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Fragile

Year: 2005
Production Co: Castelao Producciones
Director: Jaume Balagueró
Writer: Jaume Balagueró/Jordi Galceran
Cast: Calista Flockhart, Richard Roxburgh

Possibly the most unoriginal ghost story in cinema, and a possible sign (if we needed one) that Calista Flockhart's glory days are behind her.

She plays a night nurse with... (da da dum!) A Past who goes to work at a British children's hospital.

As in most ghost stories, it seems the director, the hero and most of the other characters have never seen a ghost story before. It's set on an island that can only be reached by helicopter. And there's a storm coming in. And there's an old, creaky elevator. And the creepy girl nobody else likes. And the whole second floor is off limits after an accident years before. You might as well put a Stephen King character in residence and fuck right off.

But nobody sees the cues you can see a mile away and despite the signposted plot, it's effective and well shot, with a stately, elegant air neither Flockhart nor the hackneyed storyline belong in. Undoubtedly bought in to secure funding, she's all wrong for her part, overshadowed by much more solid performances from her support cast, including the young girl playing the enigmatic Maggie.

The one scene of genuine terror (you know, when the orderly goes down into the dark basement alone to check the fuses) will stay with you for awhile after, but little else will.

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