TrickSix Films' Evocative Dark Drama 'ReBroken' Offers A Harrowing Portrait Of Grief

FTC Statement: Reviewers are frequently provided by the publisher/production company with a copy of the material being reviewed.The opinions published are solely those of the respective reviewers and may not reflect the opinions of or its management.

As an Amazon Associate, we earn from qualifying purchases. (This is a legal requirement, as apparently some sites advertise for Amazon for free. Yes, that's sarcasm.)

Few tragedies, if any, surpass the loss of a loved one. Persistent, traumatic grief can lead even the stoutest of souls into a benighted cycle of despair, and when that loss comes abruptly through accidents, violence, sudden illness or suicide, the emotional shock inflicts the most heinous of tolls upon survivors. Much has been written about the actual shape grieving takes; the popularly known ‘Five Stages of Grief’, more precisely called the Kübler-Ross model (and originally based on observations of terminally ill patients facing their own imminent deaths), is a passage through various phases that lead an individual to the acknowledgment of their new, unasked-for reality: denial, bargaining, anger, depression and, ultimately, acceptance.

It’s that journey through the borderlands of grief that form the narrative backbone of ReBroken, the evocative dark drama from Toni Nycole Productions, MRP Entertainment and TrickSix Films. Written by Evil At The Door scribe Kipp Tribble from a story by lead actor Scott Hamm, ReBroken focuses on alcoholic Will, a man attending court-ordered grief support group sessions following the drowning death of his daughter, Shelly. Will’s days are an emotional desert, bleak and aimless, a near Groundhog’s Day-like pantomime repetition of self-medicating numbness. Resistant to suggestions from group leader Bella (Alison Haislip) and fellow attendee Bryan (screenwriter Tribble) that he engage with constructive coping mechanisms, Will instead falls under the sway of unstable group member Lydia (Nija Okoro), who insists she’s discovered a more successful way to deal with her grief. Insistent that a man named Von (Tobin Bell, best known to horror fans everywhere as the enigmatic Jigsaw of Saw franchise infamy) has the ability to establish a supernatural communicative bridge between this world and the next, Will visits the address Lydia provides only to find Von a homeless squatter. Skeptical of the man’s claims yet more than willing to accept the peace of mind he can allegedly impart, Will takes a proffered box of Von’s vinyl LP’s and, after listening to their mysterious, hypnotically-suggestive content, begins to see, hear and feel evidence of Shelly’s presence...or is it merely the crumbling façade of his own fragile mind?

ReBroken is a showcase of what can be accomplished with a tight script, a small cast of intensely talented actors and a bounty of film-making skill. Fraught with harrowing recurrent imagery, the dreamy, time-loop déjà vu eeriness offers insight into Will’s fractured, unstable point of view. Similar to Tribble’s previous (and outstanding) feature, Evil At The Door, ReBroken is steeped in suspense. More personal in scope than Evil’s unique home-invasion thriller, ReBroken embraces one man’s hazy, frayed nightmare, and special praise must be given to both Kenny Yates’ directorial vision as well as Hamm’s sublimely engaging performance; as the lead, Hamm figures in every scene, and his portrayal of Will’s self-destructive downward spiral is at once immersive, believable and heartbreaking. Visually, Yates imbues ReBroken’s storyline with a taut slow-burn anxiety buttressed by Wesley Hughes’ hauntingly minimalist musical score; there are periods of silence here that speak louder than words, and Yates wisely exerts supreme self-control in his execution. The straight-forward depiction of events is a grounded contrast to Will’s out-of-control perspective that lulls an audience into accepting the scenario at face value until a revelatory turn veers down the most unexpected of Twilight Zone paths. And in this lies the film’s greatest power: that final ten minutes, where all assumptions are upended in one of the most detailed and thought-provoking finales in recent cinema memory.

While it may disappoint cinemagoers seeking escapist action, one-liners and car chases, ReBroken is that rarest of all silver screen gems, a million-piece puzzle that, once assembled, unveils a disquieting portrait of one individual’s shattered journey through his own personal darkness. Captivating from first frame to last, I hereby grant ReBroken the full 5 (out of 5) on my Fang Scale. On my social media I recently dubbed Tribble’s Evil At The Door my favorite movie of 2022. ReBroken is thus far the champion of 2023. I can’t wait to see what storytelling magic he conjures next.

Watch ReBroken on any of the streaming services listed here.

5.0 / 5.0