After writing for The Horror Syndicate for over three years now, you could probably imagine I’ve seen a TON of horror movies. Well let’s make that a SHIT TON of them. I’ve seen from the mainstream pop horror films, like the re-imagining of IT (2017) to the downright (and for lack of a better word) ‘scum’ of the earth, like Killer Nerd (1991) or Street Trash (1987). Just kidding Lombardo! So, with the ever-expanding spectrum in horror, I always love when I come across these little known or publicized flicks. Sure, sometimes they are duds, but that’s one of the fun parts of being a horror movie reviewer!!
Two drug-addled friends get raided in their rundown apartment and are now on the run from the police. Now they owe their dealer a hefty sum of money. So, in an attempt to recoup their lost currency, they devise a plan to try and rob their childhood friend who lives in a derelict and secluded mansion. Only problem, their childhood friend lives in a delusional fantasy world. So, in order to get what they want, they must play along in a make-believe world where the game becomes much more than they bargained for.
Braid is the first full-length feature film from Italian director Mitzi Peirone. She also penned the script to this ambitious and unnerving film. Peirone’s eye behind the camera was Todd Banhazl (The Strange Ones). A veteran cinematographer, Banhazl weaved Peirone’s cerebral cinematic adventure and brought a stunningly visual barrage to the senses. While also producing a stylish and polished atmosphere. The landscape was also aided by Michael Gatt’s score that at times, reminded me of Hitchcock’s Psycho.
With an all-female lead cast, led by Madeline Brewer (Handmaiden’s Tale), Imogen Waterhouse (Nocturnal Animals) and Sarah Hay (Black Swan). These three enamored my attention from minute one with their performances. All different and yet complex, their roles in this flick were hypnotically endearing and psychotic all at the same time which is what really drove the plot. Never having a dull moment.
In this wild game of make-believe there are only three rules. 1). EVERYONE MUST PLAY, 2). NO OUTSIDERS ALLOWED and 3). NOBODY LEAVES… This is the mantra repeated throughout to complete uneasiness which was really effective. What started out as a bizarre and seemingly innocent game quickly turned into a deadly charade of misguided youth and ultimately began a slow decent into the depths of utter madness.
Braid is a no brainer to me. Already alluding to themes from Psycho, at times I was also reminded of A Clockwork Orange. This is one fucked up movie, but in a good way. It’s a truly thought-provoking Indie film that’s not afraid to push the boundaries even when it’s manically uncomfortable. Braid is one the best films I have seen thus far in 2019. I see this flick destined for cult status.
IMDb: 5.3/10 (88% FRESH on Rotten Tomatoes)