The age of sequels continues to surprise me in the extent they will go to make a dollar. Tonight, the movie that I saw came out of left field, especially in given how they ended and took the first film. Yet, seeing an opportunity to make a buck, the movie has arisen to once more extend the series into a potential continued franchise in hopes of being the next Marvel like entity. Well, despite the years between, I’m willing to give it a shot in hopes of some creative potential showing up to brighten the series and try to wow the crew. Will it work? I don’t know, but here are my thoughts on the latest horror film:
Movie: Brahms: The Boy II
- Some nods to the Original Tale
- Moves At A Decent Pace
- The Creepy Atmosphere And Look Of Brahms
- A Solid Opening To A Franchise
- The Acting
- Not Scary
- The Lackluster Suspense
- Stories That Have Little Details
- Mediocre Character Development
- Trying to Retcon Part Of The Story
- The Set Up Of the Franchise Focus
I guess if trying to establish a franchise, it’s important to have nods back to the original, and in this film’s case it does so. Enough to pay homage to the origins of Brahms last adventure, the Boy II fills in the pieces of how the two movies are connected to help ease you into the new direction it takes. It does this well enough without detracting from the tale of this film, and fortunately the movie continues at a decent pace to keep you from being too bored given this is not the most exciting horror tale to come to mind. Using the new and old stories together, this potential launch into a new franchise at least holds potential to have some further mystery to it, which is probably the biggest selling point of the story. In regards to scares, Brahms’ tale is another example where creepy is the primary source of fear. Using a realistic environment, creepy shadows, and the slight movements and off camera work, the imagination leaves an unsettling taste in your stomach. Brahms’ soulless gaze and porcelain face always seems to stare into you and leave me with crawling skin. You know something is up with the doll, especially in this new direction, but that mystery of what lies in the antique dolls eyes. It’s that source that is the true horror element in this film and goes with the slower movies scares this film thrives in. As for the acting, solid performance by all involved, with Katie Holmes reappearance a balanced and believable film of terror, love, and bravery all mixed into one. Young actor Convery executes the role well, surprisingly making a part with few lines have some layers to it and tell the tale through his facial expressions than actual lines. The rest of the cast accomplishes their roles, though the dad could have used some more involvement, but otherwise a great family dynamic.
Yet the movie falters in a few other things that take away the magic horror movies try to accomplish again. For one thing, much of the film is predictable given all the foreshadowing done at the beginning, with lines designed to lead you into the plot. There are a few changes in the later acts to help give you some “surprise” as it leads to the next direction of the film, but for the most part you know what is coming by about midpoint of the movie. Scare wise, the movies unsettling nature is the main source, but in regards to other tactics it does not work and did not leave me feeling too uneasy when leaving the theater. Lackluster scares faded into little suspense, which unfortunately led to boring action and drive, another staple of the horror film. As such, you will need to enjoy the calmer scare tactics to enjoy this film. If looking for more of the story element well you again find some lacking moments to this film as well. The story tries to take some side tales to help add more complexity and mystery, but upon revelation are nothing more than quick detours that do little on their drive back up the main story. The same goes for the character development, small tales that lead to some scars on our characters psyche, only to be grated down to passing comments and unmeaningful solutions that again lost the potential. Given the focus on the doll, I guess other characters had to struggle in the character department. An even bigger mess is trying to forget, or at least underplay, the ending events of the first film. Thus when the original writers come up with a rewrite that is not a reboot, I would say, but more of retconning to make the new direction work. It’s sad to see the integrity dropped for the focus on the franchise and I believe that is the source of much of the trouble of this film. By not focusing on continuing the tale, or more so focusing on the film by itself, the movie suffers from cutting corners and new gimmicks, thus overall decreasing the quality.
Brahms’ second installment proves that money talks, and this film is a set up for a new face in horror in the near future. This story thrives on the creeps, acting, and franchise frenzy, hoping you’ll ignore the previous installment and welcome the new direction. Some of these things work well, but overall the movie suffers from focusing on potential franchise and skimping on the stories and development other movies have succeed in. Throw in that the scare factor and the suspense are very lacking and you are once again bored in this tale that held potential and dropped it again. The Boy legacy continues to dance around maximizing scares and hybridizing other franchises to craft a haunting legacy that can leave more of a print. Yet, the movie will continue to be mediocre movie productions without tightening up the story and injecting a little originality and development into it. As such, this film would best be left to the Netflix viewing, rather than hitting the theater.
My scores are:
Movie Overall: 4.5