‘The Boy 2’: Just Watch Goosebumps Instead

Boy 2 disappointed both fans and critics with its mediocre execution.

Lakeshore Entertainment and STX films [Fair Use]

Boy 2 disappointed both fans and critics with its mediocre execution.

Lily Langstaff, Staff Writer

Jan. 22, 2016. 12 years old, I sat in the farthest row of the Olive Branch Malco theater, totally immersed in the screen: “The Boy” was playing, and of course, I went opening night. A total horror movie geek, I was the type of kid that could quote “The Exorcist” at a disturbingly young age. I had a slight obsession with scary movies and seeing “The Boy” was right up my alley. It was a pretty good movie, too–the kind that sort of stuck with you afterward. It built good suspense and had a jaw-dropping plot twist. (Spoilers ahead!)

Because I enjoyed the first movie so much, I was pretty excited when I heard there was a sequel in the making…but pretty disappointed in the theater. I had high expectations for this movie, and they were just not met, at all. Before the movie, I was curious about how they could possibly make a sequel to a movie that had been, for the most part, resolved. The whole mystery in the first movie was explained at the end when it was revealed that during the entire time, the creepy doll had really been moved by a creepy grown man living in the walls of the creepy old house. (That’s it. That’s the movie.)

The sequel retcons everything that happened in the first movie, and it was quite difficult to even grasp the plot. There was a continuation, sure, but every detail just disregarded everything that happened in the first movie – for me, it was a big WTF moment.

The action in “The Boy 2” starts when Jude, a young boy traumatized and selectively mute from a home burglary, finds the doll and grows attached to it. Both of his parents are understandably freaked out by it, but hey, if it’s helping Jude, they’re cool with it. Things take a dark turn, and destruction ensues. There are several scenes in which the doll (named Brahms) actually moves, which totally makes no sense because of, well, the entirety of the first movie. This movie’s director, William Brent Bell, was just beating the crap out of a dead horse. Well, in this case, the dead doll. Or the living doll, actually. (Surprise!) I just wanna know why this movie is a thing and who let it happen. But anyway, I digress. 

This is how the movie ends:

It turns out that Brahms is actually possessed, and possesses Jude, but the movie ends when Jude throws Brahms into fire. Yeah, pretty cliche. The entire “creepy doll that possesses a child and is ultimately destroyed to solve the conflict” trope is honestly just exhausting in this film. It’s a great concept, and it’s been done well before – look at “Child’s Play” or “Annabelle.” Actually, if you want to watch a creepy movie, go for a classic, and skip out on this one. 

Besides having a title as stupid and as laughable as “The Bye Bye Man,” the entire movie is just as ridiculous. More than that , it’s just boring. A sure sign of a yawn-inducing horror movie is a repetition of dream sequences as a scare tactic, and “The Boy 2” does this twice. Even my horror-movie-hating boyfriend, whom I forced to come with me, wasn’t scared. Actually, I’m sure his thoughts were on Clash Royale or his chemistry homework. How Katie Holmes manages an actually good performance with such an overused, lukewarm script is a mystery to me. With only an 11% on Rotten Tomatoes, the movie was not exactly what one would call a success. It’s more like a total invalidation of the first movie, which was actually really good. “The Boy 2” was totally unnecessary. If you liked “The Boy” even a little bit, don’t bother seeing this sequel. Save your money. Or, if you hate yourself, go ahead and watch it!