At least in its opening section, Fractured does brisk, functional work of setting up Worthington's recovering alcoholic dad Ray by putting him in immediate conflict with his wife, Joanne (American Horror Story mainstay Lily Rabe). Driving back from a tense Thanksgiving at the in-laws, Ray and Joanne trade familiar, generic accusations like "they always hated me" and "we're just broken" that paint a picture of a marriage in crisis. When their young daughter Peri (Lucy Capri) needs new batteries to power the audio device that's shielding her ears from her parent's bickering, the couple decides to make a pit stop at an ominous roadside gas station, where Ray turns to booze to relieve his stress. Then, in a comically misfortunate series of events involving a balloon, a dog, and a rock, Peri falls in an open construction ditch and her dad jumps in after her. Not exactly Father of the Year material, clearly.
Wracked with guilt and eager to redeem himself, Ray speeds to the nearest treatment center. Upon arrival, it's evident that, at the very least, the filmmakers want us to suspect that there is something spooky about this emergency room, which doesn't accept Ray's insurance and shows no eagerness to treat his daughter. (It's not a spoiler to say that the possibility of organ harvesting is hinted at with all the subtlety a dripping garbage bag full of suspicious liquid can muster.) The situation, which is already taxing, gets even more anxiety-inducing when Joanne and Peri are whisked away for a CAT scan at the stern recommendation of a seemingly sweet doctor played by character actor extraordinaire Stephen Tobolowsky. Exhausted, Ray takes a nap in the waiting room; hours later, he wakes up and discovers the hospital has no record of his family ever being there.