As a former fashion photographer, it’s perhaps unsurprising that Sean Ellis is obsessed with surfaces: his disastrous debut feature, ‘Cashback’, was about a voyeuristic art student, while his sophomore effort, ‘The Broken’, centres on mirrors – a good metaphor for a film that is shiny and shallow.
Lena Headey plays Gina, a doctor who survives a car crash and begins to question the nature of her reality. An interesting enough premise, except that as Gina’s psychosis deepens the story reveals itself as just another badly thought out remake of an extremely well-worn horror classic. Ellis’s interest in imagery does produce some striking visuals – the slo-mo crash, some gorgeous aerial shots of London – and one supremely effective jolt. But such fleeting pleasures are undermined by an inane, directionless narrative, barely-even-one-dimensional characters and an overall sense of superficiality. ‘The Broken’ proves that Ellis has a promising future as a director – but only of commercials.