What to watch: 9-1-1: Lone Star Season 1 & Brahms: The Boy II & more

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Rob Lowe and Liv Tyler.
Rob Lowe and Liv Tyler.

9-1-1: Lone Star Season 1

Drama series.

Co-created by Ryan Murphy, Brad Falchuk and Tim Minear, who worked together on American Horror Story, this spinoff of the popular drama series 9-1-1 stars Rob Lowe (Parks and Recreation) as a New York firefighter who relocates to Austin, Texas, where he’s tasked with putting together an entirely new squad following a tragedy.

The cast includes Liv Tyler (Lord of the Rings) as a paramedic trying to locate her sister, who’s been missing for three years.

9-1-1: Lonestar was one of the 10 most-streamed shows on DStv Now in the first half of 2020, and the highest-rated new series of the year for its parent network, FOX, which recently announced that it’s been renewed for a second season.

The show has a 73% approval rating on reviews-aggregator site Rotten Tomatoes, which says it “packs an entertaining punch and is a great showcase for the handsomely self-aware Lowe”.

2020. 10 EPISODES. 16VL.

Gretel & Hansel

Sophia Lillis and Alice Krige in Gretel and Hansel
Sophia Lillis and Alice Krige in Gretel & Hansel

Rating: 3/5

Horror. In this retelling of the classic Grimm brothers’ fairytale, Gretel (Sophia Lillis from It) – a girl on the cusp of womanhood – and her younger brother, Hansel (Samuel J Leakey), travel into an eerie forest in search of a new home after their mother, driven mad by the death of her husband, banishes them from their home.

There they stumble onto the house of a creepy yet seemingly kind witch (Star Trek: First Contact’s Alice Krige) who takes them in and soon starts training Gretel in the art of witchcraft.

In contrast to the film’s marketing, this is more fantasy than horror – an atmospheric coming of-age story that holds little scares but lots of bloody menace. Breathtaking cinematography and set design teamed with great performances by Lillis and the South African-born Krige make this an interesting watch. But while the ingredients are there for a brilliant and insightful film, it doesn’t live up to its potential and ultimately feels a bit hollow. – BIANCA LAMBRECHTS

2020. 97 MIN. 13V.

Brahms: The Boy II

Katie Holmes in the newest installment of Brahms
Katie Holmes in the newest installment of Brahms

Rating: 3/5

Horror. Make sure you’ve got someone to hold on to while watching this sequel to The Boy (2016).

After his wife, Liza (Katie Holmes), and son, Jude (Christopher Convery), are attacked in their home, Sean (The Mentalist’s Owain Yeoman) moves his family into a beautiful mansion. One day they go for a walk in the surrounding woods and find a porcelain doll called Brahms buried in a shallow grave. Although Brahms looks innocent, there’s an evil hidden inside him.

Except for the doll, this sequel is completely unrelated to the first film, even giving a different backstory for Brahms. The acting isn’t that great, but the plot is super creepy, so if you love horror movies, give this a try. – ABBY-GENE BISSOLATI

2020. 86 MIN. 13HV

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