Brahms: The Boy II
Brahms: The Boy II is a 2020 American supernatural horror film starring Katie Holmes, Ralph Ineson, Owain Yeoman, and Christopher Convery. A stand-alone sequel to the 2016 film The Boy, it is directed by William Brent Bell and written by Stacey Menear, the respective director and writer of the original film. The plot follows a young boy who, after moving into a mansion with his parents following a traumatizing incident, finds a life-like doll he becomes attached to.
|Brahms: The Boy II|
Theatrical release poster
|Directed by||William Brent Bell|
|Written by||Stacey Menear|
|Music by||Brett Detar|
|Cinematography||Karl Walter Lindenlaub|
|Edited by||Brian Berdan|
|Distributed by||STX Entertainment|
|Box office||$20.3 million|
Brahms: The Boy II was released in the United States on February 21, 2020, by STX Entertainment. It received generally negative reviews from critics and has grossed $20 million worldwide.
A home invasion leaves Liza with a head injury and her son Jude traumatized and silent for months. Along with Sean, Liza's husband and Jude's father, they move across country to the Heelshires' property. While exploring the woods, Jude finds a porcelain doll buried in a shallow grave in the ground and dusts off the dirt before deciding to take him home. Liza and Sean believe he is using the doll to express his feelings but it becomes more sinister with the doll laying down his rules. Jude becomes withdrawn in his room, carrying the doll with him wherever he goes.
The parents soon learn the evil history of the doll, with all the killings and suicides. More unusual incidents happen, like the dining room table collapsing when Jude warns his mother not to make the doll angry. Liza also sees horrific and violent drawings in Jude's notepad. Groundskeeper Joseph enters the house, aiming a shotgun at Liza. He begins telling the story of how Brahms asked him to put him back together, making Jude an easy target for the doll as he was not strong-willed. He then tells her that Brahms will take Jude away forever. Liza attacks Joseph with the shotgun, before beginning to search for her son. She goes into the basement and finds Jude in a trance-like state, ready to sacrifice himself with the doll. Liza manages to convince Jude that they will take Brahms home and become a family, without seeing Sean come in and break Brahms' head with a croquet mallet before Joseph comes running in. Brahms' head shatters, revealing a demonic doll underneath, more sinister than the porcelain innocent face. Brahms then kills Joseph without hesitation.
Jude picks Brahms up, convincing him they will be fine before tossing the doll into the fire. The family embrace and return back to their home, living happily as before the home invasion incident. At night, Jude puts on his Brahms face mask.
By October 2018, it was announced that a sequel was in development, with Katie Holmes joining the cast of the film, William Brent Bell returning to direct and Stacey Menear back to write the script of the film, respectively, with Matt Berenson, Gary Lucchesi, Tom Rosenberg, Jim Wedaa and Eric Reid serving as producers, under their Lakeshore Entertainment banners, and STX Entertainment producing and distributing the film.
As of March 15, 2020[update], Brahms: The Boy II has grossed $12.6 million in the United States and Canada, and $7.7 million in other territories, for a worldwide total of $20.3 million, against a production budget of $10 million.
In the United States and Canada, the film was released alongside The Call of the Wild, and was projected to gross $5–8 million from 2,151 theaters in its opening weekend. The film made $2.2 million on its first day, including $375,000 from Thursday night previews. It went on to debut to $5.7 million, finishing fifth at the box office. In its second weekend the film dropped 55% to $2.6 million, finishing sixth.
On Rotten Tomatoes, the film holds an approval rating of 10% based on 50 reviews, with an average rating of 3.56/10. The site's critics consensus reads: "More likely to induce boredom than quicken the pulse, Brahms: The Boy II is chiefly scary for the way it undermines the effectiveness of its above-average predecessor." On Metacritic, the film has a weighted average score of 29 out of 100, based on 13 critics, indicating "generally unfavorable reviews". Audiences polled by CinemaScore gave the film an average grade of "C–" on an A+ to F scale, and PostTrak reported it received an average 1 out of 5 stars from viewers they polled, with 24% of people saying they would definitely recommend it.
Benjamin Lee, writing for The Guardian, gave the film one star out of five, describing it as "so punishingly dull to watch, filled with dry, perfunctory dialogue from Stacey Menear’s consistently uninventive script and shot without even a glimmer of style," adding that "even at a brisk 86 minutes, it feels like unending torture..." with a finale "that buckles under the weight of its own stupidity, as well as some god-awful CGI."
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