Thursday, January 22, 2009

Frailty


Frailty; Horror-thriller drama, USA, 2001; D: Bill Paxton, S: Matt O'Leary, Matthew McConaughey, Bill Paxton, Jeremy Sumpter, Powers Boothe

One night, a man enters Texas FBI office, introduces himself as Fenton Meiks and tells Agent Doyle that his brother Adam Meiks is the long searched serial killer „God's Hand“. Fenton tells him how Adam committed suicide recently and begins to tell their strange story: when they were kids back in '79, their father, an auto mechanic, told them he saw visions from an angel and that he was ordered to kill demons, who look like ordinary people, by God. Using his axe, dad captured and killed several people in his basement, much to Fenton's shock, who was even left confined there until he became delirious and saw God's plan too. But Fenton still rebelled and used the axe to kill his dad. Back to the present, Fenton kills Doyle because he sees he is a demon too since he killed his mother, and admits he is actually Adam. The police are unable to resolve the case.

Cult thriller „Frailty“ is a strange and unusual movie that audaciously at first seemingly blends religious fanaticism and mental disorder into one, up until the end where it drastically changes it's perspective and offers a few thought provoking questions about the relativity of good and evil. The first twist at the end is predictable, but the second one isn't and really proves to be a strong punch to the viewer, even though it may seem uneven and rather contrived when one thinks about it, but even though it was his directorial debut, Bill Paxton proved to be quite a good director who knows when to draw the line and leave some things open to everyone's interpretation. The first murder is agonizingly long and gruelling, presented in a long sequence where dad brings a captured and tied woman home and tells Fenton and Adam she is „just a demon“, then continuing to kill her with an axe much to the shock of the kids. Maybe some themes were handled heavy handed, yet the movie still works since it never explicitly shows how the little kids do the murders (or their dad for that instance, since the camera always „looks away“ when he strikes) which was the right choice. It's a very well made debut movie, not that particularly suspenseful or absolutely sure, but still sharp enough to deli ever all it wanted to say.

Grade:++

No comments: