FRACTURED *** UK 2016 Dir: Jamie Patterson. 80 mins
An ingenious mid-point twist and the subtle depths of the two lead performances help make FRACTURED a compelling stripped-down thriller. April Pearson and Karl Davies are a likeable couple on a weekend getaway to a remote cottage. Their journey along interchangeable dark English country roads involves inevitable car trouble, an obligatory horror movie hiatus at a petrol station with a customer service representative nicknamed “Lurch” and a typically unsettling public toilet visit.
When they arrive at their destination, the camera prowls and lurks as if eavesdropping on their lovers’ break. Before they notice anything is wrong, we are aware of the presence of someone else in the house and, in a nice touch, Davies seems just as vulnerable chopping wood outside as Pearson does getting undressed for a bath. The first half of the movie is a tense two-handed thriller in the tradition of excellent British genre flicks of the 1970’s like AND SOON THE DARKNESS. The clever mid-film rug-pull forces us to see everything from a whole new perspective in the fashion of a cycle of post-Shyamalan, twisty 21st century horror-thrillers. Once the cat is out of the bag, the movie ends up in a less surprising place, but it’s fun getting there, and prolific director Jamie Patterson maintains a high level of suspense throughout. Pearson and Davies rise to the challenge of the shifting narrative in style.
Review by Steven West