Talk about slow burn. The Broken is a beautifullly filmed supernatural thriller that is definitely for the more patient horror fan. It’s not boring, but it does take a while to get going.
The strongest thing that The Broken has going for it is an underlying sense of dread. From the very first scene, things feel uneasy, and that feeling subtly gets stronger as the film builds.
Remember how The Invasion, the film with Nicole Kidman and Daniel Craig, had to go back for reshoots because the studio execs felt it was too slow. The director wanted to make a slow burn, intelligent horror film that didn’t require blood and explosions to be interesting. The Broken reminds me of that kind of film, without the reshoots.
Read my full review after the jump.
The film centers around Gina, played by the always easy to look at Lena Headey. She works in a hospital, has a pretty nice family, and a boyfriend that she’s afraid to commit to. One day, on her way out of work, she sees someone driving her car away. More accurately, she sees herself driving her car. Her reflection has been doing some strange things – are our reflections coming out of the mirror and trying take over our lives? She panics, steals the car back, and ends up getting into a pretty horrific car accident. She’s relatively unscathed, but when she comes back, things are different. She’s having horrible dreams and visions, and her boyfriend isn’t acting like his usual jovial self. She’s beginning to wonder if it’s him at all. Or is it all in her head, a result of trauma from her accident?
The film reminds me of an old Twilight Zone episode, “Mirror Image,” where our evil dopplegangers had set about a plan of replacing us. Again, that one was more suspense than horror, and was done without crazy special effects and CGI, just good writing and acting. Everyone here puts in a top notch performance, and, were the film to have come out on Blu-Ray, I probably would have picked it up there because it’s very pretty to look again. What’s important about the slower pacing of the film is that, when something horrific does happen, it’s truly a shock and surprise.
The bonus features on the disc…well, SUCK. It’s only got Miss Horrorfest Websisodes, which totally have nothing to do with the film. I know I got these films for a good deal at Best Buy, but a little featurette on the film would have been nice. But, alas, nothing.
As long as you’re okay with deliberately paced movies that don’t beat you over the head with exposition heavy explanations and leave an air of mystery to the story, The Broken is up your alley. If you’re looking for something more exciting, less heady, and more of a fun horror romp, probably not for you.
Paul’s Awesomeness Score – 7 out of 10!