ARROW IN THE HEAD REVIEWS

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The Broken (2009)
Written by: The Arrow
Director: Sean Ellis

Starring:
Lena Headey/Gina
Richard Jenkins/John
Asier Newman
Michelle Duncan/Kate/Danie
PLOT-CRUNCH
After coming face to face with her doppelganger and then having an amnesia inducing accident, hot buns radiologist Gina (Headey) tries to get her memory back while attempting to decipher what in Guy Lafleur’s name is going on!
THE LOWDOWN

Face your fear.

I knew nothing about THE BROKEN or its writer/director Sean Ellis before hand; I hadn’t even seen the trailer. Yup, I was in the dark! Some cool dame recommended the film to me at a Festival in between beers and trusting her judgment, I nabbed the DVD when I got back home WITH ZERO idea as to what I was in for. Luckily for me, I wound up meeting one of favorite films of the year.

THE BROKEN is definitely not a horror movie for everybody. It’s the definition of a love it or hate it effort in my disgustingly too often inaccurate opinion. What will define which side you’re on is your answer to these questions: 1- Do you dig on slow burn genre films? 2- Are you okay with NOT fully understanding what the f*ck just went down, even as the end credits roll? If you answered YES to both these mind numbing queries; then THE BROKEN may be for you. If it’s NO on both counts, take the NO DICE highway, remember to drink and drive and be a better man or woman for it.

THE BROKEN wooed me right off the bat with its GORGEOUSLY bleak, gloomy and almost colorless look. Backed up by stylish and jaw dropping shots; this one really cranked my dial visually. It’s been a while since I’ve seen London played up this much in the “looks like a mucho spooky place” department. NICE! The movie’s unsettling tone got under my skin as well. I rarely felt safe while watching this one; the aura of threat was lingering off every frame. I guess constant uneasiness was the word and me on the edge of my lazy-boy was the result. What about the story you may ask? Well, the best way I can describe it is Hitchcock, meets Lynch by way of Body Snatchers. The film put me in the shoes of its clueless heroine and then subjected my sorry ass to the same oppressive experience she was put through. Made for quite the visceral ride; I loved being lost with her.

The fact that sultry and uber talented Lena Headey was the dame I was tagged with for a buck and a half helped matters that’s for sure. Talk about a powerful presence on screen. Her mix of strength, class and sexiness charmed the pants out of me. Add to that a handful of potent scare bits, one hell of an eye popping car crash sequence that punched in where it counted (that multi angle shit owned) and a one-two, one-two-three bitch goes down ending that sent me to hell looking for Hitler so I can KICK HIS ASS and you get one for the books, well my book anyways...well its more like a magazine… with two pages in it and a fold out poster of Burt Reynolds… but I digress.

Any complaints to file in? Nothing major. The score needed some work. It was redundant and overbearing at times. Moreover, although the vagueness of the affair played well on me on a whole, in the end, I couldn’t shake wanting more on the WHY behind it all. With that spat, would the film be better or worse if more juice was served as to its happenings? Not sure. Yup, its one of those! At the end of the kill, it’s been a while since I’ve boogied with a flick that looked so damn dark, was so ambiguous and this well shot. I actually tapped it twice over the course of two days, that’s how much I was taken by this bitch. Will you be? The f*ck I know, we’re all different people, that come from different walks of life and with different perspectives on things – so your call – to roll the dice or not. Am off to the Pub, to see what I broke yesterday and pay the damages…
GORE
The flick was more axed on mood and tension than gore, but we do get a couple of left field howlers that I won’t give away – I was taken aback – maybe you will be too.
ACTING
Lena Headey (Gina) is quickly becoming a favorite of mine. She commands the screen, has a wide range and lets face it is sizzling hot. She emanates sexy and a high IQ. What else do you want in a gal? Here she was the center of attention and nailed her multifaceted role. Props! Melvi Poupuad (Stefan) and Michelle Duncan (Kate) gave strong shows that stayed with me even though their parts were small. Richard Jenkins (John) was affable as the retired Dad.
T & A
We’re treated to two quick glimpses of T and a peek at an A.
DIRECTING
Sean Ellis’ eye floored me. His shot compositions, camera movements, panache at generation tension and dread were all top notch. He’s somebody I’m going to keep tabs on from now on.
SOUNDTRACK
The score worked for me most of the time. But at times it occasionally either felt too superfluous or too BIG for its own good.
BOTTOM LINE
THE BROKEN was a pleasant surprise, a film driven by mood, arresting visuals and entrancing ambiguity. Think a somber horror poem in motion. The picture also had one hell of a well rounded actress in the lead and launched a finale that left a back-handing impression on my simpleton self. Yeah, the music needed more work and maybe getting more answers could’ve stepped this one up (or maybe not) but either way – I fell in love (and lust) with it. It's like I vomited before, its drunken whore pace and unapologetic vagueness will either piss you the f*ck off or suck you in deeper into its rabbit hole. Check it out and find out for yourself!
BULL'S EYE
Lena Headey is well known for her role of Sarah Connor on TV's Terminator: The Sarah Connor Chronicles.|

Director Sean Ellis is also a well known and renowned photographer.

Sean Ellis also wrote THE BROKEN screenplay.

VISIT THE FRENCH SITE FOR THE BROKEN

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3:50AM on 06/28/2009
I was skeptical at first. I try not to read reviews until after viewing to see other reactions. Every film in the After Dark fest is typically sketchy, some gems and some downright shit, but this was definitely the former, plus as you say, you really cant go wrong with Ms.Headey, and Id like to go other places with her as well...Huh,HMMM. I looked Ellis up after seeing he was the director and watched his short film "Left Turn" and was immediately enamored by his visual style and the
I was skeptical at first. I try not to read reviews until after viewing to see other reactions. Every film in the After Dark fest is typically sketchy, some gems and some downright shit, but this was definitely the former, plus as you say, you really cant go wrong with Ms.Headey, and Id like to go other places with her as well...Huh,HMMM. I looked Ellis up after seeing he was the director and watched his short film "Left Turn" and was immediately enamored by his visual style and the concept/execution of this short, if you havent seen it please do it is awesomely creepy and deranged - you can find it on YouTube. Great review as always...

actually I lied I will read Arrow in the Head reviews beforehand, yours, Eric's and Jimmy-O's sometimes because they are usually spot on with my tastes
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1:44PM on 06/21/2009

It's just 'Mirrors' without Jack Bauer...

... just kidding. I found this a far superior film. Personally I didn't find it at all confusing; it was perfectly clear WHAT was happening, and though I agree it didn't explain WHY, I didn't feel it needed to. The concept was quite unnerving, an old idea but one that's not been used all that often in films. Admittedly plot and subtext were both fairly thin and felt familiar to me having struggled to stay awake through lectures on psychoanalysis in horror - blah blah self blah unheimlich etc.
... just kidding. I found this a far superior film. Personally I didn't find it at all confusing; it was perfectly clear WHAT was happening, and though I agree it didn't explain WHY, I didn't feel it needed to. The concept was quite unnerving, an old idea but one that's not been used all that often in films. Admittedly plot and subtext were both fairly thin and felt familiar to me having struggled to stay awake through lectures on psychoanalysis in horror - blah blah self blah unheimlich etc. But it worked, and I'm not going to complain when it's as well acted and (very) well directed as this. Like Arrow I will most definitely be keeping an eye on Sean Ellis and checking out his other work. Recommended.
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7:39AM on 06/18/2009

Interesting

That was a great review and this certainly sounds like my kind of thing, I will be keeping an eye out for it. As always thank you, you always bring attention to films I might not have otherwise heard of, and you haven't done me wrong yet.
That was a great review and this certainly sounds like my kind of thing, I will be keeping an eye out for it. As always thank you, you always bring attention to films I might not have otherwise heard of, and you haven't done me wrong yet.
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