A BOY NAMED BRAHMS
A college student, Greta Evans, takes a nanny job in England to a six or a seven-year-old boy named Brahams. When she arrives, she learns the boy is actually a life-size doll with a set of rules. His parents are going on a vacation and need someone to look after him while they are gone. When Greta arrives everything seems fine. Before the parents leave she is presented with the set of strict rules which include kissing Brahms good night, reading to him, and listening to classical music. When Greta begins to not follow the rules to a T, strange things start to happen.
Greta starts to hear noises and footsteps in the mansion. She notices Brahms is not where she left at certain times. She tells Malcolm, the grocery delivery person who delivers food to the countryside home, about the noises and how Brahms moves. Being skeptical of her, Greta provides proof by sitting Brahms on his bedroom floor, draws a chalk outline of him and leaves the room. A few minutes later she and Malcolm return to Brahm’s room to find him missing from his spot. They spot him sitting on a chair close to the door. There are other things that take place after that which will creep you out if the life-size doll doesn’t creep out you first.
WHY A SPOILER
I normally don’t provide spoilers in my review for my intentions are to encourage you, the reader, want to watch the movie or read the book I review. However, in this case, I feel I need to explain why I disliked this movie and to do that, a spoiler is needed.
THE STORY OF THE BOY
The story Greta was given about the boy by Malcolm is Brahms died in a house fire 20 years prior. What no one knew is The Boy was living in the house all along as an adult. He revealed himself in a scene where Greta and Malcolm were fighting with her abusive ex-boyfriend who showed up unannounced. The boyfriend took the roll and smashed its head on a table, thus revealing the real Boy from inside the walls. Brahms had set up house in a room that was on the other side of the living room where all activity would take place, such as reading to Brahms, listening to classical music, and serving snacks to Brahms. Adult Brahms was able to relive his childhood favorites on the other side of the wall, while they were after upon to the life-size doll of Brahms.
PRESENTATION IS KEY
Here’s where I had the issue. The adult Brahms wore the mask of a child. He had a beard and a very hairy chest. This didn’t add up to the roll version of him. If the writers were looking to create an adult version of the child, they should have had an actor with no chest hairs, and a clean-shaven face. A good makeup artist could have made the adult Brahms look exactly like the child version, and that would have made the movie that much more disturbing.
You could tell this was a low budget film, and perhaps that’s the reason in the flaw of recreating the child boy into an adult version, the lack of money for a make-up artist who would be capable of the task. Thus, they choose the cheap route by placing a mask over his hairy face. But the chest hairs peeking from the white tank t-shirt is either laziness on the part of the writers or lack of creative between the child Brahms and the adult Brahms.
As mentioned, this movie had me at the start. When they showed that life-size doll, I thought I was in for a good psychological thriller. And I was until the adult Brahms revealed himself.
I hope someone remakes this movie. They only need to correct the reveal of Brahms’s appearance, and perhaps the reveal of Brahms himself.
What I found interesting was the name of the boy, Brahms, as in Brahms Lullaby. The boy’s name itself is interesting. I feel it’s a symbolism of how the parents, especially the mother, were very doting parents to their son and would have been his entire life.
You can read the history of the Lullaby here, as well as listen to the piece in the video below,
Lauren Cohen as Greta (Maggie on The Walking Dead).
Rupert Evans as Malcolm (Frank in The Man in the High Castle currently on Amazon Prime)