Fractured wastes no time getting to the mystery

Lost in all of the hype around El Camino: A Breaking Bad Movie was the other movie Netflix released last week. The mystery/thriller Fractured also hit the streaming service last week and initially had great reviews. That has since changed but Fractured is the type of movie that is going to at least get your attention when that trailer starts.

Fractured is a mystery movie that wastes no time trying to mess with you. When it comes to streaming and family movie nights, mysteries have always been a top choice in my household. The fun of trying to see who can figure out what’s going on is great for discussions and debate during and after the movie. I watched Fractured with my mom and by the end we had been all over the place with our guesses and still hadn’t fully figured it out. The journey, however, was fun and that’s what we’ll talk about in this review.

Elevator Review

Fractured gets to the mystery almost immediately. You know something is off but it’s hard to judge what it is or when it started. It does a good job of giving you a hint then making you second guess it. I was upset by the result at the end but I enjoyed the ride.

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The story

At the start of the movie we have our main characters riding down a road through what appears to be Kansas. The idea that they’re in a remote area is established. They’re leaving a holiday dinner with family and the two parents are arguing in the front seat while their young daughter sits innocently in the back.

Sam Worthington (Clash of Titans) plays Ray Monroe and Lily Rabe (American Horror Story) plays Joanne Monroe. The tone of their argument lets you know they’re having marital issues and this sets the table for what happens next.

They stop at a gas station and the daughter, Peri Monroe (Lucy Capri), winds up falling into a hole at a construction site beside the gas station. Ray falls in trying to catch her and hits his head hard. It’s ringing and it’s clear to me that he is supposed to have a concussion as things begin to happen around him. When he recovers, there is panic at the scene but they wind up at a small local hospital.

From there, we watch Ray argue with staff and have several weird interactions before sending his daughter away to have a CT scan. Some time passes before he tries to get an update and is told that his daughter is not there. The rest of the movie we spend trying to decide if he’s lost his mind or if the hospital is running some sort of weird game and he is a victim.

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The Mystery

I said it in the elevator review (short review that you’d get if you asked me about the movie during an elevator ride) but Fractured does a good job of keeping you guessing. One scene will happen and you’ll know for sure you’re on the right track then the next scene will make you question it. This is a dangerous game to play because if done incorrectly it starts to come off as being intentionally deceiving and that turns you off of the fun of the mystery. People want to feel like they at least had a chance to figure it out and that you’re giving them the necessary evidence along the way.

The fact that we see everything from Ray’s perspective is the key to maintaining the consistency and not allowing you to take a break from what’s going on. The stakes increase with each interaction Ray has and at some point it feels like the truth may not matter because it’s him vs everyone else. Eventually that dynamic changes and it allows things to move to the next phase where we start to get real answers.

They save the big reveal for the very end then walk you back through key moments. Again, I wasn’t happy when the truth was revealed but I understand the decision and it doesn’t feel like they robbed me of anything… unlike Repo Men (2010) did. I’m still not over it.

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Overall

With this type of movie there isn’t a ton to really say which is why I feel like I basically just described the trailer for half of this review. If you are a lover of mysteries there’s a good chance you’ll enjoy this movie. You really have to be a fan of the genre in my opinion. Even then the end could lose some viewers though it didn’t do that for me (or my mom.) I can’t give it a strong recommendation but if you’re still interested after this review. Add Fractured to your list.

-Bibs

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