The Brøken (2008)
France (dir. Sean Ellis)
Cast: Asier Newman, Lena Headey, Melvil Poupaud, Richard Jenkins, Ulrich Thomsen
Synopsis: Lena Headey stars in this disturbing horror film as a woman who glimpses someone who looks just like her. In her search for answers, she comes to the startling realization that her loved ones may be involved in this sinister mystery.
Review: The Broken is one of the few refreshingly original films of the last year. It’s not a remake, it’s not based on a novel or short story, and it’s not a big budget over-hyped Hollywood horror movie. One could quickly jump to assume that this is merely a rip-off of Mirrors (based upon a similar mirror related horror tale), but I would argue that The Broken is ultimately the superior film. The film has a very simplistic structure, a purposefully vague storyline, and a great cast (if you thought one Richard Jenkins was creepy enough, this movie has TWO). I think it’s also worth noting that this is one of the first films I have ever seen in which SILENCE proves to be exceptionally crucial. There’s nary a loud bang or shriek to be heard. This film uses the simplicity of absolute silence in constructing the film’s mood and tone. It is very rarely that I have seen silence to be used so effectively in a film. The lack of sound (occasionally complemented by the shattering of a mirror) contributes to the overwhelming cinematic suspense you will experience should you make an effort to check this one out.
The premise of the film is that evil mirror people somehow escape from the confines of the mirror world and make an attempt to “replace” their real-world counterparts. As previously mentioned, yes, I agree that it sounds a lot like the movie Mirrors, but it’s not as over-the-top as Mirrors and it certainly makes no attempt at explaining itself in any way. Essentially we are not given any straightforward explanation as to why the mirror people exist, or why they feel it is necessary to commit identity theft, mouth fisting, murder, and have freaky drooly sex. We are given more questions than answers, and we eventually end up with a stack of questions that can either leave you feeling frustrated or intrigued or a combination of both. I felt a combination of both. The ending was unexpected, yes. The ending was shocking and terrifying, yes. However, I am adamant it could have been better. It didn’t sit too well with me for a few days, and I slowly had to unravel the storyline in my head to get an idea of what the ending was trying to suggest. I really don’t want to give too much away, but I’ll simply state that the ending to this movie is multi-layered, very complex, and may leave you more confused and disturbed than before. Is it worth checking out? Definitely. Does it have a scene in which someone gets their jaw ripped off “Mirrors” style? Yup.