The Boy was a standard possessed doll horror movie which managed to be an extra level of creepy and ultimately pull the rug out from under the viewer with an effective final act twist. It was also the kind of movie which did not leave a lot of room for a sequel and because of that final act reveal, any sequel would have to either re-tread old ground or undo the best aspect of the first film. Unfortunately, Brahms decides to do the latter.
This is a sequel though (rather than a reboot) and one that follows on from the events of the first film. It means that soon enough, Brahms the very well designed and perfectly creepy doll, is back terrorising people. This time it is a small boy, who has moved to a new house and needs his new “friend” for comfort. This is much to the displeasure of his parents, played by Katie Holmes and Owain Yeoman.
Once the central idea of the creepy doll, weird happenings, horrific moments and disbelieving parents is all established, Brahms is actually a very effective horror movie. It does rely on the usual “cattle-prod” jump scares but it also does a very good job of slowly building tension, setting the stage and getting the audience to do the work through anticipation. These types of films work best with subtle horror and small moments and Brahms delivers this perfectly.
The cast do a decent enough job here. Katie Holmes is barely stretching her acting credentials but there a few scenes where she gets to be more dramatic and adds some credibility. The stand-out is of course Brahms new friend. Christopher Convery plays Holmes’ son, who traumatised by an event earlier in the movie, falls pray to whatever Brahms is. He is perfectly creepy and will unnerve even in the most ordinary scenes.
If you have seen the first movie and remember the key details, there is also a level of intrigue here. This film shouldn’t work and you watch expecting and waiting for some answers. This actually helps the enjoyment of the movie, as you try to piece together how this film could possibly be linked with the events of the first.
That is until the revelation happens. Once the connection is made, rather than build and develop on a good movie into a developing franchise, it effectively under-cuts and undoes the fantastic work built in the first film. What was a very clever twist on a well-worn horror trope actually reverts back to something much more generic and far less interesting. You also have to believe this is because the new story they are telling has much more sequel potential.
Overall, Brahms begins as a very intriguing and well produced horror sequel. It builds on the first by using the intrigue and unseen links to help piece together a compelling story. Unfortunately, when the links are revealed and revelations do occur, it becomes something much more dull and much more generic.
Rating – 3
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