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THE BROKEN
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Reviewed by: Zombie Boy

Directed by: Sean Ellis

Starring:
Lena Headey
Richard Jenkins
Asier Newman

Movie:  
star star star star
Extras:  
star star star star
Overall:  
star star star star
What's it about
What lies behind a mirror? Does it only reflect ourselves back at ourselves, or is there a depth to the image we cannot fathom until it is too late?
Is it good movie?
Gina McVey is having a difficult day. Her boyfriend is being evasive about living together, her father is facing retirement with less than aplomb, and she has just witnessed herself driving her own car down the street. She follows herself and presumably there is a confrontation, but the horrific car accident she has preceding it has clouded her memories. Now she is seeing and hearing strange things, both awake and in dreams, and cannot be sure if something is really wrong with her world or if it is only a brain injury due to the accident.

The Broken is just shy of being a brilliant film. The feel is clinical like Cronenberg, yet draws suspense out of thin air ala Hitchcock, and its showcasing of the power of near silent storytelling harkens back to Kubrick at his best (director Sean Ellis's real life dog has a small part in the movie: guess what his name is?). Which is not to take away from Ellis's style that is all his own. He is a man who knows the power of an image, and even his camera moves continue the reflection motif. The desaturated blue colorscape gives Lena Headey's already gorgeous face a near monolithic look, and the visuals and use of aural cues are nothing short of haunting.

Alas, what keeps The Broken from being a four-beer film are the lapses in continuity of characters. The twist is telegraphed pretty early on, and just a small application of critical thinking and logic causes the central premise to break down. When the film is going full-tilt boogie with the weirdness, during the second act, it is a force to be reckoned with. But when it attempts to resolve the action, it starts to sag in the middle like rain-soaked balsa wood. Luckily the ending is so maddeningly and infuriatingly open-ended that it will stick in your mind for hours to come, like a broken piece of popcorn stuck between your teeth. That is the hallmark of a good movie.
Video / Audio
Video: 16x9 Widescreen, 1.78:1 aspect ratio. Very crisp image, like an Autumn day.

Audio: 5.1 Dolby Digital, with optional English and Spanish subtitles.
The Extras
The only feature here is a chaotic and annoying mishmash of Miss Horrorfest 2008 webisodes that I would pretty much rather get peed on than ever watch again.
Last Call
I have purposefully steered cleared of getting into the plot of this movie, since I feel it would work better for you to discover it more organically, as you watch. I think it will be worth your while. You will get no closure, and too close scrutiny raises questions with unfavorable answers, but I think the eerie vibe and creepy visuals more than suffice, and will possibly keep you from stepping in front of a mirror for a few days.
ARROW IN THE HEAD'S RATING SYSTEM
star star star star I'D BUTCHER MY FAMILY TO SEE THIS AGAIN
star star star HANG ME BUT I DUG IT A LOT
star star AN OK WAY TO KILL TWO HOURS
star JUST SLING AN ARROW IN MY HEAD AND LET ME DIE IN PEACE

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