Explaining just how Fractured the Movie Fractured May Be
Fractured is a stretch. It's a fractured movie with fairly weak acting, and an even more predictable twist(s). But might be worth a watch when you've got nothing else to watch.
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Hahaha. I was wrong. I mean, I was right. And I was wrong. Wait, did I just say out loud that I was wrong? I’ve literally never been wrong before, and I’ve especially never admitted to ever being wrong before. Is it a full moon or something? What the what?!? I mean, something weird is going on here. Regardless, I assumed, even before the movie started that I knew what was happening in this movie. And while I turned out to be right, it was all at the wrong time and for the wrong reasons. And so, this post is explaining just how fractured the movie fractured may be. But be aware, there are a million spoilers here – and if you keep reading without having seen the movie, then it’ll be ruined through and through.

Should you watch it though? Basically, Netflix’s Fractured tells the story of a couple who stop at a gas station, where their 6 y.o. daughter’s arm is fractured. They hurry to a hospital. Something strange is going on there. The wife and daughter go missing. Poof. Director Brad Anderson (known mainly for The Machinist – with Christian Bale) spins an interesting, yet half cocked story here. Sam Worthington (cough Avatar cough cough) puts in a half decent performance here as a recovering alcoholic and something of a madman. I guess? If I have complaints, it isn’t with the fractured story, or the farfetched script, but rather with Sam’s inability to convey the pathos necessary to carry this character in his head. But as far as diversions go – and as far as tricky thrillers go – I didn’t have this as figured out as I thought I had. So there’s that? Alright, I’m trailering you – and then you will need to be careful from here on out, so as to not spoil this movie for yourself.

Quick Fractured Movie Walkthrough

OK, I’m starting out with a bang. Last chance. If you haven’t watched this movie, please disembark.

Alright – when I first started the movie, I was taking screenscrapes of the car anytime it was shown from the outside. Why? Because I was CERTAIN, that Ray (played by Avatar boy) was just imagining them. From the beginning. His daughter? Didn’t exist. Wife? Not there. I was zooming in on that car over and over again because I was sure that I’d see that he was the only person in that car.

But I was wrong. They were there. Or were they?

Explaining just how Fractured the Movie Fractured May Be

Ray, his wife Joanne (Lily Rabe), and his daughter Peri, are heading back from time with her family at Thanksgiving. When they stop at a roadside gas station, Peri is startled by a dog, and she falls into a construction pit. When her parents rush Peri to the nearest hospital (yes, this is where my theory shifted, and I thought it might be they were already dead.) where it takes forever to get them in to see a doctor (who knew that it was just the director extending his screenplay?). When the staff take Peri to get a CT scan, they leave Ray behind sleeping. And when he wakes??? He learns that he never brought his wife and daughter into the hospital with him.

I WAS RIGHT!!! See, I knew it. Phew. Because being wrong once would suck. It would totally rearrange how I see the world. And that can’t happen.

So Ray fights with the staff, and everyone he encounters (including the police) is of one mind – he never walked in here with his wife and daughter. So Ray – who’s a fighter I tell you – searches for them on his own. And eventually Ray finds them in the basement of the hospital. WAIT WHAT?!? I was WRONG? How?!? They have to not be there people. Like, not even a little bit. But apparently, there they are, about to have their organs harvested. ORGAN HARVESTING?!? This is where this is going for the love of all?!? No. That wasn’t I guessed at all!

But Ray fights with the hospital staff, explodes some stuff, and flees with his wife and daughter in tow. What a hero! But, I was sure he was delusional. Certain of it. OK, I’ll let that go. But as Ray drives away, we learn that our heroic Ray is actually experiencing hallucinations from a particular trauma. You see, Peri actually died in the fall at the roadside pitstop. She fell, died, and then Ray accidentally killed Joanne after pushing her. If anything is going to split an individual’s psyche, it’ll be the death of your daughter, and your accidental killing of your wife. So. Uh. Wait. Was I right all along? Hold up.

Explaining just how Fractured the Movie Fractured May Be

You see, after the death of his daughter and his wife, he began constructing a new reality for himself. One where his wife and daughter are still alive. So, throughout the movie, Ray believes he’s actually the hero, the one that is saving his family. But things take a turn for the worst when we learn that instead of being his family’s hero, he has kidnapped a random patient who was there at the hospital for surgery…and all of this was happening while his wife and daughter were dead, and in the trunk of their car.

So, wait – was I wrong? Uh. Did I mention this movie was fractured? I was sort of wrong. I guess? I had assumed he started the movie with them not in it. That he’d murdered them at Thanksgiving or something. But from the 10 minute mark on I was right. That they were all dead, and in the trunk.

Fractured Discussed?

Is there really anything here to discuss? The movie is about a man who accidentally kills his family and has a dissociative break. About the only thing that I want to discuss is whether or not Ray murdered his previous wife as well? I actually am going to push in all my chips on the fact that he did murder Abbie. Because that’s the kind of pessimist that I am.

I don’t know – it was a passable thriller. What did you think of it?

If you are looking for other similar movies, that pull off tricks like this one with more aplomb and deftness then here is a list. Please know, I’m throwing varying films at you because I don’t want you to know which is which. Trance, Remainder, The Jacket, The Ghoul, Unsane, Unknown, Enemy, etc., etc. Actually, if you just go here, you get a wide swath of movies like this one, but sizeably better.

Edited by: CY

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14 Responses

  1. deKev

    I thought Sam Worthington is rather convincing as a confused and desperate father. His distress is palpable at times, and one can’t help but feel and pull for him. As for the rest of the movie, it’s the sort of average suspense thriller that is at its best when the viewers are still being kept in suspense, while possibilities still abound…

  2. Taylor

    What?!? No. I’m sorry. But no.

    Well, it could be that the title, and the twisting background on the movie art told me everything I needed to know to undercut any chance he had at believability for me. Because I didn’t buy what he was selling at all.

    But I get it. These kinds of movies, it really help to come in blind. And even movie art can be painfully revealing. But if you were able to walk in blind, I’m sure it worked better for you.

  3. Lisa

    I was waiting to see if you would talk about this one. You seem to be on top of Netflix releases so I don’t bother to recommend them. But in this film, I kind of knew what was going on right after they fall because they show that split second where the daughter is dead before she “wakes up” again so I felt like they put that spoiler in too early. I wasn’t aware he killed the wife and was driving around with the bodies but I definitely got the impression early he had a head injury and was confused since the same characters kept appearing in different roles. So for me this was just an ok thriller. With the scene removed from the beginning where we see the daughter is dead, the twist would have been a lot more shocking, IMO. I just got some emails from Netflix regarding a few other movies that look like they might be Thinc-ers so I am going to check those out today. I thought Sam did ok in the role as he had angry, confused and a little bit drunk down pat but my issue was more with the film than the acting. I didn’t hate it but it’s not something I would ever watch again or is worthy of much discussion as the ending is pretty clear cut.

  4. Gwen

    Hmmm, we actually enjoyed this movie. Nothing that hasn’t been done before, but solid acting.
    I really liked the way the director played with the audience in twisting the twist over and over again. I counted 5 times of insecurity – and if a movie is able to do so, it worked for me.
    On Imdb I rated it 7/10 which means solid popcorn quality for me.
    I felt entertained.
    That’s it. 🙂
    the badger

    • Taylor Holmes

      Those of you posting to tell me that I am wrong, take a deep breath. I know I am wrong, and it was based on my assumptions on where it was going. That he was dreaming his wife and daughter up. And it was based on the over the top acting from the top. Ie, he was flipping out completely too much for the situation for him to be sane. But that shouldn’t have started til after the accident.

      IAM SUPER GLAD YOU GUYS LIKED IT!!! Seriously. No sarcasm. No falsities. I promise. I wanted to like it. I did. And it was ok. I liked the way they setup the false story of the hospital as a organ stop and rob. That was clever. And maintained momentum for a good portion of the film. And I also liked the revelation, and how that was unfolded more for him than for us.

      See! Clever! Can I be part of the I liked it club now? Please???

  5. deKev

    Oops, having started the “I Liked It” Club somewhat unwittingly, now I feel like I have to admit that I did not even like the movie that much to begin with… haha, how’s that for a mind-jobby twist? Kidding aside, let me reiterate what I said in my initial post that the suspense part of the movie is as good as it gets for me, at least up until the reveal is out in the open, not to mention an ending that leaves no room for doubt whatsoever, like what Lisa said. Probably no fault of the filmmakers here, suspense movies often work out like that. So long as there are enough red herrings or twists or reversals along the way to prolong the ambiguity, like what Gwen said, I’m game.

    But having seen a bit of the trailer, and with a dead giveaway title like what you said, I went in with low expectations, certainly lower expectations than what I had for the other new Netflix release at around the same time, In The Tall Grass (a review, pretty please?). But it was Worthington’s performance (right before he went a bit berserk near the end anyway) that did the trick for me and kinda heightened my hopes a bit that had me thinking, hey this thing might turn out to be rather watchable after all. I know Sam’s acting is a bit of a bone of contention here. Just because I have seen a few movies in my lifetime does not qualify me as a proper critic, unless it was egregiously bad acting, which even I would be able to recognize for sure, something I’d like to believe is not the case here. And having read some other reviews online, guess what, Worthington’s performance has been described from being flat to passable to career-best (this from a reviewer whose last movie that they watched Worthington in was Avatar, I kid you not).

    Enough about Sam Worthington, what about the director? He started his career with a one-two punch of Session 9 and The Machinist, two mind-blowing classics that properly announced his arrival, which IMO are still by far his career-best efforts. So if you have the time, you know what to do, but no pressure, no pressure. :p

    • Taylor Holmes

      The Machinist is brilliant. Reminds me very much of Nolan’s “Following” in tone. Or maybe it was “Insomnia”. Can’t remember. But I regularly get the two confused. Session 9 was a great movie as well. I watched it when it first came out and remember recommending it a lot. So yeah, I get it.

      These kinds of movies are more dependent on the viewer’s attitude and foreknowledge than anything else. So I am giving you guys the benefit… promise. I know I went in all wrong on this one. And generally speaking, I only post about movies that are good. I only talk about movies that I liked. And I posted about this one because I knew many might like it regardless of the fact that I wasn’t a huge fan.

      Thanks for clarifying DeKev. But it’s all good. Everything is fine. I just blame your for all my life’s troubles is all. Haha. Seriously though, did you just recommend not 1, not 2, but 3 movies I should review in a single comment? In 3 minutes of typing you pour on like 6 hours of movie watching and 10 hours of research and typing?!? Unbelievable. You could have just let your comment go, allow the post response hate grow and id have been all the better for it! Hahaha.

      Why don’t you give me a session 9 post to put up for you?!? Hahaha. And a Machinist? Oh, and after that a tall grass review? Did you not like The Tall Grass? Is it any good?

  6. Lisa

    I’m really surprised they bothered to make In the Tall Grass a film as it was based on a pretty short story from Stephen King and Joe Hill. I’m also an avid reader and am currently reading The Institute by King. The film was just ok for me. I’ll wait and see what Taylor has to say before doing a deep dive so he best get on those recommendations! Just kidding!

  7. Lisa

    PS, I don’t think this is a site where anyone is right or wrong. Even if I don’t love a film, I can find elements of it that are worthy of discussion which is why I’m guessing you posted this one here. Plus I pay little mind to IMDB ratings as my criteria differ from those that would give a high rating to a Marvel franchise movie, for instance. I did not love this film but admire the try at making something unconventional instead of just churning out another rom com or superhero film.

  8. deKev

    I’ve not had the pleasure to read the novella by King and son, so I can’t say for sure. But from what I could gather from some other sites that the filmmakers might have added one or two new elements to the mix. In any case, the movie is far more ambitious in scope than Fractured, maybe a little too ambitious for its own good, come to think of it. I mean [Spoiler Alert] a maze that can bend space and time at will in order to trap its victims [Spoiler Ends] should be plenty enough material for a 100-minute film, right? But that’s just the tip of the iceberg really…

    Anyway, I feel In The Tall Grass should offer more room for discussion than Fractured, certainly Taylor can have a field day positing theories behind the maze, maybe right after he gives Eli a once-over too, of course, again, no pressure, haha.

  9. Lisa

    I’m not even sure it qualified as a novella, more of a short story so they had to add something to the mix or it would have been a really short film! There was a point in time when Hill’s novels first started coming out that he did not admit publicly who his father was as I believe he wanted them to stand on their own merit but as you can imagine in the internet era, that didn’t last very long. So once the cat was out of the bag, fans wanted some type of collaboration. In their newer novels they plant little Easter eggs from each other’s past work. Anyway, I’m off on a tangent now. But I don’t want to spoil the film if Taylor hasn’t watched it yet. But I will say I think the film was better than the actual story just because there was elaboration regarding certain elements. Just for me as a fan of both of their books, there are a million more Id love to see make it to film although Dr. Sleep looks interesting as the sequel to The Shining. It was an exceptional book so I have high hopes.

  10. Lisa

    Eli was umm, something else! Not sure if you finished yet but it sure didn’t go where I thought it would go. Which is in fact why I thought of you after watching it but that’s all I’ll say as I don’t know how far through the film you’ve gotten. I didn’t even like the film much but there are still points worthy of some discussion, I think.

  11. Lisa

    Btw, the Machinist is one of the best films I’ve ever seen but I’ve not seen Session 9 so now I have added it to my list! But The Machinist, wow. That was Bale at his absolute best before he became known for being ornery and hard to work with. A cult classic for sure.


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