Frailty (2002)

frailty-movie-posterWhile Hollywood tries to scare audiences with boogeymen, vampires and monsters of all sorts, all I need to see is a bible thumping, good ole boy with a gigantic silver axe. Actor Bill Paxton’s directorial debut, Frailty, is a psychological horror film that, while keeping most of the violence off camera, will unquestionably make you pull the covers up tight after you see this flick.

It’s is a murky, stormy night in Dallas, Texas, and a fidgety man named Fenton Meiks (Matthew McConaughey, sly and reserved) has come to FBI headquarters to tell Agent Doyle (Powers Boothe) that his brother Adam is the serial murder they’ve been trying to find, the God’s Hands Killer. Agent Doyle doesn’t really believe Fenton’s story, and asks that he explain his case. This takes us back to 1979, and a young Fenton (Matthew O’Leary, in a great performance) and Adam live with their widowed father, known only to the audience only as Dad (Bill Paxton, filled with unexpected depth). While normally a peace-loving and caring father, Dad has been having visions of angels coming down from Heaven telling him that the apocalypse is coming, and that God requires him to kill all the sinning “demons” that he is commanded to do so. Dad takes the news with the upmost urgency, and soon takes his sons out with him to kill the “demons” using an axe that was divinely “sent” to him. While the innocent Adam turns quickly into a believer, Fenton does not, and must use his wits to try to stop his beloved father without breaking up his family further.frailty-burial-ground

Unlike most of his younger, Southern Californian colleagues, Paxton has spent years in the acting trenches, working with some of the best directing talents working today, including James Cameron, Sam Raimi and Ron Howard. All these directors have left their mark on Paxton. And now, with the actor finally ready to make his filmmaking debut, Paxton channels all that creative energy into “Frailty,” which is a really amazing horror film. It’s a shadowy, atmospheric, significantly scary flick made with unusual self-confidence that you could only find in a veteran such as Paxton. You can clearly see the creative puzzle pieces Paxton uses as he makes his way through the film. A little Cameronesque thriller set piece here and there, and a whole lot of Raimi horror in the middle. Paxton allows the audience to imagine the horror rather than piling on the gore elemental to such a brutal story.Bill

I honestly think this movie went over alot of peoples heads. The movie has so much depth to it, its hard not to be sucked into the story. If you didnt like this movie the first time around, give it a second shot. Hopefully you will see what I’m talking about.

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