SPOILERS ahead on the Netflix movie Fractured.
How did the Fractured movie end on Netflix, and what's the deal with that final shot of Sam Worthington's character Ray? Director Brad Anderson weighed in with details on the ambiguity of the ending.
Like many Breaking Bad fans, I watched El Camino on Netflix the day it was released. But I also noticed Avatar star Sam Worthington was in a new movie released the same day, called Fractured. Without knowing anything about it, I jumped in for the 1 hour 40 minute ride. Through the film, I tried to anticipate the twists ahead, knowing there would be something but not quite sure what screenwriter Alan B. McElroy and director Brad Anderson had planned.
The movie started with Sam Worthington's Ray Monroe fighting in the car with his wife Joanne Monroe (Lily Rabe) as their daughter Peri Monroe (Lucy Capri) sat in the backseat. They were driving home from a bad Thanksgiving dinner with her family. They made a pit stop so Peri could use the bathroom and she ended up taking a hard fall in an area the police probably should've blocked off as a major danger site to prevent this entire story from happening.
At any rate, that's where the story has a schism that we don't realize until the end. After both Peri and Ray fall, Ray gets up and -- in his mind -- takes Peri to the hospital with Joanne. They say she has a fractured arm.
At the end of Fractured, we realize most of that was in Ray's head, and the "shrink" the hospital brought to talk to him was right. He created a false reality after Peri fell, because she died. In his shock, he stood there while Joanne raged at him, and he pushed her to the side without even seeming to see her. She hit her head on a spike -- seriously, the police need to shut that area down -- and also died.
Ray kept his wife and daughter's bodies in the car, but in his mind he thought he was rescuing them from a hospital that was stealing and selling patients' organs. Turns out, that was not the case. I'm most worried about the random patient still in Ray's car as he drove away. The police didn't give chase to get that person back to the hospital?!
The end shot of Fractured initially shows a closeup of Ray smiling, after looking through the rear-view mirror and seeing his imagined wife smile at him and say let's go home. But then his face gets a darker look for the last frame -- a screenshot of that look is posted in the photo above.
Fractured premiered at Fantastic Fest in September before its October 11 debut on Netflix. While at Fantastic Fest, director Brad Anderson -- who previously directed The Machinist, Session 9, and Beirut -- talked to Fresh Fiction about the ending and the choice of that final shot.
The director talked about the question Fractured leaves fans with at the end of the movie:
You have to imagine the police will show up at some point. Or someone will ask about the live (or maybe dying and on the way to death) patient in the backseat, and the two dead bodies in the trunk. Ray doesn't have a solid grip on reality, so I'm wondering if he'll still see that as the corrupt world trying to gaslight him. Everyone is in on it, etc. As director Brad Anderson added:
Interesting. Did you see that particular Fractured ending twist coming, or were you expecting something else? At one point I thought maybe Ray had imagined the entire hospital. It didn't seem logical anyway that that many people would be out at a hospital in the middle of absolute nowhere.
Anyway, Fractured is just one of the many Netflix originals headed your way. There are plenty of films and also TV shows to see in October -- including lots of good horror -- and more will be coming soon in November. Sam Worthingon will be back as Jake Sully for James Cameron's Avatar sequels, with the first one arriving in 2021.
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Gina grew up in Massachusetts and California in her own version of The Parent Trap. She went to three different middle schools, four high schools, and three universities -- including half a year in Perth, Western Australia. She currently lives in a small town in Maine, the kind Stephen King regularly sets terrible things in, so this may be the last you hear from her.