Some movies whack you over the head and you’re simply never the same. This is what happened to me the first time I watched this movie. Frailty is an exceedingly well-crafted psychological thriller following a very unusual serial killer. It is directed and stars none other than Bill game over, man, game over Paxton, and is loosely based on real events. Paxton is not only a phenomenal actor who can play any role but also an excellent director. The way he hooks the viewer within the first few minutes of this movie is nothing short of miraculous. Especially when you take into account the fact that Matthew McConaughey is the other lead.
Now, I told you that this movie whacked me over the head so let me elaborate. During that time, I was a fledgling atheist, enamored by what is now called The New Atheist movement. And a serial killer movie featuring strong religious motives was just with the doctor called for. It was that divine explanation that fascinated me. And I could see it stretching all throughout history. Other serial killer movies with religious motives were usually more pulpy like Se7en for example. Or they featured a supernatural element like Fallen starring Denzel Washington. Frailty was hauntingly realistic and thought-provoking.
After all, James Cameron, Sam Raimi, and Stephen King all think that this is one of the best horror movies of that year. I kept coming back to it over the years and with each viewing, it only got better and better. The storytelling is gripping that you will feel like you’re watching a really good novel. A novel that offers an authentic and disturbing story with enough twists to make you recommend this movie to all your friends. Something I kept doing until I created Rabbit Reviews so I can bother the whole goddamn world about it and all the other movies worth watching.
FBI agent Wesley Doyle has been trying to catch the mysterious and elusive serial killer “God’s Hand” for some time now. Desperate and at the end of his wits, he simply doesn’t know what to do. At that moment in time, a young man that goes by the name of Fenton Meiks walks into the police station and tells him that he alone can help him. Meiks apparently knows who the killer is and he’s willing to divulge that information. And so the journey begins…
Is that some setup or what? In mere minutes, Frailty manages to capture your attention and it holds on to it ’till the end. With a running time of just over ninety minutes, this isn’t one of those long and sprawling affairs but a very streamlined and focused experience. As I previously mentioned, Frailty is loosely based on the life of serial killer Joseph Kallinger. There are some distinct differences between the movie and real life but also striking similarities. However, I urge you to read up on it only after you’ve seen the movie.
I should also warn you that there will be a couple of disturbing scenes here. And what I mean by that is that there are mainstream disturbing, we won’t be seeing severed heads as almost all of the violence happens off-screen. And that dispenser of divine justice, hatchet named OTIS is a story in itself. Fans of the movie have speculated that OTIS means Only The Innocent Survive. But you’ll have to see the movie in order to confirm that.
Director: Bill Paxton
Writer: Brent Hanley
Cast: Bill Paxton, Matthew McConaughey, Powers Boothe, Matt O’Leary, Jeremy Sumpter, Missy Crider
Fun Facts: The story is taking place in Texas with all three leads being born there (Paxton, McConaughey, Boothe).