Movie Review: Brahms: The Boy II (2020)

Synopsis: Following a burglary that turned into an assault, Liza still has nightmares and her son, Jules (who witnessed it) no longer speaks. Feeling a change of scenery will do them some good, her husband, Sean, moves them into a guest house on the Heelshire Mansion property. When Jules discovers a porcelain doll buried in a makeshift grave, his parents let him keep it and are thrilled when he seems to be showing signs of improvement. However, it doesn't take long for Liza to realize her son is developing an unhealthy attachment to the doll, Brahms, that could be putting her and her husband's lives in danger.

Who's in it? The movie stars Katie Holmes, Christopher Convery, Owain Yeoman, Ralph Ineson and Daphne Hoskins.

Review: My wife and I liked the first movie when we first saw it and ended up rewatching it with our teenager yesterday evening. Since she enjoyed the first movie as well and we still had time, we ended up watching to sequel too. Unfortunately, it wasn't as good as we were hoping.

I will say the movie started out decent. The film does a good job setting the tone and showing where the family's house is in connection to the location of the first movie.  Plus, the way Brahms is introduced, with the doll's hand sticking out of a shallow grave, couldn't have been any creepier. It was the kind of thing that would have had me telling my own kids "Nope," if they happened to be the ones to find it.

The problem with this movie is the premise doesn't really work, mostly because it doesn't match up with what we already know about Brahms from the first film. Instead of building on what had been a creepy premise, a pair of parents using the doll as a surrogate for the mentally unstable son living in their walls, this movie took a completely different path and went with the whole "possessed doll" storyline that has been done to death.

The plot doesn't even add up in the movie itself. We learn the doll has another person who is obsessed with it but that person chose to bury it in a grave. Why? Plus, Liza (Holmes) is able to look up the doll's manufacturing information, something that takes away from the whole "secretly a demon" thing. Not to mention, once the movie makes the doll's purpose apparent, the whole thing gets extremely predictable and a little dumb. The three of us ended up questioning every decision the characters made and by the end, weren't even paying attention anymore.

Final Opinion: I'm not sure they should have even attempted to make a sequel but since they chose to, they should have built upon the first movie rather than take the storyline in a different, overdone and predictable direction. This is definitely a step down from the first one. It's not the worse movie I've ever seen but it didn't distinguish itself from the dozens of movies that are just like it.

My Grade: C-


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