Frailty Review

Texas, the present. Agent Wesley Doyle (Powers Boothe) is working on the case of the “God’s Hand” serial killer. One night, Fenton Meiks (Matthew McConaughey) calls upon him in his office and tells Doyle that he knows who the God’s Hand killer is. It was his brother Adam, who has killed himself. Fenton offers to show Doyle where the bodies are buried, but first he must understand the causes. It began in 1979, when Fenton and Adam (played as children by Matthew O’Leary and Jeremy Sumpter respectively) were being brought up by their Dad (Bill Paxton). One day, Dad told them he had had a vision of an Angel of the Lord. It is their mission to kill demons who are walking the earth disguised as ordinary people…


marks Paxton’s directorial debut, and it’s an impressive one. Paxton directs in a deliberately low-key style, avoiding explicit gore, and keeping most of the killings off screen. Bill Butler’s frequently very dark camerawork is a considerable asset, as are committed performances from the cast. Importantly, Paxton doesn’t let us off the hook: he avoids playing Dad as a slavering loony but as an average man who believes himself given a mission by God. It’s possible to view his mission as actual rather than delusional (given some plot revelations which you’ll have to see for yourself), and the ambiguity, like that of Michael Tolkin’s The Rapture, is more disturbing as a result.

The film isn’t flawless. There are a few logical holes in the plot: does no-one notice people going missing, especially as one of them is in a position of some authority? (In one case, there's even a witness to part of it.) But on the whole Frailty keeps you in its grip, and there are a few surprises along the way.



out of 10

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