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Broken Darkness – Movie Review

Broken Darkness is a South African zombie thriller that lacks originality.

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Imagine the most boring episode of The Walking Dead but strip it of its trademark superb zombie makeup and effects, and this is what you’d get in Broken Darkness. This movie relies on the audience’s pre-existing knowledge of zombie movie tropes instead of establishing unique rules or stakes. As a result, it all feels like a student film, the way it goes through the motions familiar to anyone who’s ever seen literally any zombie movie.

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It’s obviously a low-budget film which prevents the filmmaker from showing the entire world falling into chaos. As a result, the plot relies on characters using expository dialogue. Debris from a comet exposing humanity to a viral contagion that turns them into zombies is one of the more absurd premises I’ve heard. The first hour takes place in repetitive underground corridors. It reminded me of a cheap sci-fi show from the ’90s. And when the characters finally make it “topside,” the scenery is still generic.

All the characters are one-dimensional, and the dialogue is cheesy.

I feel bad for the people in this movie. Not because of what the characters go through but because now there’s video evidence that they can’t act. The story is supposed to occur in the US, but occasionally the actors’ South African accents shine through. The only charismatic performance comes from the bandit leader the two leads encounter towards the end. He’s the only one who seems to have acting experience under his belt. But the dialogue he has to work with isn’t exactly stellar. The end unfolds predictably, with the main character sacrificing himself to save the young girl that reminds him of his deceased child. It’s hard to feel sad at the death of a character that didn’t have many redeeming qualities anyway.

Verdict

In the end, Broken Darkness is a misfire on all counts. There was nothing unique or memorable about it, and I was glad when the credits started rolling.

Rating: 3/10

In Select Theaters and On Demand October 29th, 2021

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