It is not often Efrit and I are surprised by a horror film that is more than a couple of years old. Frankly, I had little knowledge of The Broken before watching it. I was aware it came out around the same time as Kiefer Sutherland's Mirrors in 2008, but the similarities they share are next to nil...once you pass by the killer mirror concept.
Yes, I know that sounds like a big similarity to carry in common, the premise, but it is suprising how these two films could not be further apart in storytelling and structure. Mirrors was a glorified gore show, with a few great gore effects and scenes and not much else. The Broken was an arousing story that happened to have a horror lens.
The film wasn't fantastic or flawless, but it was a pleasant surprise. The flow churns slowly, but it seemed to have this grasp of common horror tropes, particularly psychological thrillers, that it used to throw you off balance for the first half hour or so. It set up a mystery, then implied it was going to plod out the answer over the next hour and a half.
I'll be honest, that first half hour was a bit rough. It didn't stand out, it lacked an edge or any definitive quality. But then, after "the kill" I latched on to the film for the entirety of its remaining runtime. It sparked a flame, then kept it burning bright with taut tension. The film housed several scenes that were exacerbated by "the kill" and allowed it to become something it most certainly was not through its first half hour or so.
I recommend this movie as a one-time watch. I think it provides enough substance and scares to offer entertainment value to our crowd of people, and was a surprise in many qualities that make a good film. After I've had some time to cool off from the cinematic experience, I realize the film managed to accentuate its strengths through its opening weaknesses, but it is hard to believe that establishing a film as boring and then saying halfway through "just kidding!" is a purposeful tactic to affect your audience. Or maybe this film is just brilliant.