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Thursday, July 9, 2020

Review: Broil

Director: Edward Drake
Screenplay: Edward Drake and Piper Mars
Year: 2020

After several violent incidents in her school, Chance Sinclair is sent by her parents to live with her grandfather. Her grandfather is a strange and eccentric man who lives in a secluded mansion and ho is the owner of an exorbitant fortune. During the time Chance spends with her grandfather she starts to discover the dark secrets of their family that come out during a family dinner, in which the true faces of the family are revealed.

Chance (Avery Konrad; “Sacred Lies”) cannot spend much time exposed to sunlight because her skin starts to react and she needs regular blood transfusions, which his parents have attributed to a medical condition. Once in her grandfather’s hose, the chef (Jonathan Lipnicki; “Stuart Little”) that was contracted to prepare the feast of the family dinner, and who knows a few details about the family, confronts her with the truth about these conditions and this leads her to seek answers in her family. During the preparation and in the dinner she starts discovering that her medical conditions are tied to a much more sinister reality.

If I had to summarize my experience with "Broil" with one word, my choice would be irritating. Before continuing with the reasons that take me to this description, I must say that in general, I enjoyed the story presented by director Edward Brake (“Animal”), who also co-writes the movie with Piper Mars; an interesting, fun and original movie. For most of its 90 minutes of runtime, it kept me intrigued and interested in what was happening and the eventual outcome of the movie.

What takes me to say that my experience was irritating is how interesting I found the premise to be and how short it falls of exploiting its potential. One of its limitations is that the story is told in segments similar to chapter, which jump between characters and times, and in parts are too confusing to understand what is going on and how does it fits the plot. It also emphasizes on some characteristics and events in some scenes that are left behind an only even mentioned again in some quick joke and that resembles more an idea focus issue. The same problem is repeated when the nature of the family is presented and cannot decide if they are demons, cannibals, or vampires and bet for a strange mix of them all. 

In the technical aspect, the only thing that stands out is the background music, which in some scenes is too imposing and interrupts the dialogues. The rest is fairly neutral, with good cinematography, music, and visuals, but nothing spectacular. However, the acting does stand out, with an excellent performance from Konrad and Lipnicki, as well as from the more recognized Timothy V. Murphy (“The Lone Ranger”) and Lochlyn Munro (“Scary Movie”).

“Broil” offers an original and interesting story about dysfunctional families and family disputes over wealth and power, that fall far from being able to exploit its potential mainly for not correctly focusing its ideas. Although the story suffers from being all over the place, it is interesting and entertaining, especially the final stretch and the unexpected and emotive outcome. In the end, it is irritating that a story that could have given way to an excellent movie can only be considered as a good horror movie.

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