Break (2009): Released 16th April on DVD

Break (2009)

(18) Running time: 86 minutes

Director: Matthias Olof Eich

Writer: Matthias Olof Eich

Starring: Lili Schackert, Esther Maab, Ralph Willmann

Reviewed by: Matt Wavish, official HCF critic

The problem with making another Texas Chainsaw Massacre, Wrong Turn or even The Hills Have Eyes, is that you must inject some originality to it, or at least make it thrilling. First time director Matthias Olof Eich’s Break, also known as Break-No Mercy, Just Pain, is desperate to shock and pretty much fails on every level. You will get the idea of what sort of budget we are dealing with when an opening kill of a girl in the woods is badly designed, poorly timed and horrendously shot, that’s not even mentioning the bad acting. To make matters worse, the film then starts its opening music, some God awful country and western that just goes on and on, and continues to rear its ugly head throughout the film. Break has none of the sinister horror music you would expect, just awful country and western that does not fit at all.

The set up is simple, four girls head to the Canadian country for a weekend away from it all, and end up being hunted by two maniacs. The girls all do their best to be likeable and act, but they can’t. The best relationship here is that of Sarah (who recently broke up with her boyfriend) and her best friend Anna. The pair do deliver some good acting here and there, and at times you do manage to connect with them, but sadly even when Sarah announces she is pregnant you couldn’t care less. There is also a bizarre indication that the pair might be lesbians as they are very touchy with each other, but sadly nothing ever comes of this! However, they head off to the mountains and lake for a girly weekend, and even an encounter with a poor hiker (whom Rose bizarrely forces Emma to almost run over) won’t distract the girls from some female bonding. Rose takes photos of everything, constantly, Emma moans and the two best friends go to the lake. A terribly edited scene see’s Sarah come out of the lake topless, and the camera jumps from Sarah to Anna to Sarah to Anna far too quick, showing off the director’s lack of skills.

However, the setting and scenery are brilliantly realised, with the camera often swooping around like a preying bird. The choice of location is well suited for this type of film, and considering how good the setting is, I am willing to forgive what looks like CGI mountains in the background. Things do slightly improve as the threat of the two killers draws nearer. In the morning the girls all go swimming in the lake, which results in one of the films highlights as we watch the girls play, and cut to scenes of the killers chopping up body parts. It is clear the director knows his horror, he just isn’t quite there yet in his execution.  An encounter with some intestines sets off a chain of events which finds Rose hilariously arrowed through the eye while taking her irritating photo’s, and the girls on the run from the killers.

Eich shows some skill when he gets to the nasty stuff: the rape and stabbing of one victim is quite intense to watch and certainly warrants the films 18 certificate, but sadly everything in the last half of the film feels incredibly rushed, and the killers become less and less scary and end up being quite comical. There was a point where it felt things would wrap up, and with twenty minutes still to go I got very excited that Break was about to surprise me. It didn’t, and sadly Break is an instantly forgettable mess that so desperately wants to have a reputation like its peers. This is a very sad example of trying far too hard and achieving very little. A real shame since the company releasing Break, Trinity, have given us some real classics over the years, from films like Enter The Void, Red, White & Blue and Incendies.

Rating: ★★★☆☆☆☆☆☆☆

Avatar photo
About Matt Wavish 598 Articles
A keen enthusiast and collector of all horror and extreme films. I can be picky as i like quality in my horror. This doesn't necessarily mean it has to be a classic, but as long as it has something to impress me then i'm a fan. I watch films by the rule that if it doesn't bring out some kind of emotive response then it aint worth watching.

Be the first to comment

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published.