K A T I E   H O L M E S :
The Girl Next Door

‘Brahms: The Boy II’ Star Katie Holmes on Being Creeped Out
by Brahms and the Communal Experience of Horror [Interview]

by Ethan Anderton

This weekend will see Brahms: The Boy II coming to theaters, bringing back the creepy doll with the piercing gaze and the unsettlingly innocent face. This time, Brahms is terrorizing a whole new family by way of a boy named Jude (Christopher Convery), who discovers the doll buried in the woods on the property of the Heelshire Mansion. Jude is suffering from some trauma after a home invasion, and he’s not speaking to his parents Liza and Sean (Katie Holmes and Owain Yeoman). But soon he starts speaking to Brahms, and that’s when the creepy stuff begins.

Katie Holmes has dabbled in horror and thrillers with turns in The Gift and Don’t Be Afraid of the Dark, but this is a different kind of horror movie for the actress since it allowed her to play mother to a terrified child who is slowly becoming horrifying himself. In a roundtable interview with the actress set up in conjunction with our set visit report for Brahms: The Boy II, Katie Holmes discussed what she loves about horror, what she found relatable about her character, and of course, that creepy doll.

This isn’t the first time Katie Holmes has taken on something scary on the big screen, so she must be attracted to the genre. But it certainly isn’t because she likes being scared. Holmes said:

“I have a hard time watching [horror] because I get scared. I don’t love being scared, because then it starts to mess with me. I’ll be walking down the street and think I hear noises. Or I’m trying to fall asleep and I’m wondering if there’s someone in the other room. So I have to monitor myself, but some people really love it.”

So if she has a hard time watching horror movies herself, what draws her to the genre? Holmes explained:

“Well, what I love about the genre is it’s really fun to go and see a horror movie in a theater. It’s a communal experience being scared with strangers. I’ve done this genre before, and I think it’s really fun to create a character within this kind of genre.”

Speaking of which, Holmes briefly discussed her character in this movie, and she found some common ground as a real-life parent. Every parent is concerned with the well-being of their child, so it’s not hard to bring that emotional resonance to a role like this where your on-screen son is in serious danger and maybe even becoming a threat himself. Holmes said:

“My character is a mother who’s gone through a traumatic experience, and so we go to the country to sort of heal. She is starting to feel very uneasy because of the influence of this doll on my child. In the process of trying to heal, he’s getting more and more terrified. And I felt like that was very relatable for parents. It was a challenge.”

Apparently it was also a challenge working with Brahms. Holmes doesn’t like being scared by horror movies, and it sounds like making them was a little bit of an unsettling experience as well. Holmes recalled:

“It was creepy. It was really creepy every single time. They did such a good job with that doll. Yeah, I didn’t want to be alone with the doll. It was weird. They did such a wonderful job. By the end, it was like, ‘Am I waiting in line behind a doll at catering? I might be. I think this thing really is alive.'”

But Brahms wasn’t creepy enough to keep her from considering a reunion. When asked if she would be up for sticking around for a potential third chapter in what is now a horror franchise, Holmes said, “Sure, I’m open to anything. I loved working with William Brent Bell. He’s lovely and very nice to work with.”

Of course, Katie Holmes first has to survive Brahms: The Boy II, which arrives in theaters on February 21, 2020.