Fractured (2019) | Movie Review

This post contains spoilers.

I wanted to love this movie – it looked super entertaining from the trailer and the cast is pretty great (although their talent wasn’t really utilised) – but unfortunately, I ended up not really liking it at all. I’ll say this, it does pass some time. There are some fairly intense scenes and moments that capture your interest enough to make it feel like it’s not a total waste of time but ultimately, it’s pretty disappointing.

The plot (and in particular, the ending) is very predictable. I’m honestly a little unsure if it was intentional or not. While Fractured does offer you all of the clues to figure out what’s going on, it practically hands you the answers long belong they’re actually revealed. When Ray (Sam Worthington) is confronted by Joanne (Lily Rabe) after falling into the pit, it’s obvious that something goes down that we don’t see. She constantly complains of a headache after he pushes her aside so it’s no surprise when we discover that she was impaled when she fell. Examples like that are easy to get away with, it might be a little on the nose, but it does work that his hallucination of her would be suffering from headaches considering how she died.

However, I couldn’t help but notice how everything shifted slightly after Peri (Lucy Capri) wakes up in the pit and this is the biggest reason why I’m torn. On the one hand, it works that things look and sound ever so slightly different as well as the fact that Joanne, in particular, is acting differently. We’re now seeing everything from Ray’s point of view after both his wife and daughter have died and he suffered a head injury. The way it’s done is actually pretty clever and works really well but considering the reveal at the end, it comes across that it was meant to be a surprise. Giving the audience clues along the way is integral when it comes to any kind of mystery, it allows for the reveal to make sense because then, when you go back, you can see all the clues. However, they’re so easy to spot in Fractured – like Joanne having constant headaches – especially with the shift in tone that it doesn’t matter how well done they are because it makes it too easy to figure out what’s going to happen next. It doesn’t have to be impossible for the audience to work out the ending beforehand but it also shouldn’t be this obvious.

The other thing is that Dr Isaacs (Adjoa Andoh) reveals that she believes something more happened to Peri and Joanne. The fact they reveal so much through her and force both the audience and the characters to push forward with the plot also makes it confusing as to whether we were supposed to figure out what was going on or not. And really, from the get-go we know it can only end in one of a few ways: Peri (and Joanne) died in the pit, they did survive and the hospital was keeping them hostage, or Peri and Joanne never existed. Any of these are plausible but it becomes clear pretty early on that neither of them survived. Between the shift in tone, Joanne’s headaches, the same “get well soon” balloon being at both the pit and the hospital, and even seeing the gas station worker at the hospital, it also impossible not to realise that they never made it out of the pit.

It was still, however, possible for Peri and Joanne to have never existed, an option that I thought they were going to go with. Fractured jumps around a lot to try and dismay the audience from any possible conclusions. One of the bigger examples is when a series of “clues” lead Ray to believe that Peri (and possibly Joanne) have been taken so their organs can be harvested. This comes after several characters have adamantly said that Peri and Joanne were never there so at first, it feels like Ray was right about everything all along only for them to then give the audience more indicators that things still aren’t as they seem. There’s too much emphasis on the doctor’s telling Ray that he’s not seeing clearly.

Point is, parts of this movie worked perfectly but only when they’re separate. It felt too much like there was an in-decision as to whether or not to make the final reveal obvious or not. It was entertaining to some degree and as I said before, there were some intense moments. At the end of the day, it really just felt like two different methods of approach smashed together.

Rating: ★★ /5

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