There are times when we watch these horror movies, with their monsters and their blood and gore, that we sometimes forget their original purpose: To get inside our heads and make us afraid.
There are a lot of ways a horror movie can achieve that, to be fair. Jump scares to get your heart racing, suspense building while the viewer helplessly watches a masked killer stalk the hero/heroine of the film, witnessing the death and carnage put forth by a hideous beast the viewer never gets a clear image of.
But for my money, nothing tops a movie that keeps you guessing, sometimes even after it has already ended. Few movies have had this effect on me as strongly as Bill Paxton’s directorial debut, Frailty
Year Released: 2001
Written By: Brent Hanley
Directed By: Bill Paxton
Starring: Bill Paxton, Matthew McConaughey, Powers Boothe
FBI Agent Wesley Doyle has been searching for the God’s Hand serial killer but has so far come up empty handed. That is until a man named Fenton Meiks enters his office and says he knows who the God’s Hand killer is.
Doyle listens as Fenton’s story unfolds before him, and he’s forced to question what he can believe as truth. What follows is twisting and turning roller coaster ride that proves it’s best if some things don’t run in the family.
This movie is genuinely unnerving. I wouldn’t say it scared me, but it definitely took me out of my comfort zone for a good chunk of it. You’re never truly certain, throughout the entire movie, exactly what is happening. It keeps you guessing on so many levels, really gets into your head.
The acting is great, Bill Paxton is moving as the Meiks family patriarch, and Matthew McConaughey gives one of my favorite performances in the film.
The visuals of the film match the suspense, as each location has its own creepy vibe. Some might call this movie a psychological thriller, rather than horror, but I feel it fits both genres quite well.
Should You See It:
Yes, unless you want to hurt Bill Paxton’s feelings.