Who doesn’t love a good ghost story? Especially if it’s coming from one of my favorite Spanish directors Jaume Balagueró. He’s the guy behind the 2007 claustrophobic found footage masterpiece Rec. Fragile is a movie offering a classic ghost story about a hospital for children that seems to be haunted. We will be following a new nurse who will find herself in the middle of this nightmare. I don’t like hospitals and I think that you don’t too. I mean, unless you’re having a baby, you’re there because something’s wrong. So, these places have this inherently negative vibe.
The atmosphere is creepy and similar to the first wave of Japanese horror movies like Ring and The Grudge. And the fact we’re talking about children makes the story even more fucked up. However, the rest of the elements are pretty familiar making the whole affair feel quite predictable. Although there will be some interesting twists toward the end of the movie. You can count on menacing apparitions appearing out of nowhere and strange sounds disturbing the ominous silence in this nightmarish hospital. Jaume uses every trick in the book to keep this nasty mood and manages to finish the movie on a high note.
The cinematography was excellent along with camerawork but I want you to pay attention to the sound design. It was absolutely stellar, contributing to the overall sense of dread. Calista Flockhart was solid in a lead role along with experienced Richard Roxburgh. However, beautiful Elena Anaya playing the role of Helen stole the show for me. And I’m not saying that just because I fell in love with her the moment I saw her. And no, I have not watched Sex and Lucia yet but I have it on my watchlist so it’s only a matter of time. Oddly enough, both she and Richard appeared in Van Helsing some four years ago.
Mercy Falls is a rundown but still operational hospital that’s going to be closed soon. Most of the patients left with just a skeleton crew running a few wards. Among them is the Children’s Ward where kids reported seeing and feeling strange things. Nurses and doctors have dismissed their claims so far but one new nurse is about to take their word for it. Nurse Amy asks one of the kids who’s actually up there and they say it’s Charlotte, the mechanical girl…
Fragile or Frágiles is a horror movie featuring one of the scariest ghosts I have ever seen. And you know I’ve seen some shit so you better be ready for this monstrosity. It’s so disturbing and just plain old nasty that I was legitimately afraid I was going to dream about this nightmare. Of course, it goes without saying that the special effects were excellent. Although the budget for this movie wasn’t big, it would appear they made the most of it. I also want to mention the fact that there won’t be almost any gore or graphic violence.
This is why when you first see the ghost, it slaps you in the face with its appearance. To make things even weirder she’s played by a Ivana Baquero, a gorgeous Spanish actress. Just to be clear, she plays the little girl and not the actual fucking ghost. Finally, if you’re looking for movies like Fragile, I suggest you check out J. A. Bayona’s The Orphanage and del Toro’s The Devil’s Backbone. Both of these movies feature ghost stories set in similar locations. Although if you’re looking for that creepy atmosphere Session 9 might be a better choice.
Director: Jaume Balagueró
Writers: Jaume Balagueró, Jordi Galceran
Cast: Calista Flockhart, Richard Roxburgh, Elena Anaya, Gemma Jones, Colin McFarlane
Fun Facts: Director and writer of this movie, Jaume Balagueró, got the idea for it after seeing a 100-year-old medical photo of someone with a osteogenesis imperfecta.