Netflix has been stepping up its horror and thriller game with its Netflix and Chills line-up coming in October. On that list is the Netflix Original movie Fractured, from director Brad Anderson and writer Alan McElroy. A pure psychological thriller, together the two have created a film that keeps you guessing from the first minute to the last.
There is something extremely terrifying about hospitals. Maybe its the fact it is the place where people are born while also being the place where many go to die. When you tie in the state of receiving healthcare in this country, it’s all amplified. While on the red carpet at Fantastic Fest 2019, where the film premiered, McElroy explained that the story came from a moment when his daughter was young and he accompanied her and his wife to a hospital. When they were taken away he questioned, “What if they didn’t come back?” And from that one question comes a film that plays with reality and emotion in a way that forces the audience to examine who they believe.
Fractured follows a family driving back home after Thanksgiving. Ray (Sam Worthington) and Joanne (Lily Rabe) have been married for years and it shows. The film opens with them arguing, admitting that they’re breaking apart, the chemistry between Worthington and Rabe is perfection. They argue with the anger that only people who used to love each other do. When they make a routine stop, their daughter Peri (Lucy Capri) has an accident, breaking her arm. After they rush to the hospital and Ray’s wife and daughter are taken in for a scan, the movie splits.
After falling asleep in the waiting room, Ray wakes up and his family is gone without a trace. From there, the story continually twists and turns. From Ray’s perspective, we see everyone around him convince him that he’s wrong while he struggles to understand what is real and what is fake. Taken to his absolute limit, he stops at nothing to find his family, fighting against lies, the truth, and the murky gray in between.
The film is as much a character study as it is a thriller. Worthington’s Ray is a desperate man looking to keep his family together and bring them home. Through beautiful sound design, Fractured plays with perception, simulating concussion symptoms from blurriness to ringing. Ray’s own injury from the accident keeps us questioning him, while the eeriness and horror of the American healthcare system have us rooting for him. With his script, Mcelroy takes a risk, writing an ending that is sure to leave some viewers watching with their mouths wide open.
Fractured is a film that is best if you come in blind. There are many beautifully executed twists that push the audience to judge Ray, the hospital, and everyone else who contributes to the narrative. That said, Fractured succeeds because of Worthington’s intensity, fear, and vulnerability in the role of Ray. We see the story through his position, we see his pain and his trauma and because of it, we root for him. Worthington is compelling in his determination and as he begins to question his grip on reality, we spiral with him, swimming against the current of accusations thrown his way by the hospital staff.
Overall, Fractured is great addition to the Netflix genre film line-up and one you won’t want to miss when it comes out. Performances, direction, and writing are all the reasons you should hit play on this film, just don’t do it before you head to the doctor’s office.
Fractured will be available exclusively on Netflix on October 11, 2019.
Fractured is great addition to the Netflix genre film line-up and one you won’t want to miss when it comes out. Performances, direction, and writing are all the reasons you should hit play on this film, just don’t do it before you head to the doctor’s office.
Kate is co-founder, EIC, and CCO of BWT. She’s also a Certified Rotten Tomatoes Critic, host, and creator of our flagship podcast, But Why Tho? and Did You Have To?. She also manages all PR relationships for comics, manga, film, TV, and anime. She has an MA in Cultural Anthropology and Religious Studies focusing on how pop culture impacts society.