Bill Paxton as Dad Meiks
Matthew McConaughey as Fenton Meiks
Powers Boothe as FBI Agent Wesley Doyle
Matt O'Leary as Young Fenton
Jeremy Sumpter as Young Adam
As you know, there are good horror movies and there are great horror movies. With the really great horror movies, sometimes they are released to such an immediate impact that they become instant classics, such as The Shining, The Ring, The Sixth Sense, etc. However, sometimes those great horror films take some time to get noticed and develop to become horror classics more quietly, by say word of mouth. Frailty is such a movie.
I first heard of Frailty a few years back from my brother. For my birthday he got me a copy of Frailty, and being the a-hole I am, immediately I planned to take it back to the store unseen and get something I have seen fifty times before instead of watching something new. He thwarted my plan by opening it first and saying “Don’t worry, you won’t want to take this one back” so I ended up giving it a chance, and after watching it I realized it just may have been one of the best and most well-written horror movies I had seen in my life!
Frailty begins in Texas, where a serial killer is on the loose. This particular killer is killing those whom he believes in his twisted mind to be demons and “does the deed” with, guess what?…an axe! He is being called by the media The Gods Hand Killer.
One night a soft-spoken Fenton Meeks (Matthew McConaughey) walks into an FBI office and informs the agent in charge (Powers Boothe) that he knows who the Gods Hand Killer is. The killer is, he informs the agent, his very own brother Adam! Fenton then agrees to take the FBI agent on a drive to his hometown where he claims the victims are buried. En route, Fenton tells the story of his brother Adam, himself, and how all this came about via flashbacks to the late 70s when Fenton was growing up in a small Texas town.
The story is a happy one at first, with Fenton and his brother Adam enjoying life in the small town with their hard working mechanic father (Bill Paxton). Everything seems to be going fine until one night their father wakes the boys in the middle of the night with a story of being visited by an angel who told him that demons are taking human form on earth and that he must kill the demons. The boys kind of shrug it off at first, but it soon gets much worse.
Their father becomes more and more fanatical about his vision as the days go by. Then one day, acting on a series of “visions”, their father comes home with an axe, a list of names of local people, a van and gloves to wear. His father claims that he needs the gloves for protection, for when he takes them off and touches the “demons” he will be able to see their sins. Dear ole’ Dad then tells the boys that they must all take part in the act of “destroying” the demons, and so it begins.
Their father begins to murder person after person whom he believes to be demons and making the boys sit through every minute of it – and even helping too! Young Adam believes every word his father says and sees him as a hero, while Fenton views his father as a psychopath and tries to stop him. The father then turns on him!
What follows is a severely twisted chain of events that leads to the father’s eventual downfall and the present day killings. I could say much more about this film, but I’m afraid I would give away too much, and believe me, there are many, many surprises in Frailty!
Directed masterfully by Bill Paxton himself, Frailty has surprises and twists at every turn and a seriously jaw-dropping ending. You will want to immediately watch it over again just to make sure that you really drink it all in. The film keeps you on the edge of your seat for the duration and is exciting from beginning to end – I highly recommend it!
As a matter of fact, if you have not seen Frailty yet then stop reading this review now and go watch it! Go! Go! You will not be disappointed.