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After dating a wonderful man, Hope comes back home, sees her daughter Jennifer and goes to sleep. She wakes-up in the woods with a psychopath, fighting to survive for more than forty days and asking information about her daughter to the stranger. Written by
Claudio Carvalho, Rio de Janeiro, Brazil
An abysmally poor entry into the 'torture porn' genre, a British movie shot out in the Cambridgeshire woods somewhere with the writer/director's own wife playing a central role. I have two questions after watching this: who told the writing/directing team they could direct, and who told the main actress she could act?
BROKEN is the worst kind of horror film, a repulsive exercise in sadism designed to cash in on the popularity of the SAW franchise, which it rips off throughout (and most notably at the beginning). The opening credits play out over a montage of a young woman trying to retrieve a razorblade sewn inside her stomach, and if that sounds like your idea of entertainment then you're welcome to it. The repetitive self-mutilation continues for another twenty minutes or so before the film settles down into a plot less affair which tries to depict a supposedly tense relationship between hostage and captor.
The truth is that BROKEN is entirely void of original idea and intent, so instead it ups the ante in terms of on-screen gore and general nastiness. Not that the special effects are good, because they aren't, but there's a general undercurrent of depravity and sadism which makes it an alternatively gruelling and boring watch. Despite the unpleasantness, there's never any suspense or tension in any of the hackneyed scenes, and the intensely irritating Nadja Brand fails to elicit one iota of sympathy for her character's plight. The villain is a nobody, there's no motivation or backstory for any of the characters, no attempts at characterisation or realism. Just endless repetition and padding until the final, merciful moments.
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