Movie Review Catch-Up: ‘Fall,’ ‘Spin Me Round,’ ‘Orphan: First Kill’

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What’s going to Fall? (CREDIT: Lionsgate)


Starring: Grace Caroline Currey, Virginia Gardner, Mason Gooding, Jeffrey Dean Morgan

Director: Thomas Mann

Running Time: 107 Minutes

Rating: PG-13

Release Date: August 12, 2022 (Theaters)


‘Brahms: The Boy II’ Throws It in Reverse

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Oh, Brahms-y boy, Brahms-y boy, Brahms-boyyyyy

(I promised myself that no matter how I ultimately felt about this movie, I would start off my review of Brahms to the tune of “Danny Boy,” so I pray that you were able to indulge me for a few seconds.)

To my eye, the biggest twist of Brahms: The Boy II is that it was written and directed by the same writer-director combo as the first Boy (a couple of folks named Stacey Menear and William Brent Bell, respectively). The original explained the antics of its creepy doll by assuring us that what seemed supernatural actually had a reasonable explanation. But in the sequel, what seems like it will have a reasonable explanation is actually supernatural. That sort of switch is not atypical in horror franchises, but it’s usually dictated by studios scrambling to extend a property and/or a new creative team applying a fresh coat of paint. Perhaps Menear and Bell chose to take a self-aware approach and get ahead of the inevitable or maybe they just never felt married to any one particular way of doing things. Whatever the motivation, it makes me optimistic that The Boy could become a long-running low-budget horror series even if it never reaches any significant heights. After all, while Brahms gave me more to think about than I was expecting, most of it is still just a series of waits for a piece of porcelain to move a few inches every once in a while.

I give Brahms: The Boy II A Hearty Pat on the Back.

This Is a (Quickie) Movie Review: The Boy

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Following in the footsteps of The Forest, The Boy is the latest horror pic with a promising concept but not-so-promising release date. To get a little SPOILER-Y, it calls to mind The Visit, in that it lulls the viewer into almost buying into the supernatural explanation of its central mystery, and then pulls out the rug with a third-act twist that is more prosaic but also more disturbing. That reveal hits hard, as does the introduction of the doll that Greta (Lauren Cohan, dutifully playing along with this insane world) is asked to look after as though it were a real boy. In between, though, nothing much notable happens. There are a lot of scare tactics that provide standard jump scares but do nothing to illuminate any themes or aesthetics.