I reviewed Brahms: The Boy II what feels like a decade ago, but records tell me was only… 6 and a half months ago? We were so young, back then. Anyway, wasn’t it weird that I reviewed a sequel before I talked proper about the first film? So let’s dive into the original and see if the sequel’s twist ruins everything!
Greta (Ms. Lauren Cohan, AKA Maggie from The Walking Dead) is an American woman accepting a live-in nanny job in England as a way to escape her abusive ex. But it turns out her ward is actually a doll! The aged parents treat the doll as if it’s their dead son, and are very excited to get away for a while so they can kill themselves. Greta thinks the whole situation is weird, until the doll does some spooky stuff and convinces her that it’s either alive or there’s a ghost in the house. But when Cole, her abusive ex, shows up unexpectedly we find out that the doll is just regular creepy doll. The twist in this film is that the Brahms, the dead son, is actually alive and has been living in the walls like a fucking psycho. Cole dies, Greta stabs Brahms, she escapes with Malcolm–who was certainly a character in this movie–and we end finding out that Brahms survived the stabbing and is rebuilding the doll.
I actually liked this movie, and watching it a second time definitely shows that there were hints early on that Brahms was alive, watching and listening to everything that went on in the house. Creepy dolls were a thing in horror movies at the time thanks in part to 2014’s Annabelle, so the idea that the doll was actually haunted wasn’t that much of a stretch. The twist that it’s A COMPLETELY ORDINARY DOLL WITH NO SUPERNATURAL ELEMENTS TO IT WHATSOEVER was a subversion of expectations that I think the movie did well.
But then… we have Brahms: The Boy II, where the doll is ACTUALLY a source of evil, is named Brahms in a weird coincidence, and it drove Brahms (the human– and possibly his parents–insane. It all makes even less sense after rewatching this movie, since Brahms (the doll) gets shattered and is hollow, but in The Boy II he’s got a monster inside. It’s just a shame that a completely different writer and director got together to make something that goes against the spirit of the original. What’s that? Brahms: The Boy II has the same writer and director as The Boy? Well… clearly they have a history of taking a good film and ruining the followup, and I have no hopes for the director’s upcoming movie Esther (a prequel to Orphan).
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