There are a few positive reviews of The Broken floating around from Sundance 2007 and elsewhere, but I wanted to add an endorsement tied to its berth in this year's installment of the fledgling After Dark Horrorfest, which runs this week. In past years I've been generally disinterested in the Horrorfest programming, which has seemed heavy on schlock, but The Broken seemed intriguing, so I ventured out and saw it on Saturday.

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.