Note: contains spoilers for Fractured
Fractured begins with a family on the brink of falling apart, a husband with serious underlying issues – a head case. A wife at the end of her tether and a daughter with a yellow scarf.
It’s hard not to watch the movie looking for signs, looking for the moments that betray the underlying mystery: why his wife and daughter aren’t there any more. Though ‘why’ becomes immaterial, even though it’s meant to be the point.
The movie loses its bite because you know what’s coming. You know that there’s going to be a moment where the very existence of his family is questioned – by Ray and by everyone else around him.
Though it might have been seen as imitation, Fractured may have done better to take a leaf out of Memento‘s page and withhold the crucial details of what’s in his head and what is real.
Everything is so over the top grim and gruesome you know that something is going on, and if you’ve done so much as read the plot description you already have a clue as to why.
Not to mention this plot has been done already – from films like the aforementioned Memento to episodes of CW’s Riverdale, there are myriad places this ‘Were they ever really there?’ story has been explored in far more entertaining, campy, funny, and dark ways.
The movie suffers from the conceit it set up for itself. Fractured is predicated either on a group of people being involved in deceit or on Ray having lost his mind. When you leave the confines of the hospital, it’s too hard to maintain interest in either.
Too many plot holes pop into your head. Like, why wouldn’t he call his in-laws to prove they exist? Or any friends? Or pull up a social-media page? Everyone’s mom has Facebook nowadays.
If you’re looking for a twist at the end, you’ll get it – but it isn’t really a twist because there was only ever going to be one of two outcomes.
Unlike a good whodunnit, where everything could be a clue and you delight in hunting for them, Fractured makes it hard, tedious work. This makes the film’s 100 minutes feel like the longest 100 minutes of your life.
Fractured is available on Netflix
Digital Spy is launching a newsletter – sign up to get it sent straight to your inbox.