Convery
Plot: Scary things start happening when a boy befriends an old doll he found in the woods.
Review: Don’t you just hate a sequel that seems to have no respect for the original? Unlike most other people, I liked The Boy. I wouldn’t necessarily call it good, but I enjoyed it. Maybe it’s because I had zero expectations. Or that I already knew the twist. Or it could be that I was looking for a decent enough Sunday afternoon movie and this fit the bill. I wasn’t looking for much. Therefore, I couldn’t really be disappointed. Plus, I really thought the twist was pretty clever. It put an interesting spin on the scary doll genre. This is just proof that not everything needs a sequel though. The trailers had me worried. That’s a pretty small space they’re living in? How could a grown man fit in those walls? Is that a dream sequence or did the doll actually move on its own? Are they just throwing out that twist? I felt like they had written themselves into a corner and there’s no way they could continue the story without crapping on the legacy of the first. I was right.
Before I go into mild spoilers, I guess I should talk a bit about the movie itself. I don’t really have a lot to say though because the movie itself doesn’t seem to have a whole lot else to say. It really doesn’t do much right, to be honest. It’s style isn’t awful, but it doesn’t really bring anything to the table either. It’s just a bunch of cheap jump scares. And, I do mean cheap. Dogs barking. Just loud noises for the sake of there being loud noises. Dream sequences. The whole team is there. In fact, there was one jump scare that they repeated so often that I was actively getting pissed in the theater. The worst part is that it has almost nothing to do with the rest of the plot. At the beginning of the movie, the family is robbed and the wife is assaulted. Compared to the rest of the movie, it’s an effective scene. But, then, we have like five different sequences where that’s the jump scare, while she’s dealing with PTSD nightmares. It’s very tiresome, especially when the movie knows we’re there for the doll. Plus, I’m sorry but that doll just isn’t scary. It’s just a doll. In a fight against Chucky, Annabelle, or, hell, even Buzzlightyear, he’s getting his ass kicked. I mean… just look at him. He’s actually kind of cute with his little changeable wardrobe and shit. Anyways, The Boy II, like the doll, not scary at all.
To be honest, the original wasn’t all that scary either though. The twist at the end is what made it an ok watch in my opinion. So, what does this movie do? Throw all of that away! I guess a lot of people were upset about the fact that the doll wasn’t actually the killer. Like I said, I thought it was kind of clever. Anyways, this movie fixes that. You want generic creepy doll stuff? You got it. And, while I watched the first one impressed with their restraint (everything fit into the world they had set up), I was mostly just waiting for The Boy II to disappoint me by breaking its own rules. And, oh boy, did it. This movie completely contradicts the original. They try to dance around it a little, but you can absolutely tell they are backpedaling. And, their explanation is one of those that makes sense until you think about it for two seconds. Either the people who made this movie are so dumb they didn’t realize this or so freaking lazy that they didn’t care. I’m leaning towards the second option myself. Ok. Mild spoilers I guess. The doll’s name is Brahms. It’s a doll that has found it’s way into several families and turned the kids into killers. But… the boy in the original was named Brahms… before he met the doll. And, according to that original story, the doll showed up AFTER Brahms (the human) killed that girl. And I don’t even want to get into the extremely stupid ending of this piece of crap and how that directly contradicts something else we saw in the original. I get it though. The writers wrote themselves into a corner last time. The twist has already been given away. You can’t do that twice. But, to just undo it feels so damn lazy. Worse yet, the original movie feels dumber now too. I think I could still just barely recommend the first one, but I’ll never think of it the same way again. It’s been tainted in my mind. And I really don’t care enough to make it non-head canon. It’s just not worth it. Honestly, it’d probably be more thought than the screenwriters put into this dumb movie.
TL;DR: Brahms: The Boy II took everything that I thought worked in the first movie, threw it out, and left us with the generic, boring, unscary, creepy doll movie we thought we were getting the first time.
Score: 3/10 (Awful)