Frailty

     Frailty –Are we gonna go get us a demon, Dad?”  A creepy, slow horror film from 2002, but it always stuck with me as an excellent movie.  In this modern day of religious fanaticism, this film can touch you regardless of your beliefs.  Get a view from their side and what they believe.  Bill Paxton stars & directs this thought provoking and twisted tale.  It’s the pacing of the film and the tension of the characters that keeps you engaged and unable to look away.  Rated 74% at Rotten Tomatoes and 4 stars at Amazon.com, this film is a tense evening in the making.  Some horror buffs, rate it as high as the 11th best horror film.  I don’t give it that level of praise, but you will stay on the edge of your seat.

Plot – A man (Matthew McConaughey) goes to the FBI office and wishes to speak to Agent Wesley Doyle (Powers Boothe) regarding the God’s Hand Killer case.  He introduces himself as Fenton and says that his brother Adam is the killer.  Skeptical, Doyle demands proof and Fenton says he can show him where the bodies are and that he’s coming forward because his brother committed suicide.  Doyle wants to see where the bodies are as proof.  On the way, Fenton tells the story through flashback of how his father had a vision that an angel told him he had to kill “demons” that are among us.  The final war between “Good” & “Evil” is happening now and that this is “God’s work”.  The angel tells him that will reveal who the demons are.  Fenton doesn’t believe, but Adam does.  Through divine knowledge, he is given the tools to slay the demons…an axe named “Otis” and work gloves.  His father gets the first victim and forces the boys to watch.  When he lays his hands on them, he can see their sins.  Fenton still doesn’t believe and his father works him severely building a celler to get him to believe, but he resists.  After killing a couple more demons, Fenton runs to the sherriff who brings him home and reveals his unbelief.  The sherriff inspects the shed and his father kills the sherriff to protect their mission.  He imprisons Fenton in the celler until he has seen God and now believes.  Now, he’s ready.  Getting another demon, Fenton is given the chance, but he kills another demon instead.  Back to the present, Fenton & Doyle arrive at the cementary where the victims lay, but there’s one more “demon” on the list…

Commentary – This is an excellent film that makes you think and that is why is resonates with me as a great film.  It’s not a shock film and the gore is kept to a minimum.  The “vision” scene could have been done better, but the remainder is very well done.  The angles and lights of the filming add to its creepiness and mood.  Matthew McConaughey keeps it low key and the chemistry with Powers Boothe maintains the tension throughout the film.  And, the story is well told and reveals important parts over time.  The scare is in the demons that you’re dealing with and you don’t know who is or who is not.  The twist at the end will leave you wondering…..maybe you’ll even look at your wife or husband a little differently.

Trivia – Bill Paxton uses the same beer can throughout the film because it was the only one they could find that looked like it came from the 70’s.  Director’s James Cameron, Sam Raimi, and Stephen King all praised the film.  Finally, with the film set in Texas, it was only natural that 3 Texans, Paxton, McConaughey, and Boothe, would be the primary stars.

*** Just click the images to check out “Frailty” at Amazon.com ***

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