Frailty (2001)

US Lion's Gate DVD

Matthew

Text below written 2016-02-03


A brilliantly and tautly made horror-thriller about the tragic and catastrophic results due to religious delusions.
Or MAYBE NOT.

The Ending of this film presumably .... hopefully .... is a Joke from the writer Brent Hanley and the director-actor
Bill Paxton and with black humour as the surprise ending goes against all rules for a genre film as we know it.
I hated the ending and felt suitably provoked by it, but the film was so well made and well acted up til then that
i still enjoyed it a lot.
A Serial Killer movie with a perp that's a mechanic with 2 young sons who suddenly one day is enlightened,
or .... more likely, suffers an attack of severe psychosis. Some nuts may think otherwise - and that's more
scary than this film. Too much religion is never good for peoples minds

Father and Son

The Film starts with a man waiting in the office of FBI man Wesley Dole (Powers Boothe), who's the officer
investigating The God's Hand Serial Killing Case. The man say he's Feinton Meiks and that he knows who's
the killer, it's his younger brother Adam. He has supposedly shot himself and Feinton has buried him in the
rosegarden next to their home. Now, there's many flashbacks from the FBI mans office to Feintons story.

Feintons Story .... and Beware of False Narration !

He tells us about how it all started in 1979 in the small town of Thurman, Texas, where he lived with his father,
a garage mechanic, and his 3 year younger brother Adam. Young Feinton (Matt O'Leary) is about 12-13 years
old i guess and the tale-telling narrator Feinton is played by the today great actor Matthew McConaughey, and
he was good already in this film.
McConaughey made no big impressions on me until a decade later when he was great in The Lincoln Lawyer
from 2011, and after that .... well, he just burst out as one of the greatest actors of the cinema today.

Matthew McConaughey

Back to the film -
Even without a mother they seemingly was a pretty happy family UNTIL one day, when his father experiences
a night vision, an encounter with an Angel from God who tells him that The Judgement Day is here.
The Feintons has been chosen to be the hands of God in the war against the demons. He's about to receive
a list with 7 demons named and they've to kill these people.

Ugly. Nasty. Depressing, and poor Feinton immediately gets the idea, that his father is about to kill 7 innocent
people due to his sudden psychiatric unhealth, dementia, whatever. Obviously he's about to choose his/their
victims haphazardly from the telephone directory. Will Feinton succeed in convincing his younger brother Adam
that their father is crazy and that he's about to kill innocent people ? Will a bloodbath be avoided ?
No, not very likely huh ... as i've already metioned The God's Hand case above.

The father is played excellently by director-actor Bill Paxton who also can be seen in the VERY underrated
crime-thriller masterpiece One False Move by Carl Franklin and in the also fine movie A Simple Plan and both
these with Billy Bob Thornton in it. The Cinematography from Bill (The Conversation, Jaws) Butler.
widescreen 5.1, english with english subtitles 5.1. Extra: Three (3) separate commentary tracks -
1. by director-actor Bill Paxton, 2. by producers and editor David Kirschner, Arnold Glassman, Brian Tyler and
3. writer Brent Hanley, The Making of Frailty - 19 minutes, Anatomy of a Scene - Sundance prod. (26 min)
Deleted scenes with commentary by Bill Paxton (8 min), photo gallery, storyboards

 

Back to Horror page 2