Monday, March 21, 2011

#227. Broken (2006) - Spotlight on England

Directed By: Simon Boyes, Adam Mason

Starring: Nadja Brand, Eric Colvin, Abbey Stirling

Tag line: "Horror Has A Human Heart"

Trivia:  In Japan, this film was released as JIGSAW: DEAD OR ALIVE

The opening of Broken, a 2006 independent horror film inspired by actual events, offer a quote by Harriet A. Jacobs: “The slave girl is reared in an atmosphere of fear”. This provides an inkling of what to expect from the story, but fails to prepare us for just how savage this movie will become. The title sequence of this film, packed with bloody violence, is enough to turn the heartiest of stomachs.

Returning home from a date, single mom Hope (Nadja Brand) kisses her sleeping daughter Jennifer (Megan van Kerro) good-night, then heads to bed. But when Hope awakens the next morning, she is no longer in her bedroom, or even her small apartment. She's in the middle of a forest, locked in a coffin-like crate, with blood all over her clothes.

Hope has been abducted by a mysterious man (Eric Colvin), who is intent on keeping her as his prisoner. Anxious to learn the whereabouts of her daughter, Hope initially plays along with her captor, enduring the physical abuse he throws her way. But it isn't long before Hope, beaten down and with no end to her torment in sight, will do whatever it takes to escape.

Though they are together for the majority of the film, very little dialogue passes between Hope and her abductor, referred to only as "the Man" (he's never given a name). But then, words aren't necessary; we learn all we need to about their 'relationship' just by watching the two of them interact. In an early scene, an unconscious Hope awakens to find herself strapped to a tree, a rope fastened around her neck. She is also standing on a log balancing on a stump, meaning one wrong move and the log will fall, and Hope will die of strangulation. Hanging on a tree directly across from her is the decomposing body of another girl, tied in exactly the same manner. Hope starts to scream, at which point her kidnapper walks up, hands her a sharpened stick and says “cut it out if you want to survive”. The result of this exchange is perhaps the most disturbing scene in the entire film.

The acting is top-notch. Nadja Brand does a fine job as the tortured prisoner who eventually tires of her new lot in life. You can see the initial fear in her eyes, slowly replaced by hatred as the days drag on. The truly great performance, however, is delivered by Eric Colvin as the Man. We never do learn what drives his character to abduct women (though we get the feeling he's an old pro at it). He is an enigma, a twisted individual who nonetheless has a method to his madness. He remains a frightening presence throughout Broken, and we dread him as much as his prisoner does.

Be warned: Broken is not an easy film to sit through. Each gory scene is matched by another featuring mental anguish, which is just as difficult to watch. But if you are up to it, then I certainly recommend this film. Broken is one of the better Indie horror movies I've seen in some time.


Anonymous said...

Hooha that is a strong statement with thousands of indepandants one of the best you seen. I must see it!!

TY for all the extra horror films!!

DVD Infatuation said...

Thanks for stopping by.

Yeah, I was really impressed with this film. It has it's share of gore, but it's also a psychological horror film, with a real battle of wills at times between the two leads. Definitely worth checking out.

Thanks again, and thanks also for listening to Planet Macabre.

Anonymous said...

How goes it MisterShock, I was wondering how I subscribe to your horror write-ups via RSS, like I do on Planet Macabre.

Thank you,

Anonymous said...


DVD Infatuation said...

Thanks for the comments!

D.W.: I'll have to look into the RSS feed. Hopefully, I can have something up by the end of this week.

Anonymous: Thanks so much for kind words. We appreciate it.

Thanks to both of you for listening to Planet Macabre.

emre said...

You know Dave, I wonder if there's another genre name for such films to be called instead Horror? I sometimes think that these are not meant to be horror at some point. By that I mean lots of gore scene as you mentioned, not for everybody's watch and not for every horror film lover.

DVD Infatuation said...

@emrecnl: I understand what you're saying, but in the case of BROKEN, I definitely consider it a horror film. Yes, its gory, but the central tale of kidnapping and isolation make for a nerve-wracking film.

Thanks for stopping by, and for the comment!