By Dominic Antill

When was the last time you saw a horror film begin with a group of back-packing youths venturing into the unknown only to inexplicably end up brutally dismembered by local ‘backwards’ folk? Too many times you may say, well, unfortunately, Break offers precious little variety in that respect. 

The details of this film however are a little strange – the four back-packing youths are all German, which is fair enough, but given their adventure is in Canada (stereotypically the hub of ‘backwards’ folk) it is strange to see that the locals aren’t local at all, they are German too. In fact, there isn’t a Canadian person introduced at all throughout the entire film, which is perhaps more worrying than anything else. 

Even the stray back-packer that they almost run over, in the middle of nowhere, also turns out to be German. 

That said validity issues are hardly something to mull over in such a film, the main issue with movies that are intended to make you jump before grossing you out are the exceedingly dull bits in between. What classic horror films have successfully converted into suspense, the larger amount, including Break, allow to drag incessantly. 

Queue (with cheesy folk music on repeat)  the dishearteningly long montage scenes of the four Germans driving to wherever their going, getting lost, taking photos, teasing each other, taking photos, going for a swim, potentially seeing something suspicious in the woods, taking some more photos and then finally, thankfully, getting brutally murdered. 

In fact whatever the new Cannon SLR camera is that’s successfully deployed in every frame even gets its own glorified death as the chief camera pest gets shot with an arrow (that’s how German hill-billies like to hunt) straight through the lens. Tragic stuff, not least of all because who’s going to take the photo’s now, and with what?! 

I wouldn’t have thought the ‘locals’ could handle such a complex device, looking sufficiently backwards and disproportionate, a few teeth missing, pulling strange faces etc – they are though, as ever, adept at killing people gruesomely. 

The violence throughout is unsurprisingly graphic, but thanks to like-minded films like Wrong Turn, limbs being separated from torsos with blunt objects barely raise any eye-brows now.  

This clearly references many of the classic ‘redneck’ movies that have gone before it, but  Break is pretty poor if you were to compare it to any of its predecessors. 

In all honesty it could be a spoof movie; Matthias Olof Heich the director has taken an already saturated tale and put German people in it. Perhaps it is his pastiche on the American horror film – if so it certainly delivers. If, however, it is an attempt at ‘proper’ film, bearing in mind it is obviously low-budget, then please look elsewhere.

About The Author

Simon Fitzjohn

Simon is a journalism tutor in London, who also just happens to be a movie fanatic, with a craving for the darker side of cinema. He has written two books, one on the horror films of director Bob Clark (2014) and the other on the history of the character Norman Bates (2015). His third book, on the work of British exploitation director Pete Walker, is due in 2017.