DVD Review – Break (2009)

Break, 2009.

Written and Directed by Matthias Olof Eich.
Starring Lili Schackert, Esther Maaß, Ralph Willmann, Marina Anna Eich, Thelma Buabeng and Sebastian Badenberg.


SYNOPSIS:

After heading out into the woods for some outdoors fun, four young girls encounter two sadistically inhuman rednecks, leading to a blood-soaked fight for survival.


Familiarity can be comforting. It can also be tiresome. Break is as good an example of familiarity as you might get. The question is whether it warms your cockles, or leaves you eyeing up the newspaper on the corner unit while you watch it.

Break follows four young girls who travel to the wilderness in Canada for some kidnap and distraction after one of the girls has been dumped by her boyfriend. The film is German made with a German cast, but shot in English. You’re never entirely sure if the girls are actually playing German characters, or whether they’re trying to play all American (with decidedly thick German accents). It’s very strange indeed.

Break is a completely by the numbers stalk and slash movie as the girls get picked off one by one by a couple of crazy woods-dwelling hicks. There’s no mystery here at all. The killers are introduced to the audience very early. Not only that, the shit hits the fan very quickly indeed and the film seems to rush through its formula quite fast. Unfortunately it also finds it necessary to almost have two third-acts. That may well be something fresh in this film, but at the same time it’s an unwarranted and unwanted extension in the run-time (a not particularly brisk 90 minutes). The whole thing feels very much like a student film.

The cast are pretty amateurish, though likeable enough. There’s a certain energy created in that they all seem to have a little bit of chemistry and are having some fun making a horror in the woods. That said it is very much like this is an end of year degree project. Writer/Director Matthias Olof Eich doesn’t really offer anything new at all. In horror, timing is all important. It’s like comedy, gags, you have to get the timing right whether you’re making someone laugh, or trying to make them soil themselves. Eich just doesn’t come close to doing that. There’s no tension, there’s no build up to a reveal for the killers and the set pieces lack imagination. To his credit though, Eich’s movie never takes itself too seriously. The film’s music isn’t too bad either.

In all this doesn’t have enough in it for horror fans. Even for a Friday night beer movie, this film may have some gore, but probably doesn’t offer quite enough for some drunken giggles, and certainly nowhere near enough for gorno hounds. Its biggest sin, like all too many of the genre, is the lack of actual horror and thrills. Despite the good intention that seems to exude from the film and a certain likeability about the cast, it’s all a bit of a pointless exercise and totally forgettable.

Flickering Myth Rating – Film: ★ / Movie: ★

Tom Jolliffe