Broken (2009)
Directed by Sean Ellis

Starring Asier Newman Lina Headey Melvil Poupaud Michelle Duncan Richard Jenkins

The best evil doppelganger movie ever, obviously, is "Invasion of the Body Snatchers." Take that, combine it with Alex Aja's "Mirrors," then reduce the budget to way less than a million and you are left with "The Broken," a British entry in the 2009 AfterDark Horror Series that fails to deliver enough suspense or terror during its brief running time.

It bears a little similarity another AfterDark Horror Fest title -- "The Deaths of Ian Stone." Also filmed in London, "Deaths" had a much better pace and ultimately delivered the horror goods with its uber-limited budget. "The Broken" ultimately fails to deliver.

Lina Headey, best know to genre fans as Sarah Connor from the "Terminator: The Sarah Conor Chornicles" TV series, plays Gina, a London radiologist who starts having a really bad day when she spots her doppelganger driving down the street. A few moments earlier, we got to see her doppelganger emerge from a broken mirror -- so we know what's going on.

After getting in a car accident, which is presented in the film's best scene -- in ultra slow motion -- she winds up hospitalized with amnesia,and begins to suspect that her family members are being replaced by doppelgangers too. Yes, there's a twist ending, and a pretty good one at that, but one you inevitably see coming. And coming on the heels of Aja's "Mirrors," the originality of a mirror-obsessed horror movie is questionable.

Like some other AfterDark Horrorfest titles, "The Broken" isn't a total misfire, but it's still a misfaire -- professional and engaging enough to be releasable in a very limited capacity as part of a horror collection, but not good enough to warrant a DVD or theatrical release on its own.

The film falls as short on style as it does on substance. Ultimately unsatisfying. Pass.

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-- Review by Lucius Gore

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