Frailty (2001) [Blu-ray]

Genre(s): Horror / Thriller
Lions Gate || R - 0 minutes - $19.99 || November 24, 2009
Reviewer: Brian Oliver || Posted On: 2009-11-20

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.:: F I L M ::.
The Film

.: F E A T U R E S :.

Special Features

.:: V I D E O ::.

.:: A U D I O ::.

B L U - R A Y

Blu-ray Exclusives

.:: O V E R A L L ::.
Director: Bill Paxton
Writer(s): Brent Hanley (written by)
Cast: Bill Paxton, Matthew McConaughey, Powers Boothe, Matt O'Leary

Theatrical Release Date: April 12, 2002

Supplemental Material:
  • 3 Feature Commentaries
  • 2 Featurettes
  • Deleted Scenes
  • Photo Gallery
  • Storyboard Gallery
  • Theatrical Trailer

Technical Information:
  • Number of Discs: 1
  • Widescreen (1.78)
  • English (DTS-HD MA 7.1), French (Dolby Digital 5.1)
  • Subtitles: English SDH, English, Spanish

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.::THE FILM::.

Frailty is a fine suspense-thriller that starts out strong but doesn’t hold up too well as it neared the end. It’s not because of the cast as both Bill Paxton and Matthew McConaughey, along with Matt O’Leary making his feature debut, all provide great and engrossing performances. And it’s not the religious elements that had caused some controversy amongst some. In fact, the problem probably was even out of the hands of writer Brent Hanley. The issue is we as a movie going society have become accustomed to the plot twist/shock finale thanks in large part to M. Night Shyamalan’s The Sixth Sense and even Se7en directed by David Fincher.

Frailty begins when Agent Wesley Doyle (POWERS BOOTHE) makes a late-night visit to FBI Headquarters after Fenton Meiks (MATTHEW MCCONAUGHEY) confesses that he knows who the “Hand of God Killer” is revealing that it is in fact his brother, Adam. Obviously Doyle isn’t buying it as he’s received crackpot theories before but Fenton recounts how it all began in 1979 when his father (BILL PAXTON) supposedly received a vision from God and that God has chosen him and his two sons to hunt and slay evil demons, the names of whom would be provided.

Young Fenton thought it was all a joke but when pops comes home with a middle-aged waitress tied up, he realizes that it is all for real. Making matters worse, Pops wants his sons to participate and while Fenton resists, his younger brother accepts it whole heartedly and in fact sees what his dad sees: the evil sins of the demons they are commanded to kill. What will Fenton do? He wants to run away but will not leave his brother in the same home as his delusional dad. His trip to the sheriff’s office didn’t help and only made matters worse and because he refuses to accept God and his “mission”, Pops makes life tougher until Fenton could see the light.

As I said, the plot is actually fairly interesting and well played out, but because I knew the turn that would ultimately be revealed towards the end, I was merely waiting for that moment. Now, the film itself is well directed by Paxton making his feature directorial debut providing a unique ambience and tone to the film while the performances give weight to a story that could’ve easily derailed from the beginning. Finale aside, I still would recommend people to see this if they want something a little different from other thrillers. It’s not well polished from beginning to end, but I still was impressed.


The Blu-ray contains not one, not two but three feature commentary tracks. The first is with Actor/Director Bill Paxton; second with Editor Arnold Glassman, Composer Brian Tyler and Producer David Kirschner; and third with Writer Brent Hanley.

The Making of Frailty (19:29) – This is your typical making-of featurette with cast and crew interviews beginning with explaining the plot, some footage from the movie mixed in, more interviews and behind-the-scenes footage.

Anatomy of a Scene (25:56) – Sundance Channel original that examines a key scene from the movie with the same explanation about what the movie is about but focuses on Paxton and how to went about filming the key scene between McConaughey and Booth.

Last are a few deleted scenes (8:33) with optional commentary from Paxton, the theatrical trailer (2:06) which is thankfully in anamorphic widescreen, photo gallery and storyboard gallery. There is also a bookmark function.


Frailty is presented with a 1.78 aspect ratio and now 1080p high-definition. The picture isn’t all too impressive but it is pretty clean outside of a couple scenes where I noticed dust and the black levels also seemed off; in fact, I noticed some pixilation during the darker shots. Since other Lions Gate catalogue titles have apparently received some DNR treatment, I think it could be the case here because the video is devoid of grain or noise.

The 7.1 DTS-HD Master Audio track is decent but you’re getting more from the dialogue, which sounds clear, than anything else. There are a couple moments where the score rises and an axe is swung and we hear the impact or when Pops lays his hands on the “demon” and we get a little bass action, but all in all it’s pretty good.


Frailty is an interesting little film. It’s Se7en meets classic Alfred Hitchcock. Director Bill Paxton does a fine job in his feature debut while Matthew McConaughey and Powers Boothe both give good performances with a limited amount of dialogue to work with as they rely on facial expressions. The Blu-ray has decent audio and video transfers and although there’s isn’t any new features, what’s there is pretty good.