Tuesday, July 20, 2021

#PopCultureResolution - Frailty



Director: Bill Paxton 

 99 minutes

Cast: Bill Paxton, Matthew McConaughey, Jeremy Sumpter

Release Date: April 12, 2002

Synopsis: Set in present day Texas, "Frailty" centers on the FBI's search for a serial killer who calls himself "God's Hands." McConaughey plays Fenton Meeks, a young man who approaches the lead investigator, one night, claiming he knows the identity of the killer. The FBI agent is curious, but unimpressed until Fenton reveals that the killer is his younger brother Adam. This is a film about faith, family and the end of innocence.


Religious based horror isn't something I would have naturally watched on my own. It just isn't a genre that appeals to me. Frailty, therefore, surprised me with how much I ended up liking it.

Frailty works mainly because it lets the audience decide things for themselves. It is a story that could be viewed through two different lenses in the end and both offer interesting possibilities. It creates two different movies in a way and both are unsettling in different ways. 

The movie has a pretty decent cast with Bill Paxton giving what I believe is the stand out performance. The two kids we see in the flashback part of the movie (played by Jeremy Sumpter and Matt O'Leary) are also worthy of mentioning. This is one of Matthew McConaughey's earlier movies and I think he is also well cast here.

As mentioned above this movie can really be viewed two different ways. Both are interesting and the reveals that make this possible are really what make the movie in my opinion. You could easily discuss this with friends for a long time after watching. There are some reveals that you see coming but all of them sort of shift how you view what has come previously.

This is a movie that looks at childhood trauma in a very specific circumstance. The two boys are made to watch and endure trauma and violence because their father feels he is doing God's will. It is often uncomfortable to watch and upsetting. I liked how each of the boys handles and reacts to it differently while both being scarred by the events of their childhood.

The lingering questions this movie leaves made me appreciate this one all the more. It also is exactly the type of religious horror that does work for me. It is thought provoking, not in its message exactly, but in the way it is told. It isn't one of those fun horror movies with jump scares that you can laugh about as you're leaving the movie theatre. This one sits with you and that is exactly why it works.

I end these by answering the question of whether it was scary or not. I would say it is more unsettling instead of scary. I also think that of the two ways you can interpret this movie one is scarier than the other. It is one of my favourites out of the horror movies I have watched so far which was definitely unexpected. 

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