BRAIN ON FIRE – MOLDY MOVIE REVIEW

WELCOME TO MY FIRST EVER MOLDY MOVIE REVIEW!

Thank you for joining me here as I delve into my first in depth review!

For my first review I chose Brain on Fire starring Chloe Grace Moretz.

Within my review I will discuss acting, film techniques, story structure as well as many other things. I may sprinkle in a bit of my personal taste. So I’m letting all of you know that there will be a tad bit of my own bias, but I wont let it over run my reviews.

Now to the review!


Brain on Fire featuring Chloe Grace Moretz is a Drama film based on the story of Susannah Cahalan an up-and-coming reporter at the New York Post who is plagued with voices in her head and seizures that are driving her into insanity. She visits doctors and everything seems to be normal but something is off, will someone intervene and help her?

At first I was intrigued, I loved the effects and camera tricks that were used to show Susannah’s sickness coming on. It made me feel like I was ill, sick to my stomach, but in a good way.

But then her insanity kicked in… and I wasn’t buying it. She’s yelling at a tap and it felt like someone asked her to yell at it. She’s jumping around the office yelling at her friend, then saying how happy she is. Which could have happened but the manner in which it was presented was on par with a local highschool play, or a childhood home video movie.

The spurts of madness from saying the pills she had been taking for 24 hours were the reason she’s the way she is to yelling at her stepmom for calling her names that the stepmom never said, none of it seems believable. The acts seem believable but the acting doesn’t.

The one redeeming quality that Chloe Grace Moretz possesses in this sequence of madness is the look in her eyes. Some moments show a glimpse of insanity and absence of self.

Moving away from CGM, the only actors that performances were somewhat palatable were Jenny Slate (Margo), Thomas Mann (Stephen), and Carrie-Anne Moss (Rhona). These three actors, respectively played their roles well enough that they didn’t put out the fire but couldn’t add enough heat to keep the fire burning.

Jenny Slate plays the role of the friend quite well although I would have loved for her to show a little more concern for Susannah’s wellbeing during the early to mid stages of her descent. She’s friendly and funny in a somewhat sarcastic love you, hate you kind of way.

Thomas Mann plays a caring enough new boyfriend that shows he’s still very much immature but will stick around through the tough stuff. He’s kind of endearing and annoying.

Between her two parents Carrie-Anne Moss’ Rhona is the least irrational. Richard Armitage (Tom Cahalan) however is over exaggerated and just flat out unbelievable and annoying. He is so theatrical that it almost seems like he’s trying to mirror someone who cares but can’t build up the want to care on his own.

By the end of the movie it feels like a sensationalizing of seizures and a parody of people actually dealing with mental health and psychological hardships.

This movie being based on a true story is upsetting as it feels disrespectful and distasteful.

In closing I feel as though this moving could have been done a lot better but it goes deeper than what is on the surface. The whole story of the movie gets lost in the rush of the film’s short run time and the casting felt like they had a week till filming to find their actors.

Nobody seems into it and the film falls flat. It was hard to stay completely focused on the movie because of the lackluster acting and the subpar dialogue.

Final Mold Score: 18/100