I’m really shocked that I’ve been able to keep the horror-movie-a-day streak going this year, guys! I know, I know. It’s only eight days into the month and I can screw it up at any time. I haven’t so far and that is cause for celebration. Well, if not celebration, at least another review? Read on as I discuss my thoughts on Edward Drake’s Broil.
After a couple of suspensions from school, 17-year-old Chance (Avery Konrad, Unspeakable, Sacred Lies) is sent to live with her grandfather. After a year of this torturous home-schooling, it is time for the rest of the dysfunctional family to come over for the yearly traditional harvest feast. This is where Chance learns an ancient truth about her family and that her only hope of surviving the night is from the hired assassin who also happens to be the chef.
That synopsis was actually really difficult for me to flesh out. I watched the movie, I think I understand the movie, yet here I am, at a loss for words.
Like most modern direct-to-home-release genre flicks, I knew nothing about Broil before I got my hands on it. This is generally how I like to go into my first-time experiences with movies, as to not build up any kind of expectation in one direction or another. Even after watching an official trailer, I didn’t feel any more confident that I knew what the hell was going to happen here. That is exactly how I want all of you to go into it as well!
Now, since I want to remain spoiler-free, I could technically stop the review here. I do, however, want to at least tell you guys why Broil is worth your time.
Broil, written by Piper Mars and Edward Drake, is a familiar tale. It is a story we’ve seen rehashed over and over again, yet with all of the films that I’ve seen that fit this sub-genre, I still cannot say I’ve seen one quite like this. Drake, who also directed this 2020 horror flick, left me intrigued and confused, for lack of a better term, until the very end.
IMDb calls the family “demons” in their synopsis, so I will go with that. These demons, all of which are named after the months in a year (i.e. Aunt May, Uncle November) are made up of a talented cast of performers, most of which were unfamiliar to me. There were no real weak links here, but I will say that the best performances belong to Timothy V. Murphy (The Frankenstein Theory, “Criminal Minds”), who always reminds me of Viggo Mortensen, and an all-grown-up Jonathan Lipnicki (Jerry Maquire, The Little Vampire).
I have not seen Lipnicki in anything for quite some time. This is actually quite shocking considering his body of work seems to be a rather consistent one. After all this time, even without recognizing him immediately, I was blown away by his performance.
Lipnicki plays Sydney, a very talented chef who can tell what a specific ingredient is just by looking at it. He can also tell the level of potency it has, its side effects when ingested, if it is lethal or not, etc. Sydney also happens to be on the spectrum, as it were. He does not like the word “psycho,” he is twitchy, socially awkward, and quite quiet. All of these characteristics make for a unique character in a horror film, especially one who is supposed to be saving the day.
Sydney’s quiet and meek demeanor is a perfect contrast to Timothy Murphy’s Grandpa August, who is loud and boisterous, and quite confident that he is in fact untouchable. The two create a nice dynamic on-screen throughout the film’s 90 minutes and are the real attraction when it comes to the meat and potatoes of Broil.
Broil is broken up into what you could call chapters. The first is titled “The Girl Who Lived,” which is followed by “A Killer Recipe,” “Sinclair Family Game Night,” and finally, “The Tale of Two Wolves.” These titles are introduced throughout the film, but I did not find them necessary really. It was a nice touch because you don’t see this often, but again, I don’t think this type of division brought anything of substance to the table.
Broil at Home
Broil debuts on Digital, Blu-ray, and DVD on Tuesday, October 13 from Well Go USA Entertainment.
The Blu-ray home release of the film features a 1080p 16:9 Widescreen presentation and features a DTS HDMA 5.1 audio track. There are optional English SDH subtitles available.
Like my other experiences with Well Go USA releases, there are no special features to speak of. There are, however, some trailers and previews of other films released by the company.
Broil is not your typical horror film. It takes the um… “demon” sub-genre and adds some new layers to it; It keeps things a mystery just enough to keep you enveloped the entire time without becoming an annoyance that they aren’t giving you all of the information upfront; The acting is above par and even great by most cast members and there is a decent amount of blood and gore to keep you sickos satisfied.
I’m sorry for the vagueness and lack of detail throughout this, but I really do not want to spoil anything for anyone. I take pride in that kind of thing and hope you can forgive me for this. I do think this is worth the watch and definitely recommend checking it out.
Grab yourself a copy of Broil, as I give it 4 death metal pin cushions out of 5.