Braid – USA, 2018: updated with another YouTube review

‘When you wake up do your dreams go to sleep?’

Braid is a 2018 American horror feature film written and directed by Mitzi Peirone (Chaosmos short). The Wandering Bard/Somnia Productions movie stars Madeline Brewer, Scott Cohen, Sarah Hay and Imogen Waterhouse.

Plot:

Lifelong best friends Petula and Tilda make ends meet by dealing drugs in Manhattan. Then a random bust leaves them with no choice but to flee town. Their hideout? The mansion of childhood friend Daphne, an agoraphobic heiress who teeters on the edge of sanity.

At first, entertaining Daphne’s playful world of make-believe is a breeze. However, they soon realise Daphne’s mental state is more wildly disturbed…

Braid was released in theaters and On Demand via Blue Fox Entertainment on February 1, 2019.

Reviews:

“As past confronts present, up challenges down, and lies dispute the truth, only the game can keep you safe. Only the game can keep order. If this is the type of insanity that tickles your fancy, Braid is the film for you. A little nasty, a little dirty, and a fantastic opening salvo from Mitzi Peirone.” Douglas Davidson, Elements of Madness

“It takes an already bizarre concept and pushes it a little too far, which is ultimately its downfall. Visually the film is stunning to look at and there are plenty of ideas here, but it’s a little over-crowded. Stellar performances will keep you hooked along with Peirone’s strong direction but the storyline may leave you a little disappointed.” Pip Ellwood-Hughes, Entertainment in Focus

“It’s a disturbing film to be sure, but it never goes too far over the edge to become gratuitous. With some big reveals and twists in the finale, it’s possible that Braid will lose some people, but I thought the twists fit nicely in the bizarre ride we were on, where there were no preconceived notions that this would end in any sort of sane conclusion.” Film Pulse

“If I was being kind I’d say Braid needed a bit more thinking through so that some of the impressive imagery had a greater impact by being in the context of an actual plot. If I was being unkind I’d say it was a load of pretentious old bollocks.” House of Mortal Cinema

Writer-director Mitzi Peirone evokes a clutch of films from the late ‘60s and early ‘70s, featuring wild children, old dark houses, nasty games, sex and drugs, and hothouse huis clos situations … Her revival of the precise look of these films in terms of costume and lighting is as striking as Anna Biller’s use of a similar style in The Love Witch.” The Kim Newman Web Site

Braid is a discomforting experience. In the film’s claustrophobic atmosphere and its understanding of how entwined these women are, though, there are rewards in its genuinely horrifying, visually dexterous, and narratively ambiguous psychological examination.” Mark Dujsik, Mark Reviews Movies

Told in a stream of hallucinatory flourishes (shifts to monchrome, lysergic colour treatments, dislocating edits) that leave the viewer no less beguiled and disoriented than the characters, its games – in which the trio resume the rôles of mother, daughter and doctor – play out as disturbing reflections of the these women’s frustrations and failures.” Anton Bitel, Projected Figures

Braid doesn’t fret over adhering to real-world logic, preferring instead to follow the emotional logic of dreams, to the point where you may feel as if you’re seeing someone else’s dream, as if via tap inserted into their sleeping brain […] I came away feeling that I’d seen, if not a major film, then a film by major talents.” Matt Zoller Seitz, RogerEbert.com

” …a visually ravishing fever dream of psychological manipulation, pathological role play and fairytale horror as the three women scurry around the decaying halls of a once ostentatious abode […] A sensory blend of early Roman Polanski (particularly Repulsion and Cul de Sac) with Sofia Coppola’s tales of female entrapment and isolation…” Screen Anarchy

“Attention is that of a fragrance ad (black and white lensing one minute) and music video seduction (starbursts of color the next) slamming together in some Harmony Korine purgatory […] It sounds chaotic, but Peirone‘s witches’ brew of parentless dress-up and caged-bird torture intoxicates like forbidden fruit.” Slash Film

Braid is full of shots of dolls, dollhouses, and other children’s toys. It’s hard to care about its full-sized participants when they, too, are treated like collectibles – Peirone seems more interested in her actors’ superfluously ever-changing dress and hairstyles than she does in giving them dimensionalized characters.” Variety

“The flick is hackneyed at times, often overwrought and indulgent when it should be tighter, but it’s fascinating in its own way. It’s hard not to admire its tenacity, its audacity, its very existence, which should give us all hope that, if the future of horror is indeed female, weirdos like Peirone will be leading the way.” Joey Keogh, Wicked Horror

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