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FRAGILE
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Reviewed by: Andre Manseau

Directed by: Jaume Balagueró

Starring:
Calista Flockhart
Richard Roxburgh
Yasmin Murphy
Gemma Jones
Elena Anaya

Movie:  
star star star star
Extras:  
star star star star
Overall:  
star star star star
What's it about
At her new job in a rundown children's hospital, a nurse desperately tries to keep her patients safe from a plague of random, mysterious attacks.
Is it good movie?
Fragile is a flick that has been sitting in the can for five years until Fangoria decided to pick it up and release it under their banner in time for the Halloween season. Bizarrely enough, it stars Calista Flockhart in the lead role of nurse Amy Nicholls, a night nurse who must watch over her kids at an old children's hospital before the one she's in is torn down for being so damn old.

This is more or less a flick that tries to come off like a classic ghost story. The kids are seeing things, and one of the creepiest ones blabbers on about a 'mechanical girl' who lives on a the long-abandoned second floor. Of course, it is up to Calista to inquire about the past of this figure while something is truly trying to keep all of these kids from leaving the hospital.

This is a flick that was directed by Jaume Balaguero, who brought us gems like the awful, awful "The Darkness" from a few years ago. I'm happy to say that although the flick doesn't bring us anything truly groundbreaking, this is a far better film than that last effort. The acting is actually quite good from Ally McBeal's child counterparts, although Flockhart isn't very good in the role. There's no question that she's trying her ass off, but she seems to be a pieced together heroine who is pretty typical and nothing special. I guess if you're a fan then it just doesn't matter.

Fragile is also pretty atmospheric and can be relatively creepy in the right situation, with lots of creepy shots of the hospital bathed in darkness, plenty of 'what was that' zipping around in front of the camera and a good use of sound. The whole ghost story of the mechanical girl is pieced together quite well and the mechanical girl is undoubtedly creepy. The film does the right thing in not constantly showing her and I commend the director for not just spoiling it for us.

This is a pretty slow paced movie, but it is written fairly well and carried by decent performances steeped in rich atmosphere. It's certainly worth watching if you see it around during this Halloween season.
Video / Audio
Video is presented in 16:9 2:35:1 widescreen. Audio is presented in D5.1 Dolby Digital Surround.
The Extras
First up is a featurette cleverly titled The Making of Fragile and it's got some great meat to it, surprisingly enough. The bit is 20 minutes long and features a lot of good info from the cast and crew. WIth that said, hope you don't mind some spanish because the director and his crew are mostly spanish and as such, so is this feature.

There's also a a featurette about the VFX of the movie, and it runs about 5 minutes long and details (surprisingly) the various digital effects used in the film. Pretty cool stuff, talking about the motivation behind all of the fractures in the film and other cool little bits.

Finally, there are a bunch of trailers for other Fangoria Frights movies.
Last Call
I expected to really hate this flick when I looked at the cover (which is awful). But since I don't judge movies by their cover, I'm happy to say that initial impressions were overcome and this one turned out pretty well. Although it's not groundbreaking, gory or quickly paced, this one turns out to be a pretty good little ghost story with enough atmospheric tension to be worth watching.
ARROW IN THE HEAD'S RATING SYSTEM
star star star star I'D BUTCHER MY FAMILY TO SEE THIS AGAIN
star star star HANG ME BUT I DUG IT A LOT
star star AN OK WAY TO KILL TWO HOURS
star JUST SLING AN ARROW IN MY HEAD AND LET ME DIE IN PEACE

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