The successful thriller of 2016, “The haunted doll”, took a turn in a tired genre, revealing in its last act that – spoiler alert – the title figurine, called Brahms, was actually being guarded by a scary adult and masked, who lived on the walls of a scary old mansion. Unfortunately, however perverse this twist was, it arrived too late in the image to make up for the preceding hour of the gothic horror clichés.
The sequel, "Brahms: The Boy II", takes a slightly different approach from the original's premise. Some of these changes are for the better and others for the worse; but in general, the overall quality remains the same. Like its predecessor, "The Boy II" is a rather tacky and heavy horror show, with some good bumps and a genuinely scary killer toy.
One point in favor of the sequence: the scares come early and often. In the new film, a family of three is looking for a fresh start after a traumatic home invasion – shown in disturbing details. The trio moves into the guesthouse at "The Boy". There, son Jude (Christopher Convery) finds Brahms and takes him inside, demanding that mother Liza (Katie Holmes) and father Sean (Owain Yeoman) follow the "rules" of the first film and treat the doll as a person.
What follows is a more conventional devil doll story, similar to “Annabelle,” with Liza increasingly concerned with the weird phenomena that happen around the house – almost all of which Jude blames Brahms. As always, the doll's empty face and soulless eyes make even the most routine "What's the bump?" and "Who changed this furniture?" moderately more chilling moments.
Like many horror sequences, "Brahms" is very dependent on mythology, as Liza's research into the story of her son's new friend leads to many sad and disappointing explanations of things that don't really need a raison d'être – including the big central shock of "The Boy".
The biggest issue, however, is that director William Brent Bell and screenwriter Stacey Menear, the creative team behind "The Boy" and "Brahms", don't seem to have much ambition other than to give audiences the wishes in the most obvious as possible. . At first, the film links anxieties related to the Brahms family to the violent assault they suffered in the first scene, suggesting that their problems are profound. But in a short time, they are like any other ordinary horror movie family: mother, father, son and toys possessed by demons.
& # 39; Brahms: The Boy II & # 39;
Rated: PG-13, for terror, violence, disturbing images and thematic elements
Runtime: 1 hour, 26 minutes
Playing: In general release