Review by James Lindorf
At the beginning of his career, screenwriter David Loughery worked in various genres, including action, sci-fi, comedy, and kid’s adventure movies. In the early 2000’s he decided to rebrand himself as the thriller guy. Since 2008 he has written seven films, all thrillers, including his latest “Shattered.” At the helm of this psychosexual thriller in the tradition of “Fatal Attraction” and “Basic Instinct” is Spanish director Luis Prieto who is best known for 2017’s “Kidnap,” starring Halle Berry. “Shattered” will be available in theaters and On Demand on January 14th, with a Blu-ray and DVD release scheduled for late February.
Chris Decker (Cameron Monaghan) is a tech entrepreneur who recently sold his company for millions of dollars. A good chunk of that money went to a palatial mountain home he now occupies alone after his wife (Sasha Luss), and daughter (Ridley Bateman) moved out pending their divorce. After another reminder that he needs to move on with his life, Chris finds himself in what could be a Rom-Com meet-cute or a blatant setup in a thriller. On a late-night trip to the store for ice cream, he meets a woman calling herself Sky (Lilly Krug). Sky is young, beautiful, and just so happens to need the things Chris can easily offer. He has an extensive wine collection, and she needs help picking out a bottle, her uber canceled, and his luxury vehicle is right there. He is lonely in his newly empty home. She lives at a run-down motel run by a creep named Ronald (John Malkovich) and is feuding with her self-destructive roommate (Ash Santo’s Lisa). Sky sets herself up as the perfect girl. She listens to his advice, accepts his help, and is an energetic partner in surprisingly exuberant sex for what hopes to be a mainstream hit for Lionsgate.
This initial meeting is a fine intro to our two main characters and set up for the rest of the movie. The biggest problem in this opening act is either the complete failure in direction or casting. Monaghan and Krug have been better in other roles. Here they are completely wooden and unbelievable as a tech millionaire and damsel in distress. Oddly enough, these two elements begin to move in opposite directions. The performances improve slightly as we progress, and the story completely falls apart.
“Shattered” has a 92-minute runtime, and Loughery was determined to get as many twists into the plot as possible. That means he essentially skipped from the first act to the third. The time Chris and the audience should have spent questioning Sky and becoming more concerned with her behavior is completely erased. Instead, one morning, Chris sees a news story, and Sky flips the switch to evil, and it’s the start of the prolonged climax. The remaining 60ish minutes are about how much abuse Chris can take and how many escape attempts can be foiled in different ways.
While it may not be as satisfying as the slow build-up with a big payoff, it could be interesting if Loughery and Prieto found new situations to put the characters through. Unfortunately, they break zero new ground. Every situation is recycled from multiple movies, removing any chances for fear or excitement. Monaghan and Krug get better as the story progresses, finding more comfort in the horror than the romance. “Shattered” is inoffensive and is a fine movie to pass the time while you fold laundry, do your homework, or prep dinner. Malkovich and a late-arriving Frank Grilo are easily the two best parts of the movie. Still, even they don’t warrant your full attention. At a two out of five, chances are you will have forgotten all about “Shattered” by the time you need to do laundry again.
Rating: R for violence, nudity, and language
Genre: Mystery & Thriller
Original Language: English
Director: Luis Prieto
Producer: Claudia Bluemhuber, Veronica Ferres, John Malkovich, Luis Prieto
Writer: David Loughery
Release Date: January 14th, 2022
Runtime: 1h 32m
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