Horror Review #1 Fraility

Fuck it, here's a taste of what to expect next month a bit early.
*****************This review does contain spoilers.***************
Horror movies, what else can I say about them that you may not already know. Who out there among us doesn't appreciate a good scare every now and then, am I right? Anyone who is an avid fan of horror will always their favorite genres. Whether it's supernatural, sci-fi or the always classic slasher, everyone has a favorite. Personally my favorite is supernatural, but I'm also a huge movie geek which means that I have my favorites out of the other genres of horror as well. So don't worry about me just focusing in on movies like Poltergeist or The Amityville Horror, I will cover all the genres of horror, including the newly created, and in my own opinion the worst genre, horror-torture-porn. For those who do not know what this genre includes I'll let you know that it includes the Hostel movies and any other horror movie that showcases sex and nudity over it's horror content, which sadly is becoming more and more popular with studios as of late.

So without further ado, I bring your the first in a series of reviews, Frailty.

*****************Final Warning.....This review does contain spoilers.***************

Frailty is one of those movies that seemed to just sneak up out of nowhere in 2001, and even to this day most people don't seem to know what you're talking about when you mention the movie. However it's my opinion that they're missing out on one of the best horror movies to come around in a long time.

The movie stars Bill Paxton and Matthew McConaughey as father and son, respectively, but the movie is largely told to us from McConaughy's point of view from when he was a child. From the beginning of the movie we learn that there is a serial killer going by the name of the God's Hand killer. Fenton Meiks, played by McConaughy, goes into the office of FBI Agent Wesley Doyle and tells him that his brother Adam is the man that they have been looking for. He tells him that his brother called him and told him that he couldn't destroy all the "demons" and then killed himself. Fenton then tells the agent that he stole his brother's body from the morgue so that he could be buried in the rose garden. Agent Doyle not seeming to believe Fenton he asks for an explanation as why he believes that his brother is the killer. This is where we learn all about the Meiks family and their calling from God.

It starts off talking about how the family was just an average working class family in the 70's, minus a mother who passed away before anything happened and is never really mentioned. The background into the family is abruptly interrupted when during the middle of the night the father, played by Bill Paxton, bursts into their room and tells the two young boys that God came to him in the middle of the night and that he has a plan for them. He tells them that he was told that they have been charged to rid the world of demons who are in human form and that he will give them three weapons with which to combat them and an Angel will come to him with the names of the "demons". But they're not to tell anyone about it or else God ordained that someone will die.

Fenton thinks his father is going insane, but his brother Adam is buying into what his father is saying and believes him wholeheartedly. After they talk they all go back to sleep and then Fenton wakes up in the morning with his father yelling at them that they're going to be late to school. Fenton plays it off as a horrible nightmare and goes about his normal morning routine, but this is proven otherwise when his father reminds both of the boys not to talk about what they were told last night or else someone would die.

This entire situation haunts Fenton the rest of the day and when he gets home from school he learns from his father that God has sent them the first two tools to fight the "demons", an ax with the name Otis carved into it and a pair of gray leather work gloves. Adam and their father talk about how they cannot wait to start doing God's work but Fenton starts worrying that his father is slowly losing his mind. The next day their father comes to them and tells them that he has the last tool for their work, a pipe to knock out the "demons".

Now, I know what you're probably thinking, why in the hell is the name Otis important to mention in this review. Well, I'll tell you at the end what the name Otis is supposed to stand for in the story and why it's important.

Soon after he gets the pipe the father comes home and tells the boys that the Angel finally came to him and gave him the list of names of the "demons" that they are to seek out and destroy. Fenton starts to freak out even more now because he's afraid that his father is going to start killing innocent people.

One day the boys come home from school and their father never shows up. Finally giving up and going to bed the boys are woken up in the middle of the night by their father who claims he has one of the "demons" locked up in the shed. Taking the boys out there in the middle of the night they find a blonde woman tied up with tape covering her mouth laying on the floor struggling to get away. The father talks about how it wasn't easy to get her but God was on his side. He then proceeds to take off his gloves and touch the "demon". He then kills her with the ax. He tells the boys that when he touched her he was shown the evil that she did and why she had to be destroyed. Adam immediately tells his father that he saw what she did, but Fenton is too stunned to do anything. Together they bury the body in the rose garden behind their house and the boys are instructed as to what the correct way is to bury the remains of the "demons".

Later on Fenton talks to Adam and tries to convince him that their father is insane and needs help before he kills more people. But Adam doesn't believe him but promises that he won't tell their father what he was saying about him. Later on his father confronts him and tells him that Adam told him about what Fenton was saying about him and tells him that his punishment for not believing was to dig a hole that would eventually become the hidden cellar of the shed. He only gave him a shovel and told him to pray to God for help. Fenton completes the hole and admits to Agent Doyle that he refused to pray and that this only made him turn away from "his father's God." Fenton then tells Agent Doyle that eventually he started to help his father collect the "demons" even though he knew that he was helping his father kill more and more people. He tells Agent Doyle about how his father killed an older man after Fenton distracted him by pretending his puppy was under the man's car and wouldn't come out.

Almost right after this Fenton goes to the local Sheriff and tells him about what his father has been doing. The Sheriff blows it off as boys telling tales and escorts him back home where he talks to the boy's father about what Fenton was telling him. Fenton keeps telling him that he needs to check the shed. As the Sheriff is checking this out the father comes from behind and kills the Sheriff with the ax. His father starts berating him because this wasn't destroying a demon, it was murder because he told someone about God's plan for them and he then forces Fenton to bury the Sheriff as punishment for his mistake.

After he buries the Sheriff his father tells him to go down to the cellar to make sure everything is cleaned up. As soon as he is down there his father shuts the trap door and nails it shut while telling Fenton that the Angel told him that Fenton is a demon and that he would have to destroy him or else he would be punished. Fenton is then told that he cannot come back up until his receives a vision from God.

After food deprivation and over a long period of time Fenton tells his father that he received a vision. After this they go off in search of the next "demon". While trying to get the last one their father is hit in the gut with a tire iron and favors the spot he is hit while they take him down to the cellar for the "demon's" destruction. Fenton's father hands him the ax and tells him that it's his turn now that he has received the vision from God. Fenton raises the ax and instead of hitting the man tied on the floor he buries it deep into his father's chest. He father falls back against the wall and dies next to Adam. Fenton then goes to free the man but is stopped when Adam comes rushing forward with the ax and finishes his father's work.

Agent Doyle finally agrees that it sounds like he's telling the truth and tells Fenton that he needs to see the rose garden where Adam's body is buried along with the other victims.

When they finally arrive Agent Doyle learns that he hasn't been talking to Fenton at all, he's been talking to Adam. Adam then reveals that everything his father told him is true and his brother didn't kill himself, he destroyed Fenton when he finally showed up on Adam's list. We are then shown that the blonde woman was a Black Widow who killed her lovers and the old man was actually a child rapist-murderer. Agent Doyle still doesn't believe it until Adam touches him and reveals that he knows about his secret and that he is on his list. Adam reveals that Agent Doyle murdered his own mother in cold blood before joining the FBI. He now believes Adam's story but tells Adam that he's a federal officer and they will notice his death and come after Adam. Adam then tells Doyle that God will not let him be discovered and then Doyle is destroyed and buried in the rose garden.

The movie ends with the FBI Agents that met him not remembering what Adam looked like and all their cameras in the building went out the same time Adam came into the building. They do remember the name Fenton Meiks and tracked it back to the real Fenton's house where they find out that he was actually a serial killer in his own right and they find the bloody wallet of Agent Doyle in the basement of the house. They then locate Adam who is actually the Sheriff of their old home town, but the Agent he met the night before when he first came to the FBI does not recognize him. Adam's then told of his brother's actions and that they are sure his brother is dead, even though they did not find his remains. The Agent and Adam shake hands and Adam informs that Agent that he's a good man and walks away.

This movie is one of the best horror movies to come out this decade and a bright spot on the terrible movies that have come out this decade with the label ÒhorrorÓ on it. The entire time you watch this movie you really are not sure if the father is telling the truth or if he has gone insane and is killing innocent people. I recommend this movie to anyone who loves horror, especially thrillers and psychological horror movies.

Oh, and the reason the ax was named Otis? One of the definitions of Otis is that it can be used to show superiority and or triumph over another.

I give this movie 4 1/2 out of 5 stars.

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