Watch Broken Star
- 1 hr 30 min
Broken Star is a 2018 thriller directed by Dave Schwep and starring Lio Tipton, Tyler Labine, and Lauren Bowles. The film opens with Markey Marlowe (Tipton), a young Hollywood starlet, arriving at a sprawling mansion in the Hollywood Hills to begin work on her latest film. Markey is meant to star opposite Lance (Joshua Close), a maverick auteur who also wrote and directed the movie. However, things quickly take a dark turn as Markey realizes that Lance is a controlling and abusive man who is willing to do whatever it takes to get the shots he wants.
As Markey becomes more and more trapped in Lance's twisted world, she begins to experience strange and terrifying visions. It becomes clear that something is very wrong with the mansion, and that Lance may be hiding a secret that could destroy Markey's life. To make matters worse, Sheriff Durbin (Labine), a small-town cop investigating a crime that may be connected to Markey's situation, begins to close in on the mansion, putting everyone inside in danger.
The film is divided into two distinct sections: before and after Markey arrives at the mansion. Before she arrives, we are introduced to a number of supporting characters who provide some context for Markey's troubled past. There's her agent, Daryl (Silsby Bottoms), who seems more interested in exploiting Markey than helping her; her ex-husband, who is revealed to have been physically abusive; and a series of men who seem all-too-willing to take advantage of Markey's fame and beauty.
Once Markey arrives at the mansion, the film takes on a claustrophobic and surreal quality. Markey's hallucinations become more frequent and more intense, and she begins to doubt her own sanity. Lance, for his part, becomes more and more cruel and sadistic, constantly pushing the limits of what Markey will do for the camera. As their relationship spirals out of control, it becomes clear that there's more going on in the mansion than just a troubled auteur and his leading lady.
One of the most interesting things about Broken Star is the way it uses genre conventions to tell a story about power, control, and abuse. On one level, the film is a straightforward thriller, with plenty of suspenseful set pieces and jump scares. But beneath the surface, it's a much darker and more unsettling exploration of how people can use their positions of power to exploit and manipulate others. Markey is constantly caught between Lance, who wields power over her career and her safety, and Sheriff Durbin, who is meant to protect her but may have his own agenda. The other characters in the film, from Daryl to Markey's ex-husband to even the mansion itself, are all variations on this theme of power and control.
Another standout feature of the film is Tipton's performance. As Markey, she brings a complex mix of vulnerability, strength, and resilience to the role. Despite the trauma and abuse she has endured, Markey refuses to be a victim, and even in the most harrowing moments of the film she never loses her spark or her sense of self. Tipton is also expertly matched by Close, who plays Lance with a mix of charm, menace, and desperation.
Overall, Broken Star is a gripping and unsettling thriller that subverts genre expectations while remaining true to its core themes. The film's exploration of power dynamics and abuse is both timely and timeless, and the performances of the lead actors are top-notch. Fans of psychological horror and genre-bending thrillers will definitely want to check this one out.
Broken Star is a 2018 thriller with a runtime of 1 hour and 30 minutes. It has received mostly poor reviews from critics and viewers, who have given it an IMDb score of 4.4.