HOME |  CULT MOVIES | COMPETITIONS | ADVERTISE |  CONTACT US |  ABOUT US
 
 
Newest Reviews
Incredibles 2
Big House, The
Night Eats the World, The
War Bus
Back to Berlin
Leave No Trace
They Shall Not Grow Old
Dollman
Jurassic World: Fallen Kingdom
Man Who Invented Christmas, The
Tom's Midnight Garden
Lady, Stay Dead
Thieves, The
My Dear Secretary
I Think We're Alone Now
Amazing Colossal Man, The
Welcome Home, Roxy Carmichael
Suzanne
Nae Pasaran!
Kiss of the Dragon
Other Side of the Wind, The
Secret Santa
Wolcott
10.000 Km
Caravan of Courage: An Ewok Adventure
Hitler's Hollywood
Ghost Goes Gear, The
First Purge, The
House of Wax
Mandy
   
 
Newest Articles
The Big Grapple: Escape from New York and Its Influence
The Conquest of Everett: The Kenny Everett Video Show on DVD
Bout for the Count: Hammer's Dracula in the 1970s
Nopes from a Small Island: Mistreatment of American Stars in British Films
You Know, For Kids: Children's Film Foundation Bumper Box
If He Were a Carpenter and It Was the 80s: The Fog, Prince of Darkness and They Live
Tee-Hee, It's 80s Sci-Fi Horror: Night of the Comet, The Stuff and Night of the Creeps
Chance of a Ghost: The Uninvited and The Ghost and Mrs. Muir
3 Simian Slashers: Phenomena, Link and Monkey Shines
When is a Jackie Chan Movie Not a Jackie Chan Movie? Armour of God and City Hunter
Anytime Anywhere: The Complete Goodies at the BBC Episode Guide Part 2
Anytime Anywhere: The Complete Goodies at the BBC Episode Guide Part 1
I-Spy Scotland: The Thirty Nine Steps and Eye of the Needle
Manor On Movies--Black Shampoo--three three three films in one
Manor On Movies--Invasion USA
   
 
  Frailty Lizzie Borden Took An AxeBuy this film here.
Year: 2001
Director: Bill Paxton
Stars: Bill Paxton, Matthew McConaughey, Powers Boothe, Jeremy Sumpter, Matthew O'Leary, Luke Askew
Genre: Horror, Drama, Thriller
Rating:  6 (from 4 votes)
Review: 'The meek shall inherit the earth,' or, in this case to be more precise, the Meiks of Thurman, Texas. A tight little gothic tale has been presented for our perusal, with God, Avenging Angels of Death, ax murders, a dysfunctional family, twists and turns, and the all too frequent little goings on that are created behind closed doors and drawn shades when we think no one is looking or cares.

Matthew McConaughey (Fenton Meiks) comes into the Dallas FBI office on a storm drenched night with a tale that sounds for all the world like the delusions of a person not playing with a full deck of cards. But, as time passes, Agent Wesley Doyle (Powers Boothe) is drawn into the web of horror that will cascade into a series of flashbacks and present day situations and will leave his life as he knows it, terribly remiss and out of place.

Bill Paxton, who also pulls double duty as the director of Frailty, plays the widowed father of Adam (Jeremy Sumpter) and Fenton Meiks (Matthew O'Leary). His trade as a mechanic brings in the necessary funds to keep their heads above water and to eke out a frugal existence in a small Texas town that could have been Anytown, USA. One night, Dad Meiks, has a vision of an angel sent from God telling him that he and his boys will be called upon to destroy 'demons' that have been sent to permeate the world before its' eventual conclusion. The demon's names will come soon, as will the weapons of eventual destruction. These demons, he is told, take human form, and while the population in general thinks them to be human, they are far off course in their evaluations. While young Adam swallows his father's edict hook, line and sinker, Fenton betrays a gnawing sense of being in a nightmare not of his own choosing. Has his father lost his sense of rational reasoning, or is has he truly been visited from above? The moment that Fenton thinks that he has awakened from a nightmare, he is grabbed by the throat and cast back into the maelstrom of evolutionary turns and twists.

From the moment the first demon has been selected for elimination, until the closing credits of this film, the viewer is drawn into a realm of light and dark that challenges our sense of right and wrong. The innocence of the children is ripped apart, and the sense of dedication that prevails between them is called into question by a father who sees a long range forecast of imminent doom if the earth does not rid itself of evil in its vilest forms. This reviewer was put in mind of two other films, Charles Laughton's Night of The Hunter (1955) and Robert Mulligan's To Kill A Mockingbird (1962). Both films showcased the adult world as seen through the eyes of children and the inevitable conclusions that come out of them. Childhood is left, stripped bare of any pretensions and they are cast adrift with no obvious port in sight.

Frailty is a superbly crafted film, that is shown in ways that become more and more apparent as each frame escapes the reel. The cinematography by Bill Butler is evocative and highly creative with a flair for showcasing evil in shadows and light that thrust precision and deftness in selected combinations. The complexity of various scenes are smoothly transferred with finesse and ease, and Butler's mastery shows in calculated strokes of his camera and mind's eye, as moods are enhanced by the glow of a moon, the beam of a flashlight, the dark of night and the glow of day.

Brian Tyler's score creates an undercurrent of necessary doom and gloom and perdures throughout. Film music has become a critical part of any production and when the director takes the time to consider it as part of the equation instead of as an afterthought, the result is usually a score that hits the target squarely and without blame.

The screenplay by Brent Hanley is compact and he definitely knows his way around the blocks of twists and turns that run concurrent throughout this production. He has conveyed a tale of a simple family subjected to a 180 degree turn and in the process cast the audience into an Old Testament style avenging tale.

Bill Paxton's first directorial effort is a brilliant one. He has that extra something that an artist 'feels' and he gets acting performances that create an ambiance. Young Jeremy Sumpter and Matthew O'Leary are to be commended for not acting like typical Hollywood child actors, with O'Leary slightly edging Sumpter. Without O'Leary's complete believability as a child thrust into a world not of his making, the film would fall apart. Pair this with Paxton's and you have a tag team that bounces volleys off one another as the story unfolds to its ultimate conclusion. Frailty if a film that stays with you and gets under your skin and just when you think you have the mystery solved, you are led down another avenue that looks unlike any you have seen before. Paxton has used little precious screentime showing us the actual murders. Instead, we are shown the callousness and horror through the eyes of those most affected, and it is definitely true that actions speak louder than words.

Frailty is representational of horror film noir; the rarefied air that select films enter when feeling full of grace. See this little gem and realize that good scripting, acting and directing need not cost a king's ransom to hold our attention. We simply need to unlock the door and enter for a tale of woe and terror on an everyday footing.
Reviewer: Mary Sibley

 

This review has been viewed 9058 time(s).

As a member you could Rate this film

 
Review Comments (0)


Untitled 1

Login
  Username:
 
  Password:
 
   
 
Forgotten your details? Enter email address in Username box and click Reminder. Your details will be emailed to you.
   

Latest Poll
Who's the best?
Steven Seagal
Pam Grier
   
 
   

Recent Visitors
Graeme Clark
George White
Paul Smith
Andrew Pragasam
Darren Jones
Aseels Almasi
Rashed Ali
Alexander Taylor
   

 

Last Updated: