Picking up after the events of ‘The Boy’, Liza (Katie Holmes), her husband Sean (Owain Yeoman), and their son Jude (Christopher Convery) move into the guest house at the Heelshire Mansion. Over there, Jude befriends a life-like doll named Brahms, and begins to exhibit odd behaviour to the dismay of his mother and father, as they try to communicate with the young boy to figure what’s going on with him. Katie Holmes hasn’t been in a lead role for a while, and she certainly brings credibility to her character with her performance. Holmes makes it easy to sympathise with the mother Liza, who is troubled by events that take place at the start of the film. This is also reflected on the son Jude, and Christopher Convery is quite unsettling as the young boy battling his demons. It also helps that the actor resembles the little doll, which makes for some creepy visuals. Owain Yeoman as the father Sean doesn’t feature as much within the story, but Ralph Ineson is effective as Joseph in his brief role. The movie’s cinematography and production design succeed in creating an eerie atmosphere throughout. Despite that, there are significant issues with the film’s pacing, especially in the second act. The film drags on without any significant plot developments, and although we get to see the effect Brahms has on Jude, it isn’t captivating enough. Other than one sequence involving bullying, the film trudges on as it heads to the third act, especially the climax, which only raises more questions in a frustrating manner. The entire setup goes to waste by this point because director William Brent Bell is tasked with a perplexing script by writer Stacey Menear. The writer also worked on the first film and oddly, chooses to flip its narrative. Even if you haven’t watched ‘The Boy’, this film starts with the potential to address Post Traumatic Stress Disorder but throws it away by the end. Besides some jump scares and the sporadic unsettling visuals, you won’t get much bang for your buck as a horror fan.Read full review
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