Steeped in gloomy atmosphere, Frailty locates its horror in the tyranny of religious fanaticism. Making an assured directorial debut, actor Bill Paxton costars as a Texas widower who believes God has recruited him to destroy demons in human form. Feeling divinely justified in committing a series of ax murders (discreetly unseen), he urges his two young sons to assist him in the killings--a living nightmare recalled in flashback by one of the now-adult sons (Matthew McConaughey) to the FBI agent (Powers Boothe) who''s investigating the murders. But mystery is of secondary importance in Brent Hanley''s cleverly twisting screenplay; Frailty suggests, with unsettling subtlety, that Paxton''s mission may not be delusional, thus burdening his deadly wrath with spiritually disturbing significance. It''s definitely not a feel-good film, but with celebrity endorsements by Stephen King and directors James Cameron and Sam Raimi (who both made films with Paxton), Frailty gets under the skin with insidious efficiency. --Jeff Shannon
YEARS AFTER TERRORIZING A SMALL TEXAS COMMUNITY, THE GOD''S HAND KILLER HAS RETURNED, LEAVING IN HIS WAKE A PERPLEXING TRAIL OF FEAR AND DEATH. CONVINCED THAT HE KNOWS THE KILLER''S IDENTITY, FENTON MEIKS SHOWS UP AT FBI HEADQUARTERS, INTENT ON PUTTING AN END TO THE MURDEROUS RAMPAGE AND RELIEVING HIS CONSCIENCE.
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