An unusual mix of film noir and gore.
by Nav Qateel
After director Adam Gierasch’s last film, the cliche-ridden Fertile Ground, turned out to be rather disappointing, Fractured proves the horror-filmmaker is moving in the right direction with a respectably presented neo-noir thriller-horror. It’s actually billed as a thriller, however, it feels like a horror that aspires to be a serious thriller, but with the level of gore and realistic violence, I don’t think that’s going to happen. I’m certainly not complaining, although, I didn’t expect to see full frontal nudity, realistic scalping, and a bit of anal probing as our hero finds out what it’s like for women, when I looked at the poster with Vinnie Jones’ mug on the front holding a gun.
After laying in a coma for two-years, Dylan White (Callum Blue) awakens without any memory of who he is and how he got there. He makes a new life for himself as a chef, with girlfriend Brandy (Ashlynn Yennie), but after a year Dylan begins to have strange dreams. When they become realistic waking nightmares, where he’s inexplicably dragged off to some dark place where he sees murder and carnage, only to wake up elsewhere, Dylan seeks out help from his old coma doctor. Unsatisfied, Dylan sees a newspaper photo that sparks a memory, so off he goes in search of his past, in the hope it ties in with the nightmares. Dylan doesn’t like what he uncovers about his past, and who he once was, and attempts to right some wrongs in the hope of redemption.
There’s a lot to like about Fractured such as the impressive noir-style and direction Gierasch has taken his latest effort. You also get the feeling Fractured is a film that would have benefited from a larger budget, allowing better production values and a few more sets to film in. The director did well to get as much as he did with his paltry $3.3 million, especially with the special effects used. It’s a shame Gierasch finally resorted to digital gunshot strikes in the later part of the film, but for the most part it was pretty realistic.
Callum Blue handled his Dylan character expectedly well, as Dylan begins to learn more about himself, and not liking any of it. There were two scenes where this is underlined. The first is when he picks up Marlena (Nicole LaLiberte) in a bar, and after a night of passion, he asks Marlena if she believes a very bad person can change. The second and more effective is when Dylan enters a church and has a conversation with the priest, and then has an epiphany. As Dylan is investigating into who he once was, a saxophone and voice-over would have nailed it.
Vinnie Jones yet again got to be the bad guy, but he must love taking on these characters as he doesn’t need to do much with himself other just be Vinnie Jones. A South London gangster seems to fit in anywhere if Vinnie is called in to work, and he’s always effective doing these characters. He plays Quincy, a very bad man from Dylan’s past. On one of the occasions we meet Quincy, he’s throwing up poisoned bread for the seagulls to catch, then they drop out of the sky, dead, to join the large collection already floating on the water.
Both Nicole LaLiberte and Ashlynn Yennie were good, with LaLiberte doing a particularly great job in the role of Marlena the femme fatale. Fractured is a film that could garner a lot of interest, but the gore may put mainstream audiences off, which would be a real pity. If you can stand realistic horror and enjoy film noir then this is a film that you should make a point of seeing.