Brahms: The Boy II follows a family of three as they attempt to recover from the trauma of a home invasion. The mother has persistent nightmares while the son refuses to speak following the incident. They attempt to find solace in the old estate from the first film, only for the son to come across the Brahms doll in the nearby woods. When weird and unsettling things occur around the doll, the parents must decide if it is their son acting out or the doll may be as sinister as its appearance.
Brahms: The Boy II Review
The Child's Play remake brought an interesting take to the killer doll subgenre, turning the Chucky franchise on its head with a film about the dangers of our dependency on technology. Annabelle Comes Home further emphasized the doll's ability to be a conduit for a rogues gallery of evil entities. The Boy used a fairly standardized structure to deliver a fun twist to the killer doll concept in the final act. Brahms, however, was generic mainstream horror with a bland and predictable approach to the killer doll that simply cheapened what the first film achieved.
The only thing Brahms shared in common with its predecessor, beyond the obvious setting and Brahms himself, was the methodical plodding of the first film. But unlike The Boy, Brahms lacked the payoff that makes your patience worth it. Instead, Brahms settles for generic haunting aesthetic and an uninspired plot that manages to disappoint beyond expectations of even a cash-grab sequel.
Brahms is clearly a superficial scare flick, but that makes it all the more infuriating. I wasn't planning on paying attention to such a statistic, but upon realizing just how uneventful the film was, it is my reasonable guess that the scares in the film could be counted on one hand, and perhaps only one was effective enough for a cheap jump. That isn't to say that there is proper atmosphere or tension to fill its place. On the contrary, the film is simply plain and uninspired.
So far, 2020 hasn't been a great experience. We've tried to catch as many horror films as possible, and so far the only commendable one I can think of is Underwater, which admittedly tickled my personal fancy because of the scifi/horror elements and wasn't objectively a fantastic film. We did see Color Out of Space, which was very well done, but it was a limited release with a festival run last year. We did miss Gretel and Hansel as well as Fantasy Island. Of the two, Gretel and Hansel may have been worth the watch, but Fantasy Island sounds like a dud bullet that was happily dodged.
Hopefully February finishes out strong with The Invisible Man, giving momentum into March and April, which have a ton of highly anticipated horror movies like A Quiet Place Part 2 and Antlers. While January and February have been mostly disappointing, it is a small sample size for a year that has a lot of promise. Here's hoping 2020 was getting its garbage tossed out preemptively.
Horror Rating System
Horror Qualifier: 8/10 Horror Quality: 3/10 Film Quality: 4/10