7/23/11

Who's the Fairest of Them All? : THE BROKEN

Essentially a re-telling of Invasion of the Body Snatchers, The Broken is a strangely effective little thriller about a British X-Ray technician ( Lena Headey) who suspects that her doppelganger is on the loose causing all kinds of problems for her.  However, as the film progresses, it becomes clear that others are under the same impression as our heroine.

Director, Sean Ellis has crafted a slick film full of detail, lingering takes, and gorgeous sets.  If nothing else.  The Broken is a beautiful looking movie ... thankfully, there is a lot more to it than a highly polished veneer.

One of the delights of watching The Broken are the homages scattered about to other horror films.   The Exorcist, The Shining, and Psycho are all referenced ...



...for instance:

A trip up to a creepy attic brings to mind Chris MacNeil's similar misadventure in The Exorcist.
 Two junk yard dogs fight viciously, bringing to mind a similar scene in The Exorcist's prologue.
A late night shower turns violent and bloody much like the mishap at The Bates Motel in Psycho.

There is also a nod to The Shining where a woman locks herself in a bathroom, to avoid her now crazed boyfriend.  Said boyfriend smashes in the door (but no axe is used), and the heroine escapes via a small window.

Homages, and style aside, The Broken works so well, because it has a perplexing plotline that takes the viewer on a mysterious journey where paranoia and fear seem to be lurking in every corner, or behind every mirror.   

What is more terrifying than discovering that the image one gazes upon every morning while brushing his teeth might actually be staring back and hoping for a way out?  And what if that image could manifest into the real world?  Would there be room enough for two?  I guess you'll have to see the movie to find out.

Finally, having no real expectations at all with The Broken, It is a pleasure to announce that this one really delivers the goods.    So sit back, cover all the mirrors in your house, and watch as this film casts its spell and drags you through the looking glass. 


10 comments:

James said...

Great write up, Pax - you've really sold this one to me. I haven't heard too much about it, but the premise, and the presence of Lena Headey, make me believe it would be worth tracking down. Thanks! )

Pax Romano said...

Thanks James, I would love to hear your take on it after you've seen it.

Dr Blood said...

Fantastic. I saw this one in the lists on Netflix but haven't got round to watching it yet. Now I will.

Pax Romano said...

Doc, and I am interested to hear what you thought about it.

jennypower said...

I love this actress, especially in The Sarah Connor Chronicles and Imagine Me and You. I thought this movie was quietly unsettling, and it struck the tone perfectly vs. the other Fearfest movies that struggle with the balance of ratcheting up tension and the actual payoff.

Pax Romano said...

Jenny, yeah those Fearfest and Afterdark films mostly feel like movies made as after thoughts. This one was pleasantly surprising

Jimbot said...

Watched it last night after reading your review. Thanks,most of the movies Netflicks has for streaming suck but this one was pretty good. Love and Kisses, Jimbot.

Pax Romano said...

Jimbot, you are welcome, love and kisses right back at ya!

jef-martel said...

I really enjoyed this one. I mostly saw it because Lena Headey is in it and was pleasantly surprised by the movie. Though the ending kinda saddened me a little (but it's the goal of that kind of movies so, yeah.)

Pax Romano said...

Jef, I thought the ending was a bit of a downer as well...but you know when they "Americanize" this (and they probably will), a happy ending is guaranteed.