Wednesday, 18 November 2020

Prime Time: Brahms: The Boy II (2020)

I'm not going to spoil anything that happened in the film, but The Boy was a pleasant surprise. A supernatural tale that became an enjoyable thriller, it managed to perfectly mix the silly and the effective in equal measure. It was no classic, but I'd happily recommend it to people looking for some tame entertainment. 

It certainly didn't need a sequel though. And it certainly didn't need a sequel as daft as this.

Katie Holmes and Owain Yeoman play the parents of a young boy named Jude (Christopher Convery). After the traumatic experience of having their home broken into, Jude stops speaking. They head off for a little convalescence, and happen to end up in the same location as Brahms, the doll that seemed to spooky and lively in the first movie. Jude grows immediately attached to Brahms, and wants his parents to abide by a number of rules that ensure people treat the doll as he likes to be treated. Things start to get increasingly tense within the family unit, and anyone trying to separate Jude and Brahms does so at their own peril.

Director William Brent Bell and writer Stacey Menear both return for this second doll-centric tale, and it's almost as if they resent some of the decisions they made in the first film. This decides to push things further, to remove any ambiguity, and to take viewers on a journey that ends with some moments that are so ridiculous, and so far removed from the first film that I'm surprised Bell and Menear even decided to use the name. You could argue that the developed backstory makes it obvious that this follows on from the first film, but all of that could have been tweaked (or, better yet, just dropped).

Yeoman is the more passive of the two adults, just following the lead of Holmes, who has to show stress and worry from her earliest scenes. Neither of the leads ends up faring well, considering the nonsense they have to work with, but it's Holmes who suffers the most, mainly due to her having to seem freaked out by the doll even before things start to get stranger and stranger. Convery is good enough in the role of Jude, spending a lot of the film almost shielding himself with Brahms, and it is always good to see Ralph Ineson pop up in movies recently, even when his role takes him to as silly a place as this one does. 

If you're morbidly curious about this after seeing the first film, let that morbid curiosity go. There's a minimum degree of technical competence throughout, saving it being the very worst of the worst, but it's a pretty terrible movie. All it does is undo the goodwill earned by the first film.

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