Brahms: The Boy II parents guide

Brahms: The Boy II Parent Guide

It's not original, but at least it's brief.

Overall C-

When a young family moves into the spooky Heelshire Mansion to give their troubled son some room to grow, they find a strange looking doll named Brahms. When their son befriends the doll, however, things begin to rapidly deteriorate.

Release date February 21, 2020

Violence C-
Sexual Content A
Profanity C
Substance Use B

Why is Brahms: The Boy II rated PG-13? The MPAA rated Brahms: The Boy II PG-13 for violence, terror, brief strong language and thematic elements

Run Time: 86 minutes

Parent Movie Review

Liza (Katie Holmes) and Sean (Owain Yeoman) have a pleasant life with their son, Jude (Christopher Convery), in their lovely London home. But when a terrifying burglary leaves Liza injured and shaken, and Jude refusing to say a word to anyone, Sean suggests that they get out of town and decompress in the country. On a walk in the woods, Jude stumbles across a buried doll, with a strange face, and an even stranger list of rules which “he” expects to be followed…

There is a glut of “cursed kid/imaginary friend/cursed doll” movies, and they’re all basically interchangeable. This one is absolutely made from the same mold. It’s functionally a “color-by-numbers” of horror movie clichés. If you’ve seen enough horror flicks, you can count down to the jump scares pretty accurately, which completely eviscerates any tension the movie tries to build over its brisk 86 minute runtime.

Thankfully, despite its cumbersome title, Brahms: The Boy II is surprisingly short. It even feels short, although if it had made an 86 minute movie feel long, we’d have other problems. So, while it is unoriginal, it has the common courtesy to be brief. I’ll take that deal any day. Fantasy Island was equally unsurprising and over half an hour longer. Brahms also has the edge in acting quality, with Katie Holmes bringing a level of sincerity that almost manages to elevate the source material. Almost.

So the real question with most horror movies: is this suitable for a large group of overly-loud teenagers with nothing better to do on a Friday night (except that homework you keep trying to get them to do)? Unfortunately, yes. There is almost no seriously objectionable content. Even the violence, which sounds pretty bad when written down, mostly happens just off-screen or is non-fatal in nature. It’s also devastatingly boring, but loud teenagers make their own fun.

As brainless entertainment, you could do worse. Of course, for my money, I prefer to get slightly more brain. Not a lot, mind you. I’d settle for something that doesn’t make me wish I’d just sat in the car, waited ‘til the movie was over, and read random Wikipedia pages on my phone. Although, in fairness, very few movies clear that threshold. Which means that too many movies are lazy and boring, or that reading about northern pygmy owls is more fun than you thought.

Directed by William Brent Bell. Starring Katie Holmes, Ralph Ineson, and Owain Yeoman. Running time: 86 minutes. Theatrical release February 21, 2020. Updated

Watch the trailer for Brahms: The Boy II

Brahms: The Boy II
Rating & Content Info

Why is Brahms: The Boy II rated PG-13? Brahms: The Boy II is rated PG-13 by the MPAA for violence, terror, brief strong language and thematic elements

Violence: An individual is slammed into a wall and struck in the head with a blunt object. A number of child’s drawings depicting murder are shown. A dead dog is shown. A child falls backwards and is non-fatally impaled on a sharp stick. A person is knocked unconscious. An individual is violently thrown against a wall, and it is unclear if they survive.
Sexual Content:   None.
Profanity: There are two scatological profanities and around half a dozen terms of deity.
Alcohol / Drug Use: Adults are shown drinking wine with dinner and are not shown as intoxicated.

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Brahms: The Boy II Parents' Guide

Liza and Sean are unsure of how they can help their son. What do you think would have helped? What do you think they did right?

Home Video

Related home video titles:

Horror movies featuring creepy dolls are a subgenre all their own. Brahms makes his first spine-chilling appearance in The Boy.

A frightening doll produces murder and mayhem in Annabelle and its sequels, Annabelle Creation and Annabelle Comes Home.

In Child’s Play a Buddi doll renames himself Chucky and channels the spirit of a Vietnamese factory worker who committed suicide after turning off the toy’s safety features.

If you want to scare yourself silly with the story of a kid with a not-so-imaginary friend, check out Z.