The Broken (2008) Poster

The Broken (2008)

  • Rate: 5.5/10 total 5,351 votes 
  • Genre: Drama | Fantasy | Horror | Thriller
  • Release Date: 15 November 2008 (Japan)
  • Runtime: 93 min
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The Broken (2008)


The Broken 2008tt0906734.jpg poster

  • IMDb page: The Broken (2008)
  • Rate: 5.5/10 total 5,351 votes 
  • Genre: Drama | Fantasy | Horror | Thriller
  • Release Date: 15 November 2008 (Japan)
  • Runtime: 93 min
  • Filming Location: Bayswater, London, England, UK
  • Budget: £4,000,000(estimated)
  • Director: Sean Ellis
  • Stars: Lena Headey, Ulrich Thomsen and Melvil Poupaud
  • Original Music By: Guy Farley   
  • Soundtrack: Are You Drunk Enough?
  • Sound Mix: Dolby Digital
  • Plot Keyword: Radiologist | Broken Mirror | Car Crash | Mystery Woman | Nightmare

Writing Credits By:

  • Sean Ellis (written by)

Known Trivia

  • The inventive spelling of the title reads somewhat silly in Norwegian and Danish since the Ø in broken is a letter in the alphabet in these languages and sounds like the “u” in “burden”. In addition “brøken” is the Norwegian and Danish word meaning “the fraction”.

Goofs: Revealing mistakes: In the original scene of the accident she is shown to continuously stare at the car's mirror without tilting her head. In the last scene (where she remembers who she really is) it is visible that she tilts her head to see the blood on the right temple. Besides the fact that it's a mistake, it's misleading.

Plot: In London, the radiologist Gina McVey organizes a surprise birthday party to her father John McVey with her boyfriend Stefan Chambers… See more »  »

Story: In London, the radiologist Gina McVey organizes a surprise birthday party to her father John McVey with her boyfriend Stefan Chambers, her brother Daniel McVey and his girlfriend Kate Coleman. On the next day, she sees herself driving a car on the street and she follows the woman to her apartment, where she finds a picture of her father and her. While driving back, she has a car crash and loses parts of her memory; further, she believes Stefan is another man. Gina decides to investigate what is happening and unravels a dark reality.Written by Claudio Carvalho, Rio de Janeiro, Brazil  


Synopsis: Gina McVey (Lena Headly) is a radiologist living in London, England who is enjoying dinner one evening with her family and her boyfriend, Stefan, when a mirror shatters for no apparent reason. After a few moments, no one thinks much of it.

The next day Gina is leaving work and she sees something even more troubling — a woman who looks just like her, driving a car identical to her own. Curious, Gina sneaks into the doppelganger’s apartment and sees a photo of herself and her father in the hallway. Seriously rattled, Gina runs out and drives away, only to get in an accident that lands her in the hospital.

After she’s released, Gina asks Stefan if she can stay with him, but while he looks the same, his personality and behavior are quite different from the way she remembers him, and she begins having vivid nightmares which become all the more terrifying when the same horrific images begin popping up in her waking hours. Determined to solve her bizarre dilemma, and realizing her family has been exposed to unspeakable danger, Gina fluctuates between grim resolve and manic despair as her odd mystery begins to unfold once she begins to retrace her steps.

Gina soon discovers that doppelganger entities have escaped from a mirror broken earlier in the movie and are doppelgangers of her friends and family, killing them and taking their places. She tracks down her own double and finds her dead. Gina then remembers that SHE is the mirror double and killed her other in the first scene when they met, only to forget it after getting into a car accident which caused her mild brain damage. After one minute, Gina doppelganger remembers her true self and comes to terms with it, then her mirror father shows up outside her house. She signals that it is her.

The next day, Gina goes to work as usual as London is being taken over person by person. At work she runs into her brother (not yet a doppleganger clone), who takes a long look at her and then runs away. Gina does not chase after him knowing it will only be a matter of time before his own doppelganger will kill and replace him too.


FullCast & Crew

Produced By:

  • Lene Bausager known as producer
  • Yves Chevalier known as associate producer
  • Franck Chorot known as executive producer
  • Marshall Leviten known as line producer
  • Winnie Li known as associate producer

FullCast & Crew:

  • Lena Headey known as Gina McVey
  • Ulrich Thomsen known as Dr. Robert Zachman
  • Melvil Poupaud known as Stefan Chambers
  • Michelle Duncan known as Kate Coleman
  • Asier Newman known as Daniel McVey
  • Richard Jenkins known as John McVey
  • Daren Elliott Holmes known as Simon the Garage Manager
  • Howard Ward known as Jim
  • Damian O'Hare known as Anthony
  • Dennis Banks known as Doorman
  • In-Sook Chappell known as Crash Nurse
  • Peta Longstaff known as A&E Team
  • Ziad Alyan known as A&E Team
  • Lucy Bingham known as A&E Team
  • Marie Flood known as A&E Team
  • Jessica Stratton known as A&E Team
  • William Armstrong known as Dr. Kenric
  • Kubrick Ellis known as Ginger the Dog (as Kubrick)
  • Andrew Havill known as Dr. Myers
  • Lobo Chan known as Harry Lee
  • Ronnie Fox known as Breakers Yard Man
  • Tara Hugo known as Mary
  • Stan Ellis known as Stan the Janitor
  • Rita Davies known as Old Lady in Underground
  • Natasha Alderslade known as Secretary (uncredited)
  • Tom Collier known as Taxi Driver (uncredited)
  • Elle Crocker known as Michelle Duncan's body double (uncredited)
  • Chris Wilson known as Nervous Passenger (uncredited)



Supporting Department

Makeup Department:
  • Darren Evans known as hair designer
  • Darren Evans known as makeup designer

Art Department:

  • Peter Fentem known as property master
  • Adam A. Makin known as set constructor
  • Steven Morris known as dressing props
  • Dave Reed known as construction manager
  • Toby Riches known as stand-by props
  • Scott Rogers known as props
  • Chris Ulusele known as lead stand-by props
  • Oli van der Vijver known as props
  • Graham Ward known as stand-by art director




Production Companies:

  • Gaumont (presents)
  • Left Turn Films
  • Gaumont International
  • Thriller
  • Ugly Duckling Films

Other Companies:

  • Buzz Factory, The  promotions
  • Helicopter Film Services  aerial filming services provided by
  • Movie Lot, The  security
  • Panavision UK  aerial camera – Panavision Genesis
  • Panavision UK  camera equipment provided by
  • Production Copier Company  production equipment and services


  • Gaumont/Columbia TriStar Films (2008) (France) (theatrical)
  • After Dark Films (2008) (USA) (theatrical)
  • Libero (2008) (Japan) (theatrical)
  • Atlantic Film (2009) (Finland) (DVD) (Blu-ray) (both cropped to 1.78:1)
  • Atlantic Film (2009) (Sweden) (DVD)
  • Atlantic Film (2009) (Sweden) (DVD) (Blu-ray)
  • Golden Scene (2009) (Hong Kong) (DVD)
  • Odeon (2009) (Greece) (all media)
  • Paradiso Home Entertainment (2009) (Netherlands) (DVD)
  • SP Films (2009) (Argentina) (all media)
  • TVA Films (2009) (Canada) (all media)
  • Versus Entertainment (2008) (Spain) (all media)
  • Zon Lusomundo Audiovisuais (2010) (Portugal) (all media)



Other Stuff

Special Effects:

  • Elements Special Effects
  • Lip Sync Post (visual effects)

Visual Effects by:

  • Tom Collier known as visual effects supervisor
  • Stefan Drury known as head of film effects: Lipsync Post
  • Lorea Hoye known as visual effects producer
  • Carine Poussou known as visual effects coordinator
  • Abigail Scollay known as digital compositor
  • Bruno Sommier known as visual effects shooting supervisor
  • Paul Venn Stirling known as digital compositor: LipSync Post
  • Samantha Tracey known as visual effects coordinator
  • Aurélie Villard known as digital artist
  • Sheila Wickens known as digital compositor
  • Blake Winder known as digital compositor: LipSync Post

Release Date:

  • USA 18 January 2008 (Sundance Film Festival)
  • France 25 January 2008 (Gérardmer Film Festival)
  • Germany 10 February 2008 (European Film Market)
  • Belgium 2 April 2008 (Brussels International Festival of Fantasy Films)
  • UK 24 August 2008 (Frightfest)
  • Spain 8 October 2008 (Sitges International Fantastic Film Festival)
  • Japan 15 November 2008
  • France 26 November 2008
  • USA 9 January 2009 (After Dark Horrorfest)
  • Belgium 14 January 2009
  • Egypt 28 January 2009
  • Ireland 30 January 2009
  • UK 30 January 2009
  • Spain 27 February 2009
  • USA 31 March 2009 (DVD premiere)
  • Sweden 22 April 2009 (DVD premiere)
  • Greece 21 May 2009
  • Georgia 28 May 2009
  • Netherlands 16 June 2009 (DVD premiere)
  • Germany 26 June 2009 (DVD premiere)
  • United Arab Emirates 23 July 2009
  • Finland 5 August 2009 (DVD premiere)
  • Finland 24 August 2009 (Espoo Film Festival)
  • Argentina 28 September 2009 (DVD premiere)
  • Kazakhstan 10 December 2009
  • Russia 10 December 2009
  • Portugal 14 January 2010
  • Poland 26 February 2010
  • Australia 10 March 2010 (Blu-ray premiere)
  • Hungary 20 October 2010 (DVD premiere)

MPAA: Rated R for some violence, brief sexuality/nudity and language



Filmography links and data courtesy of The Internet Movie Database

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Posted on March 30, 2012 by Harry in Movies | Tags: , , , , .


  1. GoneWithTheTwins from
    30 Mar 2012, 7:35 pm

    Watching “The Broken” is like playing an endless game of Clue without ever finding out who killed Mr. Boddy. It’s a mystery without a solution, a tense psychological drama that reveals nothing other than how tense and psychological it is. It plays mind games only with itself, leaving the audience to watch from the sidelines in a bored, confused stupor. The idea behind it is intriguing, and for a time, it successfully builds itself up. The thing is, the act of building is pointless if there’s no height requirement. At a certain point, it becomes painfully clear that the story will only keep building without ever reaching anything. I do give it credit for creating the right atmosphere; the characters inhabit a moody, subdued world where nothing seems safe, not even a person’s own home. But atmosphere can only go so far, even in a horror film. It also needs an understandable story with an ending that doesn’t leave us with more questions than answers.It doesn’t help that “The Broken” is unbearably slow, and this is despite the relatively short running time of eighty-eight minutes. Specific shots are dragged out so long that I eventually stopped waiting for something shocking to happen. It works only the first few times, at which point I kept in mind that suspense is most effective when things go slowly. After those few times pass, however, the film comes dangerously close to being boring, moments of horror and all. This is probably because it does a fine job showing us what happens, but it does a terrible job explaining why or how it’s happening. By the end of the film, I was unable to make heads or tails of what I had just seen. What a shame, especially since it opens on such a promising note.The film begins by quoting the final lines of Edgar Allen Poe’s short story “William Wilson”: “You have conquered, and I yield. Yet, henceforward art thou also dead–dead to the World, to Heaven and to Hope! In me didst thou exist–and, in my death, see by this image, which is thine own, how utterly thou hast murdered thyself.” The story, you see, explores the theme of the doppelganger, or the double, where the self is divided amongst two separate yet identical bodies. In Poe’s story, another William Wilson–who looks similar and shares the same birthday–continuously haunts the protagonist to the point of insanity. The same theme exists in “The Broken,” which tells the story of Gina McVey (Lena Headey), a British radiologist who, after seeing a clone of herself, gets into a serious car accident. As she recovers, she begins to fear that things aren’t quite right, that her French boyfriend, Stephan (Melvil Poupaud), isn’t the person he once was.From here, the story takes a long-winded journey through strange territory, where mirrors constantly shatter and fragmented bits of memory keep flashing on the screen. Gina keeps trying to make sense of the crash, and apparently, so is writer/director Sean Ellis, who constantly shows it in slow-motion replays from various angles. He also relies greatly on composer Guy Farley, whose score is almost entirely made up of dissonant crescendos. It creates a mood, but what good is mood without context? Scary things keep happening, yet there’s no explanation for any of it, which tells me one of two things: Either this movie is an experimental art piece that intentionally challenges rational thought, or Ellis was so taken by the psychological themes that he neglected to focus on an actual plot. It’s difficult to believe that it’s the former, given the fact that Gina is not the only character with a doppelganger problem. Her American father (Richard Jenkins), her brother (Asier Newman), and her brother’s wife (Michelle Duncan) are all affected in some way, probably because of a scene early in the film–when the entire family eats dinner at the father’s house, a large mirror in the dining room suddenly falls over and shatters.For the sake of argument, let us say that “The Broken” is intended to challenge rational thought. Are we to assume, then, that the plot itself is irrelevant, that we’re only supposed to follow the psychological implications? If that’s the case, then there’s no better example of it than a plot twist near the end of the film, which, if you choose to interpret it metaphorically, effectively raises questions about which side of a mirror represents the reflection.But again, the fact that more than one character has a doppelganger makes the idea difficult to accept. How could such a broad psychological concept apply to so many people? Maybe this film would have worked had it focused entirely on Gina, because at least then the mystery would be much less open to interpretation. There would be some sense that the story is actually reaching for something. When you have multiple characters with evil doubles of themselves, the symbolic ideas are bound to get hopelessly confused with one another. Such is the problem with “The Broken,” a film that puts too many characters into a needlessly enigmatic story. I have no doubt that Ellis is trying to get at something, but for the life of me, I haven’t a clue what it is. The only thing I got out of it, aside from the atmosphere, was a desire to reread the works of Edgar Allen Poe. So maybe seeing this film wasn’t such a bad idea after all. – Chris Pandolfi

  2. willden21 from Utah
    30 Mar 2012, 7:35 pm

    Imagine if Kubrick, Hitchcock, and Lynch all worked together to make anexistential and truly scary film mixing elements of Invasion of theBody Snatchers and sixth sense made mostly for adults, where the plotis a pure ruse or mcguffin to examine the dark side of humanity.

    This film wowed me, this is not your average EXCITING FAST PACED newage horror film, this is a classic horror film that uses atmosphere andtheme to frighten us not just superficially but to our own personalcore. The use of haunting and beautiful imagery and sound design with aquietly creepy slow boiling pace equates to one of the most truly scaryfilms I have seen in years. This is for fans of The Shining, Rosemary'sBaby, Psycho, The seventies Invasion of The Body Snatchers, and EdgarAllen Poe. In fact, I saw the screening on Poe's Birthday, which thedirector announced, made our screening so special. In fact, it opens upwith a brilliant quote by Edgar Allen Poe, which explains the theme andideology behind the film completely.

    The plot follows a woman who sees a mirror image of her self, drivingher car, which leads to her following the woman to her apartment then acar accident. This leads her on a mentally challenging feat to retraceher memory and piece together what happened during and before thewreck. Her boyfriend no longer seems like her boyfriend, she hasfrightening nightmares that include some deeply disturbing and creepyimagery that chilled me to the bone. The violence is minimal; thecouple of scenes that are bloody are disturbing as hell, including agreat kill scene with a wink to Psycho.

    So, before you go to this film realize you need to open your mind up,be ready to think, and feel in order to be terrorized by this film.This is not a simple man's horror film. You need to be patient andallow yourself to be wrapped into the films pace, I will warn youagain, this is not a FAST PACED horror film, and that is what makes itso wonderful, Ellis uses his camera to paint beautiful yet quiet andhaunting images to creep under your skin and fill your nightmares.

  3. Claudio Carvalho from Rio de Janeiro, Brazil
    30 Mar 2012, 7:35 pm

    In London, the radiologist Gina McVey (Lena Headey ) organizes asurprise birthday party to her father John McVey (Richard Jenkins) withher boyfriend Stefan Chambers (Melvil Poupaud), her brother DanielMcVey (Asier Newman) and his girlfriend Kate Coleman (Michelle Duncan).On the next day, she sees herself driving a car on the street and shefollows the woman to her apartment, where she finds a picture of herfather and her. While driving back, she has a car crash and loses partsof her memory; further, she believes Stefan is another man. Ginadecides to investigate what is happening and unravels a dark reality.

    "The Broken" is a kind of slow-paced and stylish "Invasion of the BodySnatchers" through mirrors in London. Unfortunately the intriguingstory has a disappointing and pointless conclusion without anyexplanation for what is actually happening. The director and writer SamEllis fails in this regard and he should have followed Adrian Lyne's"Jacob Ladder" style, giving the explanation to the events to apsychological disturbance of Gina after the car accident. My vote isseven.

    Title (Brazil): Not Available

  4. Jamie Ward from United Kingdom
    30 Mar 2012, 7:35 pm

    They say that a broken mirror is sure to cast seven years of bad luck(or bad sex, as a character quips early on) to those who break it, andalthough such a concept is deeply rooted in mystic superstition, therenevertheless remains an eerie, foreboding core to its warning. Perhapscoincidentally however, is the much more tangible, but inherentlylinked concept of the doppelgänger, who is said to appear either as anomen of sickness or death. Indeed, both share common principles withthe mirror even producing doppelgänger's of a metaphysical sense, butboth also share the undeniable clause for weariness or suspicion. Ofcourse, in our daily lives, thinking with clear mind-frames andperspectives, such concepts are folly best left to those with paddedwalls. Yet, brought into the domain of film, there still remains asense of wonder about them that allow the extra-dimensional nature ofthe medium to truly shine.

    The Broken, which comes from up and coming writer/director Sean Elliswho last year wooed me with the surreal and abstract romance Cashback,not only indulges in these somewhat supernatural concepts tenfold, butdoes so in ways that the horror movie does so best. Taking a leaf fromthe genre's forefathers David Lynch and Alfred Hitchcock, with just alittle nod here and there to the American Romantic macabre writer EdgarAllan Poe, Ellis here crafts a feature which borders on the surrealonce more, this time on a much more subversive and subtle level. If youhad told me that this young film-maker would go on to make a horrormovie the following year after Cashback, I would have laughed itoff—and yet, I would have had to choke back that laughter aftercatching a glimpse of what is offered here.

    It all takes place in the busy city of London, as a family settles downfor a small celebration of the father's birthday and retirement. Duringa warm, friendly dinner, the conversation is abruptly drawn to asilence when a mirror suddenly crashes down onto the floor, much to theshock—and then bemused laughter—of those there to witness. From here onin however, the laughter is far and few between from those familymembers. The Broken dabbles in and out of the idea that behind each ofthose family members' mirrors, lies an arguable alternate reality, orat least, person (read, doppelgänger), who is given form and begins towalk their own reality as if it was their own. Of course, it'scertainly an unsettling idea that someone could infiltrate your ownexistence and somehow seek to replace you, and you can bet Ellis doeswell to capitalise on that sense of threat and claustrophobia.

    Rather than stoop to genre clichés and derivatives however, Ellissubscribes instead to the roots of the more artistically-driven horrormovie focusing largely on atmosphere and suspense with plenty ofmystery in tow. By approximation, The Broken can not possibly have hadany more than perhaps two or three hundred lines of dialogue inherentto its story, and so the amount of detail then that is pushed uponcreating a slow-moving, but very intricate analysis of tone and eerieaesthetic, is potent. The result is a horror movie that doesn'tnecessarily feel like one that is out to scare you, but rather,unsettle you—make your mind race, and question the reality of what isgoing on within the characters' minds. Indeed, as opposed to simplydelivering cheap "boo" moments, Ellis opts to get behind enemy lines,and scare from within, albeit cerebrally.

    What is most interesting about The Broken however -as is usually thecase with the best examples the genre has to offer- is not how Ellismanages to unsettle you, but how he gets you thinking. Behind the coldexterior and horror-movie façade of The Broken lays an intriguingallegory that sets about detailing the death of a person, or persons,through self-inflicted means. Be sure that I am not referring tosuicide, or anything of a literal, substantial meaning, but purely of apsychological, or metaphysical sense. In the world of The Broken,central character Gina (Lina Headey) is on the verge of committing to arelationship; her father (Richard Jenkins) facing old age andretirement—it could be argued that many of the people within TheBroken's story are facing the points in their lives where theysymbolically end, with said doppelgänger therefore representing thatvery shift from life to death by their own hands. From thisperspective, the ending to the movie attains a very poignant, and clearmessage.

    Whether or not the viewer takes such a message away from what Ellis hasto say here however, is beside the point. There still remains plenty ofvalue of The Broken's story with or without the added benefit ofsubtext or allegorical meaning. The movie does have its fair share ofproblems most of which reside within the extremely slow-paced secondact, which perhaps throws in a few too many indulgent scenes here andthere with dubious characterisation; but such flaws are minor incomparison to those that we as audiences are so accustomed to whenbeing treated to the average modern horror fare. Overall, The Broken isnevertheless a fine psychological analysis of ourselves as humanbeings, and how easy that barrier from sanity to insanity can bebroken, with or without the accompanying seven years of misfortune.It's compelling, gripping and actually manages to scare whilesimultaneously tickling the intellect—now when's the last time a horrormovie did that? – A review by Jamie Robert Ward(

  5. Siamois from Canada
    30 Mar 2012, 7:35 pm

    I have yet to write a review on Sean Ellis' debut, Cashback, because itleft such a strong impression on me. I consider it one of the rare10/10 movies I have had the joy to experience and so it was withtrepidation that I awaited his next one. I would lie if I said it metmy lofty expectations but it turns out to be better than it is creditedfor. The premise is simple. Radiologist Gina MvVey believes she seesherself, someone exactly like her, driving her car on a street. Fromthat point on, the movie is a slow-paced but suspenseful journey tofind out what is going on.

    There are very few jump-out-of-your-seats attempts in the movie and weare far from MTV-style editing and pacing here. The dialogs are equallyrestrained. A lot in this movie is implicit, from the variouscharacters and relationships to the story unfolding. The performanceshere are solid but discreet. Nobody is going to wow you but you dobelieve those actors. Ellis may not be the best director when it comesto guiding his actors but as far as building mood and capturing greatmoments, he is one of the better of his generation. The Broken has alot of static shots and slow camera work that tells a lot more than thescript could, some credit goes to Angus Hudson, who had worked withEllis on Cashback as well. A few of the shots are extremely memorableand haunting. Composer Guy Farley, who was responsible for the amazingmusic in Ellis' previous movie is also back. This time, the music'srole is a lot more subdued but he contributes here and there andespecially to the final scene.

    Most negative comments I have read seem to concern the derivativenature of the story. The Broken does indeed explore a theme that hasbeen visited before, because it is a frightening proposition. It is infact a primal fear of human beings. That the idea has been touched uponbefore is thus only natural. The treatment of the idea is also a bitderivative, I must confess. That is something I am less willing toforgive and thus I subtracted one from my final score. The film hasalso been criticized for the lack of an explanation. This is somethingI completely disagree for, for many reasons. Firstly, everything youneed to know about The Broken is clearly laid out. In fact, the "twist"at the end is rather predictable and even hinted at early in the movie.To have a strong denouement doesn't mean to solve the puzzles butinstead to build a great ride and an ending with impact. Why or howthis particular phenomenon is happening is totally irrelevant and thelack of a 3rd arc where we are bombarded with some kind of mysticalMumbo Jumbo is not only refreshing but prevents the movie from beingruined like so many movies with supernatural/mystery overtones. We knowexactly what is going on with this movie, we just don't know why.Audiences have been spoon-fed some "whys" for so long on their moviesthat it seems some just can't live without it.

    Where I have had a bit of a problem is with the director not exploringsecondary characters as much as I hoped for. I sense some missedopportunities there. Clearly, Ellis was more concerned with the journeyof Gina McVey and quickly set up the ensemble around her to move onwith the plot but I can't help but feel this prevents the last arc frombeing as strong as it could have been. The last scene with her and herfather, the last scene with her and her brother… those could probablyhave turned out better with some fleshing out of the story. There arealso a few moments I felt were a bit awkward. Such as a scene whereGina tries to recover a photograph in the subway, which just doesn'tfeel right from a storytelling point of view.

    But those are nitpicks. I have greatly enjoyed The Broken. It issuspenseful and beautiful. I demand a lot from the director ofCashback, which I consider a gem. I feel Ellis has not let me down,even though I suspect it could have been even better. This isn't aslasher movie or teen horror. It doesn't follow the growing trend ofinjecting humor, irony and self-derision in horror movies either. Infact, it may not even be considered a horror movie by today'sstandards. In tone and pacing, it is more similar to a Shyamalan or aKiyoshi Kurosawa movie. It has a strong, haunting, primal thematic andit lets us dwell on it for the whole 90 minutes.

    And it contains enough memorable scenes for us to be permeated by itsmood and dwell on it long after the credits have rolled.

  6. bob-1070 from United States
    30 Mar 2012, 7:35 pm

    Having read many of the comments here, I'm surprised that no one hasrecognized this as basically an overlong remake of a Twilight Zoneepisode from 1960 called "Mirror Image," starring Vera Miles. RodSerling did a much better job of creating an effective spooky tale in24 minutes than Sean Ellis did in 88 minutes with this tedious snooze.A short piece can be effective with a mysterious and unexplainedending, but in a feature film, there should be a bit more substance andthe story should make sense. Sadly, substance and sense are two thingsmissing from "The Broken." Yes, it has some moments, but they are notenough to justify your time. Some further observations: although thisis clearly a contemporary story, not one character in the movie has acellphone! And even though a car accident is the event that gets thestory going, there is never any reference to an insurance company, tothe person who was driving the other car, or to the police who wouldhave been required to do a report. My advice: skip this bore and watchthe original instead!

  7. Onderhond from
    30 Mar 2012, 7:35 pm

    It is weird how The Broken seems to have slipped under so many radars.Cashback, Ellis' first film, gained the director many fans which shouldbe more than excited to see his follow-up. Maybe it's because TheBroken is very different in style, maybe it's because Mirrors has asuperficially similar theme or maybe it's just because this film couldbe quite difficult to market, even to Ellis' fans.

    While Cashback was quite light, humorous and even poetic in tone, TheBroken is simply dark and menacing. Something Ellis' claims to becloser to his home territory, and who can contradict him after seeinghis newest film? Every part of the film is tweaked to inject some senseof dread into the audience and for the greater part the film succeedspretty well.

    Ellis started out his career as a fashion photographer and it shows inhis films. He is very keen on eye candy and he likes to show off. Eventhough the photography of The Broken has little in common with theflashy and glamorous look of fashion photography, Ellis' attention todetail and almost perfect use of color owes more than a little to hisformer line of work.

    The film looks dark and gloomy from start to finish, with no bright orstrong colors ever penetrating the darkened haze lying over the film.The editing is timid and the camera work often slow and even a littleoff-key. Intentionally so, as one strong scene with a mirror breakingoff screen just after the camera has had it in frame for a good 30seconds demonstrates. It's scenes like this that add a lot to themystery and uneasy atmosphere in the film.

    The score is nice and atmospheric, though could've contributed a littlemore to the film. While it definitely adds to the atmosphere, it's onlyin the last minute (and during the end credits) that Ellis shows moreshould've been done with it. The broken electronic of that last trackfits so well with the film, but it's the only time such an effect isapplied. A missed opportunity, even though the rest of the scoreremains more than decent enough.

    It's not the visuals or music that will keep audiences away from TheBroken though. The film is only 90 minutes long, but even in that smalltime frame Ellis keeps things vague and slow. Even though the uneasyatmosphere is ever present, there is not much happening on screen.There are two or three pretty effective scare scenes, but that doesn'tdraw an audience to the theater anymore.

    The biggest problem with The Broken is that it never reveals much aboutwhat is going on. We follow the main character while stuff happens toher. Weird stuff that is never explained, not even hinted at. We seethe "what", but never understand the "who" or "why". While this willdefinitely kill the movie for many, to me it was Ellis' most brilliantmove. It elevates The Broken above all those horror flicks trying toexplain the unexplainable with some weak or badly thought up storytwists. None of that here.

    And even though there is some kind of twist at the end of the film, itis hinted at a lot earlier so it shouldn't really come as a bigsurprise. Ellis confirmed himself he didn't set the film up to have atwist ending and by letting the audience in on it bit by bit he simplyincreased the mysterious feel as the film progressed.

    Whether you can stomach being left behind in the dark is up to you, butif you think you can handle the lack of information on what the hell ishappening, there is a little masterpiece hidden in The Broken. Ellis'style is refreshing in between all the horror flicks fighting to be thegoriest. Ellis' focus is an uneasy atmosphere by leaving the audiencein the dark and simply showing the facts from one point of view, and hesucceeds remarkably well.

    By far one of the most stylish horror films to come out of England inquite a while. Ellis proves himself a great director, who can handlemore than one style. I don't really care what he does next, as long asit's as good as Cashback and The Broken, I'll be there, buying my movieticket. 4.0*/5.0*

  8. Ismaninb from Suriname
    30 Mar 2012, 7:35 pm

    Some people complain that nothing is explained, nothing is revealed inThe Broken. They obviously are not capable of figuring things out forthemselves.They are used to stereotypal horror crap, in which exciteddialogues are alternated with gory so called actions scenes. The Brokenis different. It is stylish and visual, relying on fear in stead ofgore. If you are sensitive to that and don't think any movie slow thatdoes have less than five bloody victims per minute you will appreciateit. What's more, the plot is incredibly simple: images breaking throughthe mirrors, taking over and killing the originals. So switch yourbrains on, rewatch the key scene in which Kate is killed and everythingbecomes crystal clear.

    Now The Broken is far from perfect. The main problem is that it triesto be three different movies. There are a couple of gory scenes,especially the key scene with Kate in the shower. Predictably they arethe least frightening. The Broken is also a movie about amnesia and thefear involved when the main character Gina does not entirely recognizeher surroundings anymore. The third important theme is identity, indeedsimilar to Body Snatchers. In the last scene Gina's identity has beentaken over as well; that's why her brother Daniel runs.

    In my opinion the Broken should have focused more on the amnesia theme,always keeping the question open: is the fear based on reality or basedon fantasy connected with the amnesia? It must be a frigging nightmareindeed when you don't recognize your own house (or parts of it)anymore. The identity theme should have remained latent. The directorshould have cut even more on the gore, which only provides a fewanticlimaxes. If you think Texas Chainsaw Massacre intelligent then TheBroken is not for you anyhow.

    Now the result is a mixed bag. Besides the gore another weak point isthe annoying music. On the good side it knows how to build up tension,how to keep the spectator guessing and especially how to reflect fear.As such The Broken is certainly worth watching and in fact shows whathorror really should be.

  9. silvrdal from OKC
    30 Mar 2012, 7:35 pm

    While 'The Broken' doesn't cover any new ground, it is still verywell-made, well-acted and effective. Lena Headey and the cast areflawless. The lighting, color and photography of the film are stylishand attractive. The symbolism and foreshadowing are well-handled. I'msurprised that it hasn't been better-received. It is an 'art film',which might not be to the taste of those who like gory horror flicks,but for those who like creativity and chilling subtlety it is more thansatisfying.

    'The Broken' is for those who like 'The Orphanage', 'Dark Water','House of Voices', and the original 'Invasion of the Body Snatchers'.

  10. starunderspell from United Kingdom
    30 Mar 2012, 7:35 pm

    I would classify this movie as a horror only because of a certain gorybathroom scene. Otherwise, it is rather a psychological thriller toppedwith a great amount of fantasy. I extremely loved the concept of thecreepy body invaders as well as the mysteriously breaking mirrors thatjust added up to the eerie atmosphere.

    Occasionally, I felt the movie to be a wee bit repetitive, showing theaccident from various angles over and over again and the story was alsoquite easy to puzzle out after a while. However, these factors do notmake the movie less enjoyable. Also, many complained about the slowpace and the lack of "action" but honestly, I liked the fact that thefilm wasn't filled up with unnecessary carnage and slaughter and thatthanks to the slow flowing of the movie I had time to contemplate onwhat was going on instead of getting ready-made answers, even thoughtowards the end everything became pretty obvious, if one payed closeattention.

    All in all, it was a good suspense movie and I wouldn't mind watchingit again.

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