22 May 2009 - 11:42 AM  UPDATED 26 Feb 2014 - 4:07 PM

Adam Mason – Broken

British filmmaker ADAM MASON peels back the layers on his love-it-or-hate-it horror flick BROKEN. BY FILMINK'S BRIAN DUFF

All of a sudden, horror is big business. In the wake of the Saw and Hostel franchises, and Hollywood's fascination with remaking cult classics (The Hills Have Eyes, The Texas Chainsaw Massacre) and Japanese fare (The Ring, The Grudge), smaller, cultish pieces have been lost in the shuffle. One of the films riding message board word-of-mouth is British director Adam Mason's psycho-thriller Broken. Made for next to nothing, with a principal cast of two, the film is, in the words of its creator, one that “people like or don't like.” It follows the standard sadist-in-the-woods direction, but veers off into the dark, nihilistic territory of a psychological thriller. “It gets a ten-out-of-ten or zero-out-of-ten and that's what I'm most proud of.”

Mason says this without glee, but with the kind of self-same seriousness that identifies the work itself. “Not necessarily all horror films – but the kind that I like – are loved by certain people and hated by certain people; the problem with a lot of films today is that they try to pander to everyone. If you're chasing 12-year-old girls who want to go and have popcorn and a coke, well, that's not the type of audience you want for a horror movie. People in the States have cottoned onto it being a money-making machine, because 12-year-olds like taking 12-year-olds out on dates, but that's not really horror. For instance, I thought that Wolf Creek blew away Hostel – it's just in a different class. Comparing Greg McLean [Wolf Creek] to Eli Roth [Hostel] is like comparing Stanley Kubrick to the guy that makes Charlie's Angels – one is a real filmmaker. I don't know why I hate Eli Roth; he just winds me up.”

And while Mason might not subscribe specifically to those types of films, he rigorously objects to the derogatory tag of “torture porn.” “I find that really offensive,” he says. “But I do feel that one should make stuff that is a bit more responsible – the last thing you want is to inspire someone to go out and do something terrible. I'm absolutely terrified of violence; I hate it.”

Still, he is more than happy to reap the benefits from an exceptional time in the scary movie game. “It's good that horror films are making money,” he laughs. “It shows that it's a profitable business, and it's the strongest time in years – it's a great time and there are great movies.” And, although Mason claims that black comedies are more to his liking, one has “got to make a living”, and in this horror-centric climate, he'll have to keep on that route, next shooting a more commercial piece called The Devil's Chair. It's a complex supernatural film that will surely keep Mason's name alive in the horror underground, and help him avoid having to “get a job at McDonald's.”