Family-driven terror has been showing up more frequently in the horror genre in recent years, but not in the expected ways. Rather than having a family invaded or attacked by an outside force, we are now seeing the threat come within the family more regularly. These films show us husband against wife (The Invisible Man), parent against child (Mom and Dad), child against parent (Brightburn), among others. This has been especially true of occult narratives such as Hereditary and Ready or Not, and at first it appears as though Broil would fit into this category as well.
While I am hesitant to reveal the true sub-genre of Broil, this feels like an unnecessary concern given the uneventful way in which the film’s twists are presented. Even the characters within the film barely seem to react to the news that vampires exist, so I feel little need to keep it a secret. That knowledge will do little to indicate the direction of the film, however, because this is not a traditional vampire narrative. Along with being light on the special effects and gore, the specifics of this vampire family follow their own rules.
The Sinclair family is a wealthy and entitled family, permitting eldest granddaughter Chance (Avery Konrad) to lash out against rival kids at her high school. On the outside it appears that Chance’s physical alterations are the reason she is sent to live with her strict grandfather, August (Timothy V. Murphy), but her parents have offered her up as a bargaining chip without her knowing. Chance is to be trained by her grandfather to continue the family tradition, finally giving her an answer to the mysterious illness that requires blood transfusions and limited time in the sun.
Despite initial appearances, Chance’s parents have a plan in place to de-throne the family patriarch and retrieve their oldest daughter from his grip by hiring a serial killer chef. Sydney (Jonathan Lipnicki) works at a local bistro, but he partners with the owner (Lochlyn Munro) to kill undesirable members of society. Because of this reputation, Chance’s parents choose Sydney for the job cooking a special meal at August’s home, with plans to poison the patriarchal vampire.
The premise of Broil is not what is problematic, at least not in comparison to the execution. The structure of the film is awful, edited non-chronologically but making little sense when it decides to jump back. There is also very little suspense in the narrative, with obvious hints at the twists to come. Even worse, the performances and dialogue make these twists even more anticlimactic, with nearly every character accepting the news of vampire’s existence as though they were being told the day’s weather. Even if the actors could muster up some type of realistic reactions and responses, the characters are so poorly written that I doubt it would matter. By the end, it is difficult to find a single character to care about.
The Blu-ray release of Broil is bare-boned. There are no special features, alternate ways to watch the film, and even the artwork feels rushed. There is absolutely no reason this needs to be on Blu-ray in the first place. This is the type of film most people will only watch for free on a streaming service when they can find nothing else to watch.
Entertainment Value: 2/10
Quality of Filmmaking: 3/10
Historical Significance: 0/10
Special Features: 0/10