Directed by Luis Prieto and written by David Loughery, ‘Shattered’ is able to keep one on their toes from the beginning. The setup for the climax is gripping, and it shows that something is fishy with Sky (Lilly Krug). Each little incident trains our minds to think that there’s more to Chris Decker (Cameron Monaghan) than meets the eye as he puts his guard down whenever it comes to Sky. This makes sense given Sky’s beauty and charm, but unfortunately where all this is going turns out to be an overstatement.
Chris Deckard, a tech millionaire, recently divorced, recluse guy, meets seductive Sky, who claims that she is a former model. Almost all of the first hour of the movie revolves around Chris, who, despite his personal problems, doesn’t seem compelling even with Cameron Monaghan playing the role. After an incident that leaves him in a wheelchair, Chris asks Sky to be his live-in nurse. Sky agrees and, with time, gains his trust for apparently not-so-glorious intentions. It turns out to be correct. But this doesn’t stop us from enjoying what she does next, thanks to the energy Krug displays throughout. Ash Santos and John Malkovich offer quirky side performances as Sky’s roommate-cum-occasional-lover and the opportunistic landlord, respectively. Frank Grillo as Sebastian arrives late but does have an impact as Sky’s step-father.
It takes too long for ‘Shattered’ to establish the tension, the outcome of which appears rushed. The murder and intimate scenes are all used to pave the way for the climax, but they do not explore anything more. The movie even points the finger at Chris’s blandness, which showcases how much out-of-touch and naïve social elites can be. At one point, Sebastian tells Chris, “While you’re looking down at them, they’re looking up at you.” Words that drive the point home or try to. But it seems more of a step to keep the audience engaged for the showdown, just like the murder and intimate scenes mentioned above.
Sebastian reveals that he is Sky’s step-father. This means that she had a birth father, who was probably dead or alive. She was 14 years old when Sebastian married her mom. Some months later, her mother died, or so he says. He might as well have killed her, too, for the way he says, “unexpectedly.” Sky might have seen this whole incident. The fact that she shoots Sebastian is proof that there was always an inherent hatred inside her. This could have been used in a better way if only her past had been involved. That there is an absence of love in her life and she craves it is visible when she says that she will be sorry to leave Chris’ place. She also says that everything was nice for a while, especially during the first few days when she said she was in love with him. We may believe she is lying at this point, but when she reveals her true name, “Margaret,” to Chris just before dying, we realize she isn’t.
The ending of ‘Shattered’ is what makes us crave more from the character of Sky. We expected a more sinister intent from Sky, provided that she is shown as a femme fatale. An exploration of her past could have added more. There are lots of aspects of her character that could have been explored. But all we can do is wonder about the kind of life she had since she was 14 and without a mother or father, only perhaps a killer whom we can call a step-father. At that tender age, there wouldn’t be any choice but to do what she was told to do, which, in this case, was to be not herself but someone else for the sake of gain. This is something all of us do: let go of our inner self for the sake of what the world has to offer.
Overall, ‘Shattered’ is a throwback to the 1990s when adult movies promised violence and intimacy poured into twisted plots. It establishes the fact that a worthy femme fatale does not make an adult thriller.
‘Shattered’ is a 2022 Drama Thriller film directed by Luis Prieto.