There is some comfortable predictability in the thriller machinery proposed by 'Fractured' that does not bother, despite the fact that the usual viewer of the genre will always be a few steps ahead of this Netflix proposal. However, the correctness of the interpretations, the conciseness of its proposal and, above all, the precision in the staging of Brad Anderson make it a candy that is swallowed with pleasure, even if we know the taste of it by heart, it's one of those formulas that never gets too old.
Without stridencies, the film points out a few detours that it later dodges very consciously, avoiding to become a drama about a father recovering from his alcohol addiction or a criticism of the American healthcare system (although some of both are there). Brad Anderson makes it clear that what interests him is the mystery: the pure suspense, of Hitchcocknian trims and inspired by the codes instituted by the master in 'Alarm in the Express'.
Anderson, in addition, intermingles the subject of the disappearance of someone close to the protagonist with one of the most recurring themes of his filmography, in films as acclaimed as 'Session 9' or 'The Machinist'. Distorting what the troubled Sam Worthington perceives to the point of completely untying it from reality, the viewer keeps wondering if the protagonist's paranoia has a real basis.
Worthington is a father on the verge of a very serious crisis with his wife who suffers an accident in the company of his daughter, in a service area. Although they seem to be fine, they take the girl to a nearby hospital, and there they suggest doing a CT scan. But hours later, his wife (great Lily Rabe) and her daughter have not reappeared, and everything seems to indicate that they have been victims of dark weavings that are carried out in the hospital. Or is it a mistake of another kind?
Very few surprises, as we say, in a script that should be presented every few minutes. The horny spectator will smell the final bars from the moment of the accident, but nothing matters because Brad Anderson turns the whole adventure into a fantastic figurine that hardly approaches reality. Worthington's clueless and inexpressive air, so irritating on other occasions, reinforces here the misty atmosphere of the whole experience.
The Kafka maze of forms to fill out and bureaucratic nightmares in which a phone call informs that insurance does not cover an intervention (and that, in the United States, is reason for little less than selling the soul to be able to meet the expenses) adds, in addition, some fantastic foggy feeling of dead end for the family protagonist. The feeling that with or without a conspiracy there is no escape from this bear stock is a very interesting subtext.
Brad Anderson helps with a staging brimming with deformed planes, fish eyes, close-ups and a superb use of assembly that helps us immerse ourselves in the mind of a paranoid (or someone who has had a revelation). The result is stimulating enough for the viewer to remain at the edge of the seat, although the script by Alan B. McElroy, author of the influential 'Wrong Turn', does not offer too many surprises.
Even being a light and friendly film, and proposing long stretches of satisfactory and mysterious ambiguity (the entire initial section until the arrival at the hospital, including the accident, is sensational due to its suffocating atmosphere, of uncertain unreality), 'Fractured' is nothing more than a thriller of suspense with plot argument and very inspired realization. Luckily, it doesn't take more than that for a while of tension without more ambitions.