While a few misguided musicians may rent this thinking, it’s about the childhood of a German Romantic composer, fans of the original, The Boy, will recognize the name of the first film’s creepy doll character.
I am more than a bit facetious, though. Although The Boy flew under the radar for a lot of casual movie-goers, it grossed an impressive $64.1 million with a budget of just $10 million. The film also garnered a user score of 7/10 on Metacritic, 84% on google, and 6/10 on IMDb. Its critical reception wasn’t as generous, but that sort of gap is typical for horror films. This is all especially impressive when you consider it was released in late January, where movies are generally quietly released to die.
For those unfamiliar, The Boy followed the story of a reverse Mary Poppins, a non-magical American nanny who comes to the U.K. to care for a seemingly magical child while his parents are away. The “child” however, turns out to be a creepy porcelain doll. Creepiness happens for a while until in the third act it’s revealed that (SPOILERS FOR A 5-YEAR-OLD MOVIE) the mischief has all been caused by a now-grown man living in the walls of the house (he revealed himself to be evil as a child and his parents’ recent “vacation” was to walk into the sea forever). The protagonist seemingly kills the man at the end, but there’s a tag that suggests maybe he’s still alive, or that someone else will continue his evil.
The new film adds some star power to the cast. While the original’s low budget allowed for only actors who are still mostly unrecognizable today (the star seems to have been on some later episodes of The Walking Dead), Brahms: The Boy II features Katie Holmes and Ralph Ineson (The VVitch, Game of Thrones, that “I serve the Soviet Union” meme). This film also seems like it will reveal that the doll was actually evil the whole time, which frankly undercuts one of the better parts of the original.
Again, I realize I’m coming off a bit dismissive. I’m always skeptical about February horror movies (Get Out is the exception that proved the rule). But “creepy kids” and “creepy dolls” are both tried and true horror themes and Brahms: The Boy II looks to have both in spades. Combine that with some performers and a writer and director with some proven horror chops, and this film could exceed expectations.
Brahms: The Boy II will hit theaters on February 21st.