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An American nurse takes a temporary position on the night shift at a closing children's hospital on the Isle of Wight. When every shift is plagued by spooky occurrances and things that go bump in the night, she begins to believe the stories of one of the child pateints, who insists the hospital is haunted by a dangerous presence emanating from the long abandoned second floor.Written by
Bearwood College in Reading, England was used as the exterior location for the Mercy Falls Children's Hospital. See more »
At the beginning of Amy's first shift as Helen is leaving, Helen picks up the phone and calls Max to let him know that 'lights out' in five minutes. But minutes before as Mrs. Folder is showing Amy around, she tells her that the phones have been turned off. See more »
Violence, gore, and language has been edited out of the US release to obtain a PG-13 rating. See more »
Fragile (AKA: Fragiles) is directed by Juame Balaguero who also co- writes the screenplay with Jordi Galceran. It stars Calista Flockhart, Elena Anaya, Yasmin Murphy, Richard Roxburgh and Colin McFarlane. Music is by Roque Banos and cinematography by Xavi Gimenez.
Mercy Falls Children's Hospital, Isle of White, soon to be closed down and currently only housing the last few child patients and a skeleton crew of staff.. It is also home to something else, something sinister up on the second floor apparently.
Supernatural spooker involving kids in peril, Fragile is quintessentially a ghost story movie for the undemanding like minded film fan looking for chills, jumps and atmosphere abound. Those in search of something new thrown on to the haunted building table are advised to steer clear, for in spite of a somewhat bonkers finale, where hospital apocalypse is the order of the day, this stays safely on the well trodden path.
Yet when done well enough clichés are not a problem, such is the case here. Flockhart's nurse has mental anguish in her past which she inevitably has to exorcise, and naturally she's going to be the heroine in some shape or form, we know this as she's the American come to the Isle of White to work, a new start. However, it's a nicely drawn characterisation that engages when the bond between nurse and one particularly troubled child is fully born.
With the back drop that of a Gothic hospital (exteriors really Bearwood College in Berkshire, England), complete with a closed ward straight out of Session 9, atmosphere is well maintained by Balaguero, and of course whenever there are sick and dying kids involved there's always a deep sadness dripped into film. The scares range from standard things that go clang in the night, lifts and beds that come to life, and edge of the seat inducing walks around dead silent parts of the hospital. Then there's that ending
The story involving the reason for the haunting is a neat one, unfortunately the entity in its realisation is not. We are introduced to something monstrous, but it belongs in a different movie, perhaps a Clive Barker inspired one in fact. Some will (and already do) find it very freaky, but I feel it goes a bit away from the traditional ghost movie flavours previously sprinkled throughout the picture. However, there's a genuine surprise at film's closure, where not reverting to formula type is a major bonus.
Derivative? Yes more often than not. Good time assured for fans of haunted house like mysteries? Absolutely! 7/10
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