I, for one, learned a great deal from "Frailty" (IMDb listing). Murderers, pedophiles and
their ilk are not human beings. They are demons that need to be destroyed.
I owe director and star Bill Paxton an enormous pat on the back for
cleansing me of the opinion that capital punishment is hypocritical and
ineffective. And also for proving beyond a shadow of a doubt that there is
one true and almighty Lord (and yes, He actually does speak to some of us).
In short, "Frailty" is a pile of crap. Why, then, is the video box littered
with blurbs of obeisance from the likes of Stephen King and Sam Raimi? I
mean, I thought it was a little odd when Clive Barker endorsed "Jeepers
Creepers," but what the fuck, Sam? The most disturbing horror picture
you've seen since "The Shining?" Have you ever seen, um, "Evil Dead?"
The thing about a movie like "Frailty" that really gets my goat is how
far-fetched it is. Before I realized it was in fact a supernatural horror
flick, I kept telling myself, "Christ, this is less believable than most
supernatural horror flicks." The whole setup is just too damn zany to be
taken seriously. Bill Paxton plays dad to two boys. God speaks to him one
night, tells him that he and his sons have to start killing demons, a list
of which will be provided shortly by one of God's angels. Okay, so we've
got a messed up lunatic who's going to kill people with the help of his
kids. Well, for the first two acts, that's about the size of it. But act
three (and if you think I give a shit about spoiling the ending of this dud,
think again) spins us into maddening confusion as we discover that dear old
dad has been on the right track all along! Oh, and there's a switcheroo
with respect to the identities of the two boys as grownups. It's completely
gratuitous and is only present to lend the story some semblance of forward
motion, but I thought I'd mention it just the same.
The most disturbing horror picture since "The Shining?" How about the
stupidest horror picture since "Hannibal." The best moment of "Frailty"
belongs to Powers Boothe, who probably should have been the lead. A
flashback near the end gives him a chance to shine, but it's too little too
late. It takes the script half an hour just to get off its ass. Once it
does, it would be nice for it to take us on a jog through the woods instead
of a stroll through town with a pronounced limp. You know you're in trouble
when a movie makes you wish you were watching "Stigmata" instead.
Filmfodder Grade: D+