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Greta? Come back! I'll be good! I will! Greta. No! Get back here! Get back here! Don't leave me! Get back here! If you leave, I'll kill him! I'll kill him just like the others!
~ Brahms threatening Greta.

Brahms Heelshire is the titular main antagonist of the 2016 psychological horror thriller film The Boy and the posthumous overarching antagonist in its 2020 sequel Brahms: The Boy 2.

He is the son of a wealthy family called the Heelshires, and a serial killer. His parents faked his death to protect him after he killed his friend when he was 8, leading him to live in the walls of the home for 20 years. His parents left Brahms with a "nanny" as a parting gift so that they could kill themselves while making sure he was cared for. He occupied himself by stalking his nanny Greta, moving the doll (that was supposed to portray him as a child) around the house.

In the second film however, it's revealed the doll is in fact alive. The doll also has a demon inside of it (despite that never appearing in the first movie). The doll has over the year influenced multiple boys to go crazy and the real Brahms happened to be a victim himself.

He was portrayed by James Russell, and his young version was portrayed by Jett Klyne.



Brahms Heelshire was a normal child who was friends with a young girl named Emily Cribbs. When Brahms was 8 years old, he owned a porcelain doll that was possessed by a demon that would influence Brahms to say and do things he wouldn’t normally do.

Under its influence, Brahms killed his friend Emily by smashing her head and started a fire so as to fake his death and avoid punishment, which resulted in his face becoming horribly burned and scarred. To protect their son, Brahms hid away in the walls of his mansion and was declared dead so no one could find him. Brahms wore a porcelain doll-like mask to hide his face. His parents, who grew fearful of him, hired countless nannies in an attempt to find someone to care for him. However none of the nannies met his standards and so he killed them all.

The Boy

As an attempt of escaping her abusive boyfriend back in the United States, Greta accepts a job as a temporary nanny to an English family by the name of the Heelshires. She is then introduced to the married couple's son, Brahms, who turns out to be a life size porcelain doll. Supposedly, the real Brahms perished in a fire 20 years ago, and he had apparently rejected several nannies prior to being introduced to Greta. As Mr. and Mrs. Heelshire were leaving for their vacation, Greta is given a list of rules to follow in regard to their son.

Greta predictably ignores the rules, and as a result, mysterious events start to happen. Brahms would seemingly move on his own, and he would disappear and reappear anywhere in the house. She eventually starts to believe that Brahms' soul was inhabiting the doll after she was given a peanut butter-and-jelly sandwich. Malcolm, the Heelshires' grocery boy, tries to convince Greta into leaving the house by telling her that the real Brahms presumably murdered his childhood friend by the name of Emily Cribbs back in 1991 before dying that very night, but she refuses. Meanwhile, the Heelshires write a goodbye letter to their son, and they then drown themselves by walking into a river.

One evening, Cole, Greta's ex-boyfriend, makes his way to Heelshire household, fully intent on getting Greta to return to Montana, by force if necessary. To help deal with Cole, Malcolm decides to stay nearby, while Greta appeals to Brahms for help. Cole finds a message in blood telling him to leave; believing either Greta or Malcolm did it, Cole angrily snatches the doll and destroys it.

Immediately afterwards, the house begins to shake, and the lights flicker. Cole investigates a mirror in the room, which shatters open. An adult human Brahms, wearing a porcelain mask, then comes out of the wall. It is then revealed that Brahms has been alive all along, having been living within the house's walls. Enraged at the destruction of the doll, Brahms attacks the group and kills Cole, stabbing him with one of the broken shards of the doll. Malcolm and Greta then flee with the angry Brahms following them.

After escaping to the attic, they finds photographs of Brahms' childhood friend, as well as her missing dress and jewelry. Greta learns that Brahms was actually moving the doll to give the illusion that it was alive. To her horror, she figures out that the Heelshires had offered her as a sacrifice to Brahms for his "keeping" as they did with previous nannies. Greta and Malcolm attempt to escape through a small passage, but only Greta succeeds when Brahms knocks out Malcolm with a baseball bat. He threatens to kill Malcolm if she leaves, forcing Greta to come back.

After arming herself with a screwdriver, Greta uses Brahms' strict rules against him and coerces him to go to bed.

He asks for a good night kiss, which she begrudgingly accepts.

Brahms then tries to pull Greta in and make out with her, at which point she stabs him. Brahms then gets out of the bed and attempts to strangle her. Greta stabs Brahms further until he lets go and drops to the floor, the stabs presumably killing Brahms. She escapes the estate with Malcolm, leaving the gate doors open in the process. The film then ends with a hand rebuilding the doll, implying that Brahms is still alive.

Brahms: The Boy 2

The Brahms doll returns in the sequel, although the real Brahms doesn’t. Jude, the boy who moves into the Heelshire house, becomes obsessed with the Brahms doll, which is revealed to hold a demonic entity inside it (despite having been smashed completely and showing no demon whatsoever in the first film) when the doll's head is destroyed. Liza, Jude's mother, destroys the doll for good by throwing it in the fire. However, the spirit of the doll inhabits Jude as he dons the real Brahms' mask.

The real Brahms isn't shown in the film, heavily implying that he died from his injuries in the first film, as Joesph, the mansion's groundskeeper, revealed that he rebuilt the Brahms doll. It is also suggested that Brahms owned the doll as a boy, and that the demonic force inside drove him insane, ending up with him murdering his friend Emily (despite it having been stated that his parents purchased the doll to cope with the real Brahms's "death").



  • He mentions briefly that he had murdered other nannies that were assigned to him prior to Greta.
  • It is possible that Emily may have been in a similar occupation as Greta, with Brahms becoming obsessed with her and killing her afterwards due to her not returning his feelings, although it is also possible that the demonic force that was revealed to have been living inside the doll in the sequel possessed him to do so.