Fractured (the film formerly known as Schism) is a sexy blend of nightmarish horror and mystery that’s as consistently intriguing as it is disturbing. It takes a while for the film to build up steam as it piles up its clues and puzzles, but once it gets going Fractured delivers a haunting portrait of a normal guy trying to save his soul from damnation. Amnesia’s a bitch, man, especially when your former boss is a vicious human trafficker who’s prone to use his associates for target practice. Or just Vinnie Jones in general.
After awakening from an eight month-long coma, Dylan White (Callum Blue) has no memory of what put him in the hospital. He can’t remember his life before the past three years, in fact. Despite this mental fog, Dylan finds work as a cook in a Baton Rouge restaurant, starts dating a frisky girl, and is trying to lead a normal life. Then his violent past starts catching up with him in ways that’ll really fuck up a “normal life.” Sinister visions of blood-drenched women hammer his brain as he sleeps, works, and even when he’s at the damn convenient store. So much for normal.
Patterns start to appear in these visions and as Dylan starts to connect the dots, he’s led to old haunts where his former boss Quincy (Vinnie Jones) is still trafficking women under work conditions that clearly don’t meet OSHA standards. Jones plays his usual hard-ass geezer self, but he’s perfect at it so no complaints of typecasting here. Battling dark visions, Quincy, and amnesia, Dylan makes his way through the underworld – leaving behind a trail of gore and graphic sex. He meets a seductive femme fatale played by Nicole LaLiberte (Dexter) who drops clues for him in between bouts of booze-fueled kinky encounters.
Speaking of femme fatale, there’s a thick neo-noir vibe to Fractured. We follow a doomed hero as he travels through a world of perpetual night highlighted with neon and morally ambiguous characters. There’s also a jazzy soundtrack that cues brief moments of respite for Dylan. The cinematography is fantastic too and heightens the claustrophobic, menacing mood. The New Orleans backdrop offers up plenty of dark dives and shady corners for Dylan to get lost in as he stumbles towards his fate of either eternal damnation or salvation.
Fractured never wholly lets the audience in on its actual nature. Fantasy and reality hop in bed and have filthy sex until Dylan and the viewer have no clue what the hell to believe. Callum Blue, who many will probably know from Dead Like Me or Smallville, is an understated lead who strongly carries the film through its myriad of bizarre twists. There are a lot of ideas and genre elements at play here, and director/co-writer Adam Gierasch never loses control of the reins. If you enjoy a good mind-fuck, definitely check this one out.
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