In this atmospheric thriller, American nurse Amy (Calista Flockhart) is thrust into an eerie and dangerous world when she takes a temporary job at an isolated children’s hospital in England that’s slated for closure. The children, who are being terrorized and injured in baffling ways, confide in Amy that “the mechanical girl” doesn’t want them to leave, and Amy must convince skeptics that the menace is real.
Rating 7 out of 10
It’s easy to say a film is an “Atmospheric thriller” and quite another for it to really be one. In the case of Jaume Balaguero’s “Fragile” it is easy to say that it truly and easily has atmosphere and mood which elevates it above routine entries in the genre. First and foremost it is an eerie ghost story which takes place in the UK on the Isle of Wight. Calista Flockhart capably and admirably portrays a newly transferred night nurse that has come to supervise and care for children at a hospital which is about to close. Richard Roxburgh plays the head Doctor of the facility who takes her on.
Balaguero also directed Rec 2, another genre gem, that is fast moving and relentless. This film unfolds slowly and sets up characters in the form of orderlies, nurses and the children who we all learn to care for from all the caring interaction of Flockhart’s character. One in particular, Maggie, sees and hears a phantom named “Charlotte” roaming and haunting the hospital. We hear loud noises, letter blocks moving by themselves, experience blackouts, watch elevators fail and witness everyone stay clear of the abandoned second floor. It has a terrible history and secret only Flockhart can get to the bottom of. She is determined to help Maggie and find out who “Charlotte” really is. Even if it may cost her her job and friendship with Roxburgh’s attentive doctor.
The films boosts great photography and moody lighting. The music score comes across strong and bombastic at times but is appropriate in setting up tension. There are some scares that we see coming but it doesn’t take away from the dread of the story. It is very reminiscent of Peter Medak’s “The Changeling” in some ways but with a more wicked antagonist. Also “The Orphanage” comes to mind. “Fragile” is a neat little supernatural flick which has an intriguing twist, suspense and a commendable performance from Calista Flockhart. Check it out, gang.