If the mindbending ending of Fractured left you asking a few questions then don’t worry because we have the answers.
Fractured is directed from the same mind that brought us the Machinist and similar to that film, not everything is as it seems.
Throughout this, I’ll be breaking down everything that you need to know about Fractured, it’s ending as well as what it means.
There will be Heavy Spoilers here so if you haven’t had a chance to watch the movie yet and don’t want to know what happens then I highly suggest that you turn off now.
With that out the way, I just wanna give a huge thank you for clicking this, now let’s get into our breakdown of Fractured!
Fractured Plot Recap
Fractured follows Ray and his family as they come from Thanksgiving. Everything seems pretty mundane but as we follow Ray’s journey, things begin to splinter and the events of the movie are difficult to fully discern without closer examination.
Ray is an unreliable narrator that suffers from alcoholism and after his daughter, Peri, falls into a construction site, he rushes her to the hospital along with his wife Jo. Passing out from exhaustion and a head injury gained from diving in after Peri, Ray awakens to find his family completely gone with the hospital staff unaware that they ever came in. The last thing he remembers is sending Peri and Jo down in the elevator to head for a scan and from there the tension ramps up from beginning to end.
Instantly the movie gripped me and this plot aesthetic is awesome to watch play out throughout the duration of the film. We really are as lost as Ray throughout, desperate to learn the truth behind exactly what happened and for lack of a better term, how fractured Ray really is. Seeing how reckless Ray acts makes it a nailbiting 90 minutes and you really don’t know what the character will do next. After a slight fall from stardom, Sam Worthington has really found his niche with projects like this and Manhunt Unabomba and he masterfully portrays the extreme pressure that he’s under in just trying to get to the bottom of exactly what’s happened.
He also perfectly portrays just how unbalanced he is as a character and the film is masterfully edited to let us know that not everything is as it seems.
The Twilight Zone
You really get the stress that Ray is under though and there are so many possibilities of what could be going on that your mind will be racing throughout the film desperately trying to understand what’s happened. This is like a movie version of The Twilight Zone and Ray is pushed to the brink of insanity trying to discover what happened.
He witnesses body parts getting dumped into a skip, Doctors that deny his version of events and there just seems to be something wrong about the entire place. It could also be Ray’s head wound which he seemingly came into the hospital for and throughout I was second-guessing whether he was crazy or if there was more than met the eye about the location.
After there are no answers he acts irate and gets sedated and dragged away by Doctors to a room that he is then locked into. He breaks out of his holding and manages to get the attention of the police. They believe Ray and go into the hospital, the seniors and Dr. Berthram deny that Ray came in with anyone else and the whole struggle with Ray sort of feels a bit like Groundhog Day. Wait, where do I know Dr. Berthram from…..oh Ned Ryerson BING!
CCTV footage seems to show that Ray is crazy and there’s lip service paid to the fact that Ray had his previous wife and their unborn child die due to his carelessness. However, after he finds her scarf under a bed a psychiatrist decides to go with him in leading the police to the scene of the fall. Here they discover far more blood than there could be from Ray’s head wound and accuse him of killing the two.
Did It Really Happen?
They say that as Ray made up the dog and as he has already lost his family before he created an alternate reality in order to shield himself from the truth. Ray seemingly got angry due to the argument at the start of the film and accidentally killed his daughter and then-wife in a rage and this has all been a delusion. He gets arrested but when the stray dog appears it too confirms that Ray may not have been making this up and he grabs a gun from a policeman and locks the cops and psychiatrist in a shipping container. Ray heads back to the hospital, armed and ready to go all Last Of Us on the entire place.
At this point, I was massively on board and though I was probably 70% in the camp that Ray was crazy there still was a lot of doubt in my mind as to whether this may all be a conspiracy to take down the character. It really can’t be overstated how atmospheric Fracture is and this style throughout the film will have you just as invested in Ray as he is in his family.
Upon arriving at the hospital Ray, goes undercover, kills the security guard and takes the elevator down that he last saw his wife and daughter at and discovers that the location has been harvesting organs from people brought in. Ray discovers Jo in a wheelchair and Peri about to be operated on by doctors who say he’s not seeing things clearly. The try to sedate him but after bursting a gas pipe and igniting it by shooting a hospital light he’s able to get his family out and escape with them. Joel would be proud.
Fractured: Netflix: Ending Explained
He escapes with his family and they all lived happily ever after….oh wait…after hallucinating that they’re in the backseat, we see that Ray actually kidnapped someone who was in the middle of surgery.
As the psychiatrist said earlier, Ray had indeed killed his family and constructed the events of the film in his mind in order to shield himself from the truth. Their bodies are in the back seat of his jeep and have been there the entire time. Now throughout the film, the signs are there, literally, because we see a magazine article that says ‘the signs are there.’
This includes a queue that seems to disappear in the waiting room which forces Ray to pace up and down it. The fact that Ray’s wife doesn’t know his daughter’s blood type when they are asked for it, probably because Ray doesn’t either and Peri saying ‘my head is killing me.’ When rewatching the film, every medical professional in it should be taken at their word as they outright tell the truth of the events of the film which is that Ray came in with a head trauma, by himself, began acting erratic and then showed up once more the next day accusing them of kidnapping his daughter.
We can take from the death of Ray’s prior family that they died due to Ray drunk driving and his alcoholism returns at the start of the film when he buys two miniature bottles of Whiskey. This may not have been enough to make him go all Jack Torrence in The Shining but however it did push him over the edge and we see from the beginning when driving Peri to the hospital that Ray is once again reckless, endangering others and this is likely the same sort of scenario that caused the death of his previous wife.
Ray is a really fractured and broken man and clearly he was sent over the edge by the shock of Peri’s fall which we learn was caused by his outburst. Feeling like he was trapped once more in a living hell that would see those around him fall victims due to his irresponsibility, Ray silenced Jo and then created a reality that he could live in his mind, however, his guilt simply became too much and thus it all came crumbling down to some degree.
That doesn’t mean that Ray has fully escaped the fantasy though and it looks like the character will continue to believe that his wife and daughter are alive in order to spare himself pain. He heads off into the night, leaving the crime scene with a hostage and onto whatever fantasy his mind takes him on which ends the film.
But what did I think of the film overall? Well, Fractured is a really tense and personal story that is propped up massively by its performances. Whilst the twist is slightly predictable, purely because of how similar it is to the Machinist, the director’s most famous film, that doesn’t mean that the ride isn’t enjoyable. Worthington may not pull off the performance that Bale did with his extreme weight loss but instead, he paints out a grounded father, struggling to deal with the situation that is going on around him and living life on the edge.
This is Fractured’s main selling point and couple that with the eerie atmosphere, color tone to the whole film and dark and lingering shadows and you have a film that is an enjoyable watch for fans of psychological horrors. Whilst the twist may not be as groundbreaking as it could have been, say before the rise of films like Fight Club that still doesn’t mean it’s unearned and it doesn’t feel cheap or completely out fo nowhere. It feels real, enthralling and ultimately it leads to this being a movie that’s worth watching a second time just to see if you can pick up all of the clues and signifiers of which there are many.
In the end, I did enjoy Fractured and whilst I would still probably choose El Camino to watch over it if you are stuck between the two, that doesn’t mean that it’s not worth giving this a go if you are looking for other films with high production qualities and great acting.
Fractured, unlike its name is a solid movie and that’s why it gets an…
Now obviously I’d love to hear your thoughts on Fractured and what you took from the ending. Comment below and let me know!