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Broken (2006)

DVD Cover (Dimension Extreme)
Directors:
Simon Boyes Simon Boyes
Adam Mason Adam Mason
Starring:
Nadja Brand Nadja Brand
Eric Colvin Eric Colvin
Abbey Stirling Abbey Stirling
Megan Van Kerro Megan Van Kerro
Chesse Daves Chesse Daves

4.7 / 10 - Overall Rating

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Genres: Horror, Sadistic Horror
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Review by Tristan
Added: August 21, 2008
As a horror fan, you subject yourself to hours and hours of some of the worst movies out there, hoping to find an original one. You make your next decision based on different directors, actors, studios, and sometimes the distributors. Dimension Extreme - in my opinion - is a piss-poor excuse for a distributor. Sure they have their gems, but overall, it's mostly drivel. If you go through their catalog you see a few hits, a whole lot of misses. Thankfully, this was a hit. The first horror movie to be released on the label roughly a year ago, Broken was heralded as the most intense and vile movie since Saw. In fact, the cover boasts that it "makes Saw look like a children's film." I almost never read the cover quotes, but I found this one to be quite amusing. Comparing a movie to Saw just because they have a few similar elements? I think they were a little too big for their britches putting that on the cover. But silly quotes and bad distributor aside, this movie was a fun ride and entertaining right till the very end.

Our film begins with a woman wandering confused through the dark woods. She is then knocked unconscious by the butt of a gun and wakes up tied to a tree. A man (Eric Colvin) comes to her and tells her to dig the razor blade out of her stomach to cut the rope. Apparently while she was floating around dreamland, the man put one in her stomach then sewed her back up. She does so, but spills her intestines out in the process and gives up by letting the man kill her. We cut to two weeks later where we meet Hope (Nadja Brand), a young single mother out on a date. She returns home to relieve her babysitter, checks on her daughter and goes to sleep. She then awakens to find herself trapped inside a wooden crate. This is day 1. Day 2 finds her tied to the tree across from a previous victim who's obviously spent quite some time out there. Showing a little more determination than the first woman she decides to keep playing, the only thing on her mind is getting safely back to her daughter. This would be fine of course, if The Man didn't have days and days of grueling tasks and tortures prepared for her, all in his attempt to crush her spirit and keep her as his broken slave.

While I enjoyed it, it's definitely not a pumped up version of Saw, as the DVD cover would have you believe. It's a slightly smarter approach to the survival horror genre, and it's a little more entertaining to see a woman fighting through the worst possible situations you can imagine, than to see Cary Elwes saw his foot off, while treating the audience to some of the worst acting imaginable. Luckily this one was full of great acting from the leading lady Ms. Brand and the creepy Eric Colvin as the all-too-real survivalist. There was just something about how real he played the torturer that made it 100x worse to see what he was capable of. The red stuff was always around in large quantities, and it was ever apparent that the special effects guys knew what they were doing. I don't think this film would have been the same without Nathan McLaughlin and Tristan - OH! - Versluis' handy work. My hat goes off to those gentleman for a job well done. I'm a hard man to impress when it comes to the blood'n'guts, and they did a damn fine job of it. My only complaint is that there wasn't more of it.

There are a few issues I would like to point out that really kept this film from being perfect. For starters there was a few too many dead spots, some unexplainable events and unanswered questions. How does this man find these women and get into their homes? Does he make his own gunpowder for that gun? Another big problem I noticed was the video quality. Sure it's a low budget film made by a couple of relatively unknowns, but it really takes you out of the picture when it looks like you're watching a 90 minute infomercial or a documentary. The other - and last - problem I came across was the pacing. It was a little padded in parts, which kind of ruined the creepy atmosphere it had going for it. It would go from a nice intense scene to a slow, dull scene and hover there for 5 or 10 minutes. I wasn't expecting edge-of-your-seat thrills for 90 minutes, but it just seemed like they added a little bit too much filler and dialogue for a horror film of this nature. Also, as I mentioned before, it could have benefited from a few extra gore scenes. There were a decent number, but a movie like this...you're not really expecting there to be much else. Things like this are a reminder that you just have to overlook the small things in movies, and accept them for what they are. They're never flawless, and are usually quite the stretch of the imagination to begin with.

I was going to go with a 7/10, but since I only seem to care about what other people think and rate accordingly, I figured I'd drop it down a few points. Oh but wait, that would be doing exactly what I was accused of; my mistake. This movie gets the 7, which is exactly what I planned to give it once the credits rolled. Silly me, almost taking a completely invalid and useless comment to heart. I guess certain individuals can talk tough on the internet all they want, but at the end of the day, I don't own the Daredevil DVD.

7/10
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Chad #1: Chad - added 08/21/2008, 11:41 PM
Someone took that comment hard.
Nirrad #2: Nirrad - added 08/22/2008, 12:17 AM
Last paragraph.....priceless. Too bad the movie looked like shit though, and didn't have a higher rating. I was so pumped to buy this. Would you still recommend a purchase?
Tristan #3: Tristan - added 08/22/2008, 12:19 AM
To most of us, yes. But you can just borrow mine, silly.
Nirrad #4: Nirrad - added 08/22/2008, 12:21 AM
Pfft, then how will my great collection get bigger?
Tristan #5: Tristan - added 08/22/2008, 12:24 AM
Well first you can work towards making it great.
Nirrad #6: Nirrad - added 08/22/2008, 12:30 AM
....ZING!
bluemeanie #7: bluemeanie - added 08/22/2008, 10:18 AM
You know...I had forgotten I had seen this film until I read your review. Oh wait, I think I just stepped into a pile of shit and stared at it for a couple hours. FUCKING...ABSOLUTELY...AWFUL! 0/10.
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