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Frailty

Starring: Bill Paxton, Matthew McConaughey, Matt O'Leary, Jeremy Sumpter, and Powers Boothe
Directed by: Bill Paxton
Rated: R

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Every once in a while a unique, intelligent, spirited film comes along that's completely different from the generic hyped same old story stuff we seem to be force fed to we're like viewing drones. Frailty is one of these rare delights.

Frailty is a 100% gripping, unapologetic, manipulating little suspense horror film that grabs you by your terror bone and shakes you relentlessly while twisting you through its delectable story. There's no mercy even up to the wonderfully unpredictable end. Bravo to screenwriter Brent Hanley for the intelligent and wickedly scary story!

Taboo subjects and mental "frailty" are addressed with an almost Hitchcockian flare. I was surprised to find out this was Bill Paxton's first film as a director…I mean it's so tight and precise. I think had there been a less sensitive a director Frailty could have been nothing more than some run-of-the-mill hack fest; which it is decidedly not.


The film starts as Fenton Meiks (Matthew- all-scruffy-looking-MEOW- McConaughey) waits in an FBI agent (Powers Booth) office late one night with a tale about a wanted serial killer. Fenton explains he knows who the "God's Hands" killer is, er, was. The killer was his brother Adam, who just took his own life.

The agent listens and ultimately takes Fenton to the Rose Garden where Fenton claims his brother, and many of the victims' bodies lay.

As they drive to the small town to the terrible site Fenton flashes back with the tale of his twisted childhood and our horror begins.

It's 1979 and the Meiks' boys are busy growing up in their loving home with their widowed dad. Dad (Bill -uber creepy- Paxton) is one of those unsung great fathers; involved in their daily routine and is open with his love. The smiles abound and the wonderfully normal American family looks like a poster for single parenting done right. It's an idealic home front…

Till one horrid eve when dad wakes up the youngins' from a deep sleep with a madman's tale. He's a tad upset but manages to calmly, and disturbingly logically explain to the two young boys that an angel has visited him from God.

The angel, he explains, told him the families true mission while on the Earth is to basically kill for God himself! They will be given a list when called upon. This 'list' will expose the demons that walk among them disguised as regular townsfolk. These demons must be destroyed, and the lucky Meiks family has been chosen for the gruesome duty. Night night sleep well....kisses.

Fenton ( The younger played by Matt O'Leary) thinks his father has popped a gasket and may need a mental facility--pronto. Dad is talking about killing people after all. Younger lamb eyed Adam (played by lamb eyed Jeremy Sumpter) agrees with his father and thinks the lord's work is their duty. Demons are bad and the family is now kind of super hero's for the lord. They are God's hands at work.

Super creepy or what?

You know this handsome Texan Bill Paxton from his big-box-office films like Aliens or Twister. I happen to know another Billy...may I share? I hunt down things with his name (as should you). Find A Simple Plan or Boxing Helena and you'll get the gist of what I mean. Paxton's simple plan to sign on to diversified films has lead him to be a titanicly creepy edged celluloid traveller, who is known for picking far from brain dead scripts. Sometimes these titanic choices get the guy back to back hits and sometimes near dark reviews fitting a mortuary. But his impulse is good, and he seems to have figured out the weird science of Hollywood films. He's also tall, yummy and speaks with that drawl that makes a girl want to play cowboy!

Speaking of Texans you'd sport western wear for…Matthew McCoughsittinonyerkneey is simply a visual sensation! Sure, the guy can act, but face it, he's as delicious as a country pine table spread with all them fancy BBQ fixin's oozing sauces and calories you know aint gonna help your waist none, but it's just too irresistible to deny! Yum-o-rama!

It's actually a big old Texan Quadrophenia as the screenwriter Brent Hanley and Powers Booth are Texan as well. Goshola, Texas sure knows how to breed them some fellas!

A Quick Blunt Aside:The story is based in Texas but shot in California--gotta love film tricks!

The boys playing the Meiks children, Jeremy Sumpter and Matt O'Leary, have to play a couple of strange rangers themselves and are smooth and incredibly eerie! Their performances were so very important to the fear factor manipulated by Mr. Paxton and they delivered like seasoned pros. Matt's in Domestic Disturbance with that stud muffin mansteak Vince Vaughn too.

Director Paxton manages to keep that old-time art of suspenseful filmmaking in the forefront. With the help of a brilliant script, wonderfully talented cast he's created a Nuevo-classic horror film that's completely enthralling. Get out and see this! I'm warnin' ya'all your heart will be in your throat and your fingernails embedded firmly in the theater's chair. Enjoy!

Snack Recommendation: Texas toast, smokin' hot chili, a bog old heap of slow cooked ribs, a six-o- Shiner Bocks and a bucket of Stubb's BBQ Moppin Sauce. Be sure to have the Vaughan Bros. or Dale Watson playing softly in the background y'all! BUY IT

 

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