Edward Drake (director)
15 February 2021 (released)
16 February 2021
Chance Sinclair (Avery Conrad) is a spoilt privately educated teen who has used up all her ‘chances’ and has now been put into the care of the family patriarch August Sinclair (Timothy V Murphy). A stern man of family values who you know has a secret as he waffles on about the Sinclair family’s history and legacy.
Also there is a time approaching where the rest of the family must gather to harvest. This is to be June (Annette Reilly) and December’s (Nels Lennarson) final harvest having agreed that with August but they will have to present Chance at the reunion.
To assist with the catering June calls upon the skills of chef Sydney (Jonathan Lipnicki) who is something of a hobo but has found his niche working for Freddie (Lochlyn Munro) because of his honed skills with herbs and their properties for good or ill. There’s also the matter that Sydney is highly strung and prone to violence as is uncle November (Corey Large) an ultra-creep (of a very creepy family) with homicidal tendencies. As with all family reunions there are festering issues that are kept under control only for them to blow up as a power struggle emerges and sides are taken.
Broil won’t linger long in the memory but its an enjoyable watch as the family double-cross, kill and maim each other. The basic premise itself if not that original with a family being cursed or having a dubious source of their power that has to be sated every so often.
So we are drawn into a wood panelled dining room with August at the head and Murphy chewing the scenery and the script as the ceremony begins with napkins over their heads. Though this isn’t quite weird enough for director Edward Parke - who shares the writing with Piper Mars – they then add in some sci-fi and existentialism along with trials that some of the parties must accomplish.
It can’t be denied that there are a lot of ideas in Broil and polished up could have resulted in a slick more memorable film. It does however appear cluttered with bits and bobs being added either to pad out the time or it seemed like a good idea that had to be used. Either way it hampers the film’s narrative though not the overall enjoyment. A lot of that is down to the cast who each try to out ham each other and its very competitive though none come anywhere near Murphy.
Broil is now available on Digital Platforms 15th February