You know the cliche that something or other "sent a chill down my spine"? People who use that phrase -- including me -- usually do so metaphorically. This time I mean it literally. There are moments in The Broken that sent a physical chill running through my body. I'm not ready to call Sean Ellis's sophomore feature a great film; after one viewing, I'm not sure it makes total sense. But it is genuinely, supremely creepy. Fans of the genre should give the After Dark folks some of their hard-earned cash this week.
I should say that this is decidedly my kind of horror film: slow, moody, with little gore, few jolt scares, minimum exposition, and a maximum of atmosphere. (It also does another thing that I love, which is have events unfold on a small, personal scale while suggesting that something far larger in scope is happening.) In other words, it may not be for all tastes. It's original enough not to have a direct analogue, but in terms of mood and the types of scares it offers, think a quieter version of last year's The Strangers, with supernatural elements. And scarier.
Horrorfest's website, including participating theaters and a trailer for The Broken (that I wouldn't recommend watching, as it gives away too much without giving you a sense of the film) is here.