Subject: I have found a DVD that I think you would enjoy
Actors: Imma Colomer, Muriel, Kandido Uranga, Paula Pizzi, Julio Perillan
Directors: Juanma Bajo Ulloa, Tito Rojas, Yaki Ortega
Genres: Indie & Art House, Drama, Television
Studio: Venevision Intl Films Release Date: 11/18/2008 Run time: 112 minutes
Review Lover | At a place... | 08/18/2007
(2 out of 5 stars)
"This movie starts out like some sort of glorious hybrid of several non-Movie horror classics - Shirley Jackson's "The Haunting Of Hill House", the videogame "Silent Hill 2", a smattering of Koji Suzuki's "Dark Water" collection, and with elements of Steven King, William Peter Blatty, Stanley Kubrick, Ira Levin and so forth.
And then, somewhere around the halfway mark of this 97-minute exercise in disappointment, it all goes horribly wrong, and the gorgeous cinematography, interesting premise and truly creepy and tense feeling of impending doom are wrenched cruelly away from the viewer, and are replaced with one of the most anticlimactic second halves I've ever seen in movies.
Amy Nicholls (Flockheart) is an American nurse with a tragic past, recently come to Mercy Falls Children's Hospital on the Isle of Wight to take up the post of staff nurse. She befriends a troubled little girl named Maggie, whose imaginary friend is a whole lot more real than either Amy or any of her colleagues could imagine.
Firstly, the acting's not the main draw in "Fragile" - Flockheart, Richard Roxburgh and Gemma Jones do very good jobs in their roles - Flockheart must be praised for a convincing first half performance, and then for doing her level best with the apalling script in the second half. The kids are child actors - not terribly good ones, but not so bad as to make you want to switch off - and, while there are one or two dreadful performances turned in by the likes of amateurish Colin McFarlane and histrionic Elena Anaya, all in all, the actors, while decent enough, take a very marked back seat to the talents behind the camera.
Xavi Giménez's eerie, haunting, expressive cinematography and Jaume Balaguero's outstandingly tense direction deserve huge praise - even in the let-down latter half of "Fragile", the visuals retain a charisma and a genuine tension that are worth seeing. The special effects are good, too, with next-to-no CG animation to muck up the reality of a surreal situation, we are totally hooked by the desolate, rain-swept countryside vistas and the long, foreboding corridoors and wards of a near-abandoned hospital.
Sadly, the visuals can't save the script - it's a mess. Given the beginning, it's like this movie ought to have had a different ending - more Hitchcock, more Hideo Nakata, and a hell of a lot less Hollywood Horror - but somewhere along the line it was decided to tack on an ending that's someone's idea of "accessible" - and this does "Fragile" the biggest disservice, by turning a carefully crafted sense of mystery and despair into Just Another Horror. Amy's burgeoning romance with Dr. Marcus isn't resolved, neither is the mystery of her sad past - and the "twist" in the tale is revealed with such bald flatness that you might just turn the DVD player off before the final credits roll.
Don't bother seeing this movie, it's certainly worthwhile in the beginning, but the intense and crushing disappointment of the latter half will negate any satisfaction you'll have amassed.