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Review: The Sexy Brutale Review

Lafcadio Boone is a mysterious man. He’s trapped playing out the same 12 hour long Masque, over and over again, in a mansion that’s as hostile as it is stylish. Everyone is masked, of course, but only his has a bloody handprint on the front (a blessing, we are told, from the suspiciously occult Bloody Girl, who makes an unpleasant splatting noise when she walks, and what kind of respectable blessing is so macabre?). And then there is the Marquis, notable by his absence. All the other guests are being murdered, and Lafcadio must save them. One by one. 

Even after you save them, though, they’ll die again the next time the day resets. You only need them for their masks, really, which grant Lafcadio interesting new powers. With them he may pick locks, see ghosts, listen to whispers. Lafcadio is ‘The Sinful Preacher’, but why? Why was he even at The Sexy Brutale in the first place? The others remember him, though, and in strange, melancholy ways: ‘You play so beautifully!’, and Lafcadio, without prompting, plays a love song Tequila Belle wrote a long, long time ago.

Like an episode of Columbo, whenever a murder is messily committed we already know who did it: one of the Butlers Brutale, the be-gasmasked house staff who each represent a card from the usual 52. They are deferential as long as they think someone’s watching, and snide, cutting, and entertaining when they don’t. Stopping a murder isn’t as easy as sneaking up behind them with a weighty candlestick, however, because everyone’s mask but Lafcadio’s is imbued with a sinister power. They paralyse the ability to do anything except swiftly exit a room, and will chase Lafcadio down until he does so. The on screen-representation of this is what I imagine a migraine would look like if it was asked on a fancy date.

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