Frailty (2001)

Late one night, a FBI Agent is called in to meet someone who claims to have information on a case he’s working on, his name is Fenton (Matthew McConaughey) and he has a story he’d like to share.  Fenton goes on to tell the agent a tale that will fill him with doubt, but also curiosity: Fenton grew up in a small Texas town with his dad (Bill Paxton) and his younger brother, Adam.  They lived a simple, yet happy life together.  All of that changes one night, when their dad burst into their room with something important to tell them.  An angel had just visited him, and told them they were to do God’s work here on Earth.  That work: destroying demons.  Soon God would direct the dad to the three weapons they would use, and also provide them a list of seven names of humans who were really demons.

Fenton thinks this is all a little far fetched, and that his dad is going crazy; all this will probably just blow over.  That is until his dad comes home with a huge pipe, a pair of gloves and a scary axe, but also a list of names.  He wastes no time, and before you know it there is a scared woman ties up in their shed.  Fenton’s dad removes his gloves to touch the woman to see her sins, Adam also says he can see them as well, but Fenton is terrified.  The axe makes short work of the lady, and they bury her in a rose garden next door.  This goes on several times before Fenton can’t take it anymore and tries to tell the cops.  It doesn’t go well for either of them, as the sheriff is murdered and Fenton is locked in a newly constructed dungeon for a few weeks.

Fenton apparently comes around, and agrees to help the family. They have a new demon to kill, and dad is going to let Fenton do it, but the axe winds up in dad’s gut.  Adam is shocked, but finishes off the guy tied up on the floor himself. Adam insists they must continue to do the Lord’s work… The FBI agent thinks this is all a bunch of hooey of course, but agrees to go see this rose garden where dozens of people are buried.  It’s there that the agent must come to terms with his past and pay for his sins.

Alex’s Thoughts: This was my first viewing of Frailty, and while I found it to be somewhat predictable, I still enjoyed it.  While the story itself was fine, what really made it for me was the acting from the kids who played Fenton and Adam, Fenton especially.  Bill Paxton was also pretty good, but a little too monotone throughout for me, but I know that’s just how he is.  This was his directorial debut, and I thought he did a pretty good job with the story, and capturing the feel of the late seventies during the flashbacks.  I would recommend this to anyone who enjoys a suspenseful film.  Alex Rates This Movie 7/10

Tim’s Thoughts: I was a fan of this movie when it came out, and I think it has aged well. If you haven’t seen it, it has an interesting ending, and if you have, it’s fun to try and pick up anything you may have missed. I would have liked it a bit more if only they had left it a smidge more ambiguous, but by no means is it ruined. I really enjoy watching guys you think can’t act, really do well in a role, and McConaughey  does an excellent job. I strongly recommend this, and will watch it again before too long. Tim Rates This Movie 9/10

“He was my father. I loved him even if he had gone crazy.”

View the IMDB entry for this movie here or add it to your Netflix queue