Monday, May 15, 2017

Film Review: Frailty (2001)

Frailty (Review)
United States/2001
Format Viewed For Review: Netflix Instant
Netflix Streaming: Yes
Amazon Prime: No

"...a fantastic film... a dark, personal psychological-horror experience."

A man confesses to an FBI agent about his family's history of murder that was inspired by his father's religious visions.

Frailty begins with FBI agent Wesley Doyle (Powers Boothe) arriving at his office to interview a man, Fenton Meiks (Matthew McConaughey), who claims to know the whereabouts of a serial killer. It turns out: Fenton believes his dead brother was the "God's Hand" serial killer who Doyle was hunting. In order to prove it, Fenton tells Wesley about his childhood. From here, the story begins hopping from past to present. Fortunately, it's very smooth and effective. The past timeline focuses on Fenton, his brother Adam, and his father (Bill Paxton). Fenton and his brother lived normal lives until their father started talking about visions God sent to him. These visions instructed him to destroy 'demons.' These demons happen to be real people. It leads to a strong climax and a twisted ending.

Frailty is a great experience. The story is original and engaging. It's a psychological serial killer horror movie with a pinch of mystery. Its focus on realistic characters allows us to really delve into each individual's mind. This created a more intimate experience—something personal. This could be your family or the family next door. The story is very dark and I appreciate that. Too many narratives pussy-foot around darker subjects nowadays. This isn't the most graphic horror film, but it does leave an impact due to the characters. Watching a father kill in front of his children is sinister stuff. My only issue was that there were a few moments were the pace was inconsistent.

The acting was great from the entire cast. Matthew McConaughey serves mostly as a narrator, but his performance during his limited screen time was good. Powers Boothe offered a great supporting role. Bill Paxton delivered a strong performance as the unhinged father—it wasn't underwhelming or overdone, it was just right. The film was shot well and the music matched the tone of the film. The film was written by Brent Hanley and directed by Bill Paxton. The writing and the direction were fantastic. Paxton created a very effective experience through an uncompromising story, ominous atmosphere, and suspense.

Overall, Frailty is a fantastic film. It's a dark, personal psychological-horror experience. From many angles, it's also a tragic story of a broken family. There are a few minor issues here and there, but it is otherwise a must-watch film.

Score: 9/10
Parental Guide: Some strong violence and blood.

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