Movie Review: Braid (2018)

January 29, 2019

Written by DanXIII

Daniel XIII; the result of an arcane ritual involving a King Diamond album, a box of Count Chocula, and a copy of Swank magazine, is a screenwriter, director, producer, actor, artist, and reviewer of fright flicks…Who hates ya baby?

Fugitives Petula (Imogen Waterhouse) and Tilda (Sarah Hay) go on the lam after police raid their apartment for drugs. Of course they have to recoup the cash they lost to pay their supplier, so they get a brilliant idea…pay a visit to their childhood friend Daphne’s (Madeline Brewer) sprawling, isolated estate and rob the lady blind! Should be easy except for one thing; Daphne is crazier than a shit house rat, and the only way to get her to part with her dough is to play a game the girls developed in childhood. About that game; Tilda plays as Daphne’s daughter and Petula stars as “Doctor.” It’s all rather bizarre…and by rather bizarre I mean completely off it’s tits insane…so much so, that our heroines may lose more than they bargained through on their quest for cash as events become darker and darker!

While the above sinister synopsis sounds pretty straightforward, I can promise you that the execution of the material in Braid by Writer/Director Mitzi Peirone is anything but! As the game unfolds, the images that pass across the screen are nothing short of breathtaking at times…images go from standard to black and white, on to security camera footage, past candy-colored psychedelic dream worlds, and vivid images that would make Classical Era painters blush. Sound disjointed? Fuck yes it is…gloriously so…but the narrative never becomes lost in the visual splendor; rather the simplicity of the plot (and the stated rules of the game) are perfectly easy to follow as your eyeballs become engorged with all manner of aesthetic wonder. No small feat, and one Peirone pulls off with aplomb!
As amazing as the film looks, and as solidly as it plays out, the acting on display from Waterhouse, Hay, and Brewer is impressive as well. Waterhouse and Hay have the unenviable task of getting us to care about two characters that are pretty damn self-centered and all around unpleasant…but they pull it off and manage to get us to give a shit about these shits (that’s a lot of shit), and Brewer’s Daphne is one hell of a schizo-nightmare of a human being…crazy and completely enthralling to watch!
If there’s a negative to be had, it’s that Braid‘s bizarre nature will doubtless alienate more than a few viewers…but to be fair I’m not really sure Peirone gives a jolly-good fuck about all that, and nor should she. This is idiosyncratic film making and expression at it’s best, and you lot know how much your’s cruelly digs on that…but if that’s not your bag, Braid will do nothing to change that fact.
Surreal, visually arresting, challenging, and completely fucking nuts; Braid will scratch the itch of any  movie fan looking to have their brain pan dented while watching strange people doin’ strange-ass things! Seek this one out as soon as you can boils n’ ghouls!


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