Break review (2009, dir. Matthias Olof Eich)

Break is a German horror film masquerading as an American film. Shot in English, and using American cars and newspapers, it was actually made in Bavaria with a German cast and crew. The film follows four young women on a trip into the Canadian rockies to escape the humdrum and, for Sarah, to recover from the upsetting end of a relationship.

break girls

A pleasant holiday of hiking, photography, skinny-dipping and confessionals is curtailed by the discovery of a pair of bloodied feet dangling from a tree. Intestines found nearby hint that bad things are “afoot”! Deliverance, Wong Turn and The Hills Have Eyes all spring to mind as obvious influences when the local rednecks turn nasty and hunt the girls mercilessly. What follows is a nasty chase through the woods and streams as they try to avoid sexual-abuse, stabbing, harpooning and shooting.

Performances are lively and earnest without being entirely convincing and direction is confident and restrained without being memorable. The girls at least look like they could be friends. The landscapes are undeniably beautiful and sumptuously photographed, providing a beautiful backdrop from which to juxtapose the unfolding horror.

Break ends satisfyingly for those who endured the frequent blood-letting and “unstoppable killer” cliches. It brings nothing new to the genre but what remains is watchable and grim, if terrorised women and mentally-ill yokels be your thing!

BREAK is released on DVD in the UK April 16, 2012. The trailer can be seen here.