Monday, October 17, 2005

31 Days of Des' Horror Favourites: #15 Frailty

Why I Like it: This begins a movement in my taste in movies. I really no longer dig the monster movies. Sure they're fun but it's what is inside people's minds that is truly scary. One only has to watch the news to figure that out.

Some may argue against what I'll call "realist horror" by saying that horror is meant to be an escape. An escape to a world where the opposing force is so powerful that the only one who survives is the virginal girl. A world where the monster moves about as fast as an old age pensioner yet still catches up to the fleeing victim. And to all that I say: "you're wrong."

Horror is meant to unleash a visceral reaction. It's supposed to fool our minds to the point that even though we are watching a movie (and we know this) our fight-or-flight reaction is being oiled up. We are supposed to be made uncomfortable and helpless.

Enough exposition. Frailty does a pretty good job of tapping into these responses. Think about William Faulkner's "The Sound and the Fury" mixed with a slasher flick and you're kind of clos to what Frailty's all about.

In this movie a man (Matthew McConaughey) confesses to an FBI agent (Powers Boothe) the story of his family and their murderous past. The tale is woven of his father (Bill Paxton who also directs it) and his relentless mission to destroy demons. He uses an axe named "OTIS." Fantastic. Dad believes that God is telling him who the demons are and also believes that he gets visions of their sins when he touches them. The only problem is: the people aren't demons, they're people. It's only made worse when Dad brainwashes the younger brother into believing him. And the end is something to behold.

It's fundamental Christianity gone wrong (as if it actually goes right) in a dark, dark look at the American South.

Check these out:
-Night of the Hunter-Religious horror only in the sense that it's a theme. Not the plot.
-Dead Man's Shoes-There's an axe in this one too. More about this film later.

4 Bitching, Moaning and Praise

Blogger David Lee Ingersoll said...

Funny, I thought the end of the movie was saying that the dad was right. I suppose the ending isn't ironclad, maybe the surviving brother is crazy and deluded, but that it's what the story seemed to be saying.

10:10 pm  
Blogger Des said...

Yeah...I can believe that but the end has more to do with someone else's insanity than the father don't you think?

3:40 am  
Blogger David Lee Ingersoll said...

Except that the son was objectively right about the FBI agent's guilt indicating (to me at least) that he was supposed to be Right in other ways as well.

6:21 pm  
Blogger Des said...

That's what's so damn good about this movie. The fact that we're having this argument tells me that the openness of interpretation was meant to do so.

It's too bad that this movie wasn't seen on a wider scale so that more people could be having this argument.

I still think he is the victim of an insane man's brainwashing but your argument holds just as much weight.

6:49 pm  

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