BROKEN, THE  1

 

THE PLOT THUS FAR

On a busy street in London, Gina, a successful radiologist, thinks she sees herself drive past in her own car. Stunned by this strange event, Gina follows the mystery woman up to her apartment. From here, events take an eerie turn for the worse which leads to a car accident. Soon Gina’s awareness slides from solid reality into a world that will haunt more than just her nightmares as she attempts to unravel the mystery where the only clue is a broken mirror.

WHAT WE THOUGHT

The Broken, which comes from up and coming writer/director Sean Ellis who last year wooed me with the surreal and abstract romance Cashback, not only indulges in these somewhat supernatural concepts tenfold, but does so in ways that the horror movie does so best. Taking a leaf from the genre’s forefathers David Lynch and Alfred Hitchcock, with just a little nod here and there to the American Romantic macabre writer Edgar Allan Poe, Ellis here crafts a feature which borders on the surreal once more, this time on a much more subversive and subtle level. If you had told me that this young film-maker would go on to make a horror movie the following year after Cashback, I would have laughed it off—and yet, I would have had to choke back that laughter after catching a glimpse of what is offered here.

It all takes place in the busy city of London, as a family settles down for a small celebration of the father’s birthday and retirement. During a warm, friendly dinner, the conversation is abruptly drawn to a silence when a mirror suddenly crashes down onto the floor, much to the shock—and then bemused laughter—of those there to witness. From here on in however, the laughter is far and few between from those family members. The Broken dabbles in and out of the idea that behind each of those family members’ mirrors, lies an arguable alternate reality, or at least, person (read, doppelgänger), who is given form and begins to walk their own reality as if it was their own. Of course, it’s certainly an unsettling idea that someone could infiltrate your own existence and somehow seek to replace you, and you can bet Ellis does well to capitalise on that sense of threat and claustrophobia.

Rather than stoop to genre clichés and derivatives however, Ellis subscribes instead to the roots of the more artistically-driven horror movie focusing largely on atmosphere and suspense with plenty of mystery in tow. By approximation, The Broken can not possibly have had any more than perhaps two or three hundred lines of dialogue inherent to its story, and so the amount of detail then that is pushed upon creating a slow-moving, but very intricate analysis of tone and eerie aesthetic, is potent. The result is a horror movie that doesn’t necessarily feel like one that is out to scare you, but rather, unsettle you—make your mind race, and question the reality of what is going on within the characters’ minds. Indeed, as opposed to simply delivering cheap “boo” moments.

The Blu-Ray comes with a bonus webisode and the rest of the junk ported over from the DVD. The A/V Quality is quite sharp with an amazing DTS-HD 5.1 master audio track. The transfer is amazingly clear and crisp, which makes such an indie horror flick pop. Still, it’s not something that I would call an amazing film. In the end, I’d say that it’s worth a rental.

RELEASE DATE: OUT NOW!

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