Brand Upon the Brain!


Generally favorable reviews - based on 15 Critics

Critic score distribution:
  1. Positive: 14 out of 15
  2. Negative: 0 out of 15

Where To Watch

Buy On

Critic Reviews

  1. Audacious, hypnotic and utterly breathtaking.
  2. 88
    Not many people are making silent horror serials these days, but Canadian filmmaker Guy Maddin pushes his love of lurid melodrama to the limit in his latest demented treat, Brand Upon the Brain!
  3. The film is a singular achievement.
  4. 88
    It's an astonishing film: weird, obsessed, drawing on subterranean impulses, hypnotic.
  5. A feverishly imaginative Freudian vampire film from Guy Maddin, is like a silent-movie serial by Louis Feuillade or an improbable collaboration between writer Oscar Wilde and photographer Man Ray.
  6. 83
    This much is guaranteed: You won't leave thinking you've seen the like before.
  7. Delirious, ingenious, often very funny and strangely touching film.
  8. 80
    The result is giddy, exciting and hilarious, not quite like any artistic experience you've ever had.
  9. Enhanced by Jason Staczek's superb score, this is characteristically intense and, unlike most of Maddin's silent-movie models, frenetically edited.
  10. 75
    Coming after the inspired trifecta of "Dracula: Pages From A Virgin's Diary," "Cowards Bend The Knee," and "The Saddest Music In The World," Brand feels a little like boilerplate Maddin rather than a fresh burst of inspiration.
  11. Wildly imaginative if extremely strange.
  12. Reviewed by: Ty Burr
    How often are psychosexual lunacy and classic cinema combined so fiendishly well?
  13. Winnepeg filmmaker Guy Maddin isn't known for run-of-the-mill movies, but the feature he debuted at the Toronto Fest was outrageous even for him. A silent film taking the form of a twelve-chapter Feuillade-flavored serial and designed to have live accompaniment, the movie itself is a match for any of his features to date, and could outstrip earlier efforts in the arthouse arena.
  14. Reviewed by: Scott Foundas
    Billed as a silent film, Guy Maddin's Brand Upon the Brain! is actually closer to a live theatrical event -- a feature-length motion picture screened with the accompaniment of a live orchestra, plus Foley artists, sound effects technicians and assorted vocalists, too. Together, they provide the elaborate soundscape for a typically frenetic, Maddin-esque amalgam of the autobiographical, Freudian and willfully absurd.

Awards & Rankings

User Score

Generally favorable reviews- based on 7 Ratings

User score distribution:
  1. Positive: 0 out of 1
  2. Negative: 0 out of 1
  1. Jan 25, 2011
    I am not really sure what to say about this. I guess I just am never going to understand Surrealism/Art- house/ Expressionism. Supposedly aI am not really sure what to say about this. I guess I just am never going to understand Surrealism/Art- house/ Expressionism. Supposedly a autobiographical (yeah right because my dad had a ring that he stuck into children's necks to harvest their nectar so he could make my mom young again too) this story is extremely well shot and edited as a modern day silent flick. The visuals and camera work are disturbing yet at the same time pleasing to the eye. The shrieks of mother from the audiophone are downright scary and the visuals of here in the watchtower swiveling back and forth looking for the children is horror at it's best, yet again I just can't really enjoy these movies for anything other than technique. The story's don't appeal to me and really make little sense unless completely over scrutinized and over analyzed. Full Review »