I Wrote my First Movie Review While Giving Birth to a Camera. It has followed me ever since. Please don't mind the Mess.
The 2018 horror/thriller Braid takes us back to a time when we were all 20-something women involved with illicit substances, really sharp knives, people playing doctor who really aren’t doctors and parents who really aren’t your parents.
It might seem that I’m spoiling a lot, but I’m really not. Braid has enough twists and turns to get your hair, as well as other more sensitive body parts, in a bind.
Braid was released in 2018, harkening back to a time when we could go outside, indiscriminately breathe on and touch each other, go to places called “movie theaters”.
They were large rooms that seated 200 to 3,000 people and had really sticky floors. They were sticky because of spilled soda…and other substances. You paid money for a ticket and in exchange for that ticket you were able to see moving pictures called “movies”. They had sound and everything and afterwards people would post pointless reviews online that nobody would read.
Theaters were pretty cool. Though every once in a while a disgruntled white person would shoot the theater up so it wasn’t always completely safe. It was always a good time when you’d go to the theater and see an entire movie without getting shot.
Sure, you could call it that.
I could wax nostalgic about movie theaters and disgruntled white people for hours, but we should start the review as we have to begin churning butter before the sun rises.
Well, we’ll get to that part eventually.
Braid opens again with our heroines Petula (Imogen Waterhouse) and Tilda (Sarah Hay) counting and weighing illicit substances. Presumably to sell to stressed out businessmen and women. They provide a civic service and it looks like they have about 83k dollars’ worth of product to distribute among the fine members of the community.
That is, until the cops start banging on their door. Moments later, the cops break in.
Luckily, Tilda and Petula go out through the fire escape.
Unluckily, they’ve left over 80 thousand dollars’ worth of high quality product. Their dealer named Coco will not be too pleased when he/she hears that unfortunate news. But how bad could it be? Any person named after a Pixar movie is probably super-duper understanding.
Petula and Tilda are now fugitives from the law. They are out of options…except one.
They could go to their friend Daphne’s house. Daphne would welcome them with open arms.
There’s only one problem: Daphne (Madeline Brewer- Cam, Hustlers) is f*cking crazy.
Daphne, Petula, and Tilda have known each other since they were little girls. They have history, and not a lot of it is good.
But Daphne is very rich and lives in a giant house all by herself since her grandparents died.
You don’t want to know.
Anyway, Petula remembers from when they were kids that there was a safe filled with money. If they find the safe and get the money within 48 hours, then they are free and clear with Coco. If not, then Coco will go loco.
Then again, somebody named after a hot chocolatey drink will probably be understanding and not mind that 83k worth of product is now in the hands of the cops.
Whenever Tilda and Petula go to Daphne’s house they are required to play a game. One could call it a role-playing game (SEE the first sentence) but to say anymore would spoil things that really shouldn’t be spoiled. In this game there are rules like in Fight Club (e.g.- Everyone must play- it’s a lot more sinister than it sounds).
Except Tyler Durden has nothing on Daphne.
Now Petula and Tilda must play Daphne’s twisted game while also trying to find the safe. They’ll soon find out that they would have had better luck dealing directly with Coco.
What Works With Braid
- Madeline Brewer’s unhinged performance as Daphne controls every scene she’s in while giving the other performers a chance to shine. It’s a scenery-chewing performance that dominates most of the movie…until it doesn’t.
- Writer/director Mitzi Peirone’s screenplay keeps the viewer off-balance for a good portion of the 90-minute running time. Seasoned horror movie watchers may have an inkling as to where it’s going, but you’d be wrong. Mostly.
- The final 5 minutes stay with you as the credits roll and you wonder WTF you just watched. You watch the final 5 minutes again and realize the brilliance of the title.
What Doesn’t Work With Braid
- The final act doesn’t match the inherent craziness of the first two and flags a little compared to what you’ve seen during the first hour. It becomes a case (albeit mildly) of the more you know, the less interesting it becomes. Mitzi Peirone swings for the fences and not all of the choices work out perfectly, but you appreciate the effort.
Find your favorite female friends from when you were in grade school and invite them over to watch Braid. They’ll wonder what went wrong with you, but at least you’ll have watched an above-average horror movie before they lose your number and ghost you for eternity.