Fractured (2016) Movie Review - Actually Watchable British Thriller

Horror, Thriller, Mystery | 80 min
Fractured Horror Movie Review
  • Director: Jamie Patterson
  • Actors: April Pearson, Karl Davies, Louisa Lytton
  • Writers: Jamie Patterson, Christian J. Hearn
  • Producers: April Pearson, Jamie Patterson
  • Country: United Kingdom
  • Language: English, Swedish
  • Parental: Some Sexual Content But No Nudity, Moderate Profanity And Moderate Violence.
  • Horror, Thriller, Mystery | 80 min

When Rebecca and Michael decide to take a weekend getaway and drive into the isolated countryside they arrive at their cottage unscathed but Rebecca can't help but feel like someone is watching.

Sometimes, the best way to go into a movie is completely blind, not knowing anything of the plot, and not expecting anything. I try to do that wherever possible but it isn’t always a realistic option in this age of information overload. Fractured was very much a case of this. Open up your favourite streaming service, read the blurb and fire up the movie not expecting much.

It seems that, the majority of the time, when I pick a movie in this way I am left disappointed. Fractured actually left me pleasantly surprised. It is a fairly enjoyable, mystery, thriller romp with an interesting twist. With that in mind, let’s take a look.

Just Another Thriller Movie

That is pretty much what I was thinking after the first ten minutes of Fractured. We are introduced to Michael (Karl Davies) and Rebecca (April Pearson), a young couple on their way to a holiday destination for a seemingly romantic weekend away. Sure, they both come across as annoying, overbearing, idiots but that is true of a lot of young couples.

They bicker and take jabs at each other as they stop off at a petrol station. Michael, noticing the strange reaction of the petrol station attendant, asks to use the toilet. While sitting down he spots someone approaching the cubicle. Hastily leaving, forgetting Rebecca’s purse, the couple eventually arrive at their destination to enjoy a pleasant night together.

Michael and Rebecca in Fractured

Some of the scenes are ridiculously dark

It isn’t long before Michael and Rebecca start noticing things amiss in their secluded getaway. Shoes are missing, items are missing from their car, and the occasional random noise unnerves them somewhat. Despite the disturbing aura, they attempt to get on with their night and enjoy themselves.

After a spirited spanking session – don’t worry, nothing too graphic and no nudity for the less liberal minded of you – Michael manages to somehow knock himself unconscious leaving the bound Rebecca in a somewhat precarious position, face down, in the dark, and with something seemingly in the house.

An Interesting Twist

Within 35 minutes we are introduced to an interesting twist that I am not going to speak about in any depth. In fact, I really can’t discuss any more of the plot for the risk of spoilers and that’s not how we roll on Knockout Horror. We want to keep Knockout Horror’s Horror Movie Reviews as spoiler free as possible. Suffice to say, it is a decent twist that adds a lot to what was, initially, a very bland thriller movie with unlikable characters.

Fractured

Stunning house in the middle of nowhere – What could go wrong?

A good twist can really change the outlook of a movie. Movies love to attempt to pull the rug out from under your feet and the horror genre is definitely no exception. There is so much room for moving the goal posts and Fractured does a pretty good job. Sure there are a few things that don’t quite add up, some character actions that don’t make sense, and a few loose ends but it really isn’t bad. I would actually go as far as to say that the twist makes the movie worth watching despite many of its flaws.

Scripting, Cameras and Lighting – Oh My!

First of all, I absolutely have to mention the scripting. It has been a long time since I cringed so heavily at the dialogue in a movie. Do people actually talk to each other like this? If I spoke to my fiancĂ©e the way Michael talks to Rebecca I doubt I would ever be able to stop her laughing and she definitely wouldn’t take me seriously again.

You hear that? Exactly! Nothing needs to be said. We know each other inside and out – Michael

That is an actual quote from the film as Michael and Rebecca stare awkwardly into each others eyes. Naturally preceded by a Michael Myers-esque head tilt. It was both creepy and cringe inducing. This is one of many similar lines that made my skin crawl with just how badly delivered and out of place they were.

Michael (Karl Davies) from Fractured

When he tilts his head like Michael Myers before saying something romantic – Just Girly Things

Michael and Rebecca have no chemistry until the plot becomes a little more clear but even then these lines seem out of place. The screenplay and writing is really substandard and the characters never once seem like anything other than paint by numbers low budget horror characters.

Basic Camera Work

Camera work is pretty basic with little experimentation. Shots linger which I prefer to the all too common trope of switching between characters to capture reactions. Nothing reveals an inexperienced camera crew and director like the need to always focus on the person who is talking. We have some shots through windows and through cracks in doors that certainly accomplish the task of setting the voyeuristic scene.

Rebecca (April Pearson) undressing in Fractured

Some of the voyeuristic camera shots are really well done!

We do have some extremely poor shots such as the scene where Michael is spanking Rebecca. The shot is claustrophobic and doesn’t give much hint as to what is going on. It makes it look like they have chosen to sleep in a box room rather than the large bedroom we see them in earlier on in the movie. It’s worth mentioning that despite the sex, spanking, and bath scenes in the movie, we never see any nudity so nothing to worry about if this is something that concerns you. I would say this is actually to the detriment of the movie as it takes away from the intimacy of the voyeuristic nature of the camera shots. The implication of vulnerability from a character, or characters, being nude in these situations is extremely effective, Alone With Her is a fantastic example of this.

Michael and Rebecca in Fractured

Not all of the camera work is up to scratch

The biggest visual problem I had with Fractured is the lighting. This movie is incredibly dark. We watched on a large TV that is configured to display as close to the director’s intentions as possible and some scenes were incredibly dark in parts. I get it, they are in the middle of nowhere, they don’t know how a light switch works, I understand but it is just too much.

Some Acting Inconsistencies

Fractured features some very experienced British actors that many people from the UK will recognise. Karl Davies, who plays Michael, just got done with Chernobyl and was the original Robert Sugden in Emmerdale. April Pearson starred in the first couple of seasons of Skins, and Louisa Lytton has been acting since her teens as Ruby in Eastenders. They, for the most part, do a great job, especially Louisa Lytton.

There are, however, a few instances where the dialogue drags down the acting. There are certain lines, as mentioned above, that would be impossible for any actor to deliver well. April Pearson shines more towards the middle of the movie as the plot begins to clear up and Karl Davies is fairly consistent throughout though he seems to get the bulk of the bad lines. It is a little difficult to separate what is average acting and just bad scripting but there is nothing that gets in the way of the story and none of the acting stands out as being particularly good or bad.

Should You Watch Fractured?

All in all, yes, I think you should watch Fractured. It is not a particularly fantastic movie and it won’t really sweep anyone off their feet. It is, however, an enjoyable mystery themed horror thriller with a fun premise, an interesting twist, and the perfect run time at around 80 minutes. Don’t expect too much and it might just entertain you.

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