Conspiracy theories have always had a place in our culture. There are channels whose entire schedule consists of UFO and Bigfoot shows. In the age of the Internet, these ideas have become more popular with everything from the shape of the planet to the effectiveness of vaccines being called into question. Unsurprisingly, movies in which the truth is being covered up have also become more popular.
Fractured from Netflix is the worst case scenario. While on vacation with his family, Roy Monroe is involved in an accident that sees his daughter Peri injured. He takes her to a hospital to get checked on where she is seemingly lost and everyone claims to have never seen her. The movie effectively transform the conspiracy from “what if..?” to “what the..!”
Pacing is very important in these types of movies. Go too quick, and the proper tension is not built; it is not good enough to have a mystery. The audience needs to be invested. If the story moves too slow there is a risk of boring the audience. The devil is in the details when it comes to secret schemes, but going over every bit of minutiae can be tedious. Fractured does things perfectly, moving along at a steady pace that expands the plot. The story is constantly moving forward, getting viewers more engaged.
The mystery is incredibly absorbing. It seems like it is going to be another movie about a father looking for his child. Fractured adds another level of intrigue. Along with a missing daughter, there is the question of what really happened. The writing does an excellent job of casting doubt on almost every character. The lack of trust the audience has in the movie’s characters make things that much more intriguing.
The performances also help Fractured. The entire cast does a great job, but Sam Worthington carries it. The movie is mainly about his reactions. He does a wonderful of job of getting across the anger and frustration of the situation. Some of the best moments are when he calms himself down after he feels he has overreacted. He paces and whispers himself in a very familiar manner. It is easy to relate to Roy, making it that much easier to cheer for him.
While the entire cast does a great job, there is a little development for anyone aside from Roy. The audience is given an idea what his wife is like, but otherwise the characters are cookie cutter. This is in part due to the mysterious nature of the story, but it is still noticeable.
As with most movies from the genre, the ending will determine how much a person likes Fractured. On a recent episode of Adventures in Movies, we discussed what makes twists work. One of the things we talked about was giving enough clues to where someone watching will exclaim, “Of course!”. Here, the script does an excellent job of planting the seeds. The audience will be kept guessing up until the very end what has happened.
Fractured is an engaging mystery. The story about a missing child will add a palatable fear while Sam Worthington’s strong performance is more than just another frustrated father. Ultimately, the entire movie will be judged by its ending, for better or for worse.
Fractured debuts on Netflix on October 11.
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