Director – Simon Boyes, Adam Mason
Cast – Nadja Brand, Eric Colvin, Abbey Stirling, Megan Van Kerro, Chesse Daves
Release Year – 2006
Reviewed by John of the Dead
Much like every other major horror film distributor, Dimension Extreme is hit or miss with most of their films but I really had high hopes for Broken. The storyline seemed like it would bring lots of brutality and result in a memorable watch, but execution issues in both writing and direction left this a very lackluster effort that I cannot recommend.
After coming home from a date with a wonderful man Hope kisses her daughter good night and lays down for a night of much needed rest. Upon awakening she finds herself in the grasp of a survivalist psychopath who has bound her up in the woods, however things become worse when she notices no sign of her daughter. The killer has no plans of letting her go, and as days turn to weeks her desperation to find her daughter forces her to make drastic decisions to ensure their survival.
I know it happens often in the horror genre but to this day I still hate it when I go into a film with expectations of enjoying it but instead find myself thinking “Why the hell did I watch that?”. The story was one that I expected to enjoy due to the elements it provided: survivalism, brutality, a seasoned killer, and a protagonist with more at stake than her own life. Writers Adam Mason and Simon Boyes had much potential in this story of theirs but poor writing execution ruined most of it. I enjoyed the idea of Hope having to not only worry about her own life but her daughter’s as well, and her pains to find out the state of her daughter’s well-being was a nice touch as far as conflict goes. The usage of the killer was fun as he provided many hard-to-watch scenes of torture in order to get his way, which may be a turn off to some but it made for good horror nonetheless. Of course these are pretty much the only positive the story has to offer. What really ruined this for me was the completely unlikable characters we were given. Their dialogue was stupid and we get little background information on them, plus I found myself hating everyone in the film – including a brutal killer that I normally would love but of course our two bonehead writers screwed that up. When a screenplay is that bad regarding its characters then the rest of the film is going to fail, and that is exactly what happened.
Adam Mason and Simon Boyes also served as the film’s directors, which did little to aid the film given their direction was just as bad as their writing. The film is obviously of a low budget, which is fine, but also noticeable was a low amount of talent from the filmmakers. The acting performances were horrible, an element that aiding in my hating of the characters, and their pacing was off throughout the entire 110 minute experience. I will say that they did provide some pretty brutal scenes that had me cringing at times, but despite that the scenes could have been shot better and been more tasteful and not so much just for shock value.
Overall, Broken is a film that showed potential at times but never developed into anything worthwhile. The writing is bad and poor direction did little to aid it which in the end made for an experience that I suggest you avoid.