500 Days Of Film Reviews Horror Thriller, Frailty, Directed By And Starring Bill Paxton
A mysterious man (Matthew McConaughey) arrives in the office of FBI agent Wesley Doyle (Powers Boothe). He believes that he knows the identity of the ‘God’s Hand’ serial killer and he has a terrible story to tell.
Is It Any Good?
The sad news about the death of Bill Paxton hit hard. Paxton’s performances have elevated so many memorable movies - from Weird Science to Aliens, from Titanic to Apollo 13, from Near Dark to Twister.
Paxton was also an accomplished director. In 2001, his feature directorial debut, Frailty, was released to critical acclaim. Legendary film critic, Roger Ebert, called the movie “extraordinary work, concealing in its depths not only unexpected story turns but also implications, hidden at first, that make it even deeper and more sad”.
Filmmakers James Cameron and Sam Raimi and author, Stephen King, were also huge fans of Frailty. King called it one of the best horror films of the year.
Since its release, Frailty has become one of those overlooked and underrated movie gems. However, this tense and unsettling film - part police procedural, part twisty thriller, part dark horror - is well worth watching or, indeed, revisiting.
Of course, serial killers have provided inspiration for many movies - some more successful than others. The disturbing difference in Frailty is the fact that the film’s killer believes he is acting on God’s orders. He is a loving father and is repulsed by the idea of killing a human. No, his role is to destroy demons - demons who have taken human form. Paxton played this complex character to perfection. He doesn’t feel like a monster, even as he does monstrous things.
While Frailty is often brutal, the violence mainly occurs off screen. This forces us to focus our attention on the horrific predicament facing two young boys - Adam and Fenton Meiks (superbly portrayed by Matt O’Leary and Jeremy Sumpter). Paxton created almost unbearable tension in these scenes - as more of the mystery is revealed before the film’s final unsettling twist.
Frailty revealed Bill Paxton as an exciting and talented director. Cinema has lost another great artist.
Have you watched Frailty?
If so, what did you think about this film?
What is your favourite Bill Paxton movie? Let me know by leaving me a comment in the section below.