Saturday, February 2, 2013

BROKEN (2006) movie review

Broken (2006) d. Boyes, Simon / Mason, Adam (UK)

Amidst the spate of “torture movies” that descended upon the latter half of the last decade, writers/directors Simon Boyes and Adam Mason’s gut-wrenching effort stands out for several reasons, first and foremost being its tiny budget (approx. £500,000), proving once again that zillions are not required to create effectively chilling horror. The plot is deceptively simple: Single British mother Nadja Brand (who also co-produced) finds herself abducted, secreted away to a secluded woodland setting, and forced to go through a rigor of survival tasks by her captor Eric Colvin, each nastier than the last.

Going in the opposite direction of the Saw series’ intricate feats of engineering, co-writers/directors Boyes and Mason return to basics, utilizing heavy link chains, hunting knives and fiercely committed, powerhouse performances as their tools of assault. Combining Erik Wilson’s skillful cinematography with a moody aural tableau of music and rustic foley artistry, the sadistic trials grow more grimly intense by the minute, but without the feel of shameless gratuitousness. With Brand and Colvin’s fearless portrayals anchoring the drama, there are legitimate faces given to each side of the equation (as opposed to the cardboard cutouts so often served up), imbuing the onscreen viciousness with all the more impact.

Easily the feel-bad movie of the year, this is not fanciful, Hostel-type horror – which is as it should be, considering its subject matter. Broken takes itself seriously, without the slick stench of glossy Hollywood efforts, and while hardly amused, I was more than a little impressed by its ability to affect both on a visceral level and an emotional one.

No comments:

Post a Comment