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Frailty Review

Image for Frailty

Fenton Meiks has a tale to tell to FBI agent Wesley Doyle - a tale of how his dead father and brother believed they were entrusted by God to wipe out demons on Earth. But all is not as it seems…

★★★★★

Bill Paxton's directorial debut comes with stamps of approval from directing buddies Sam Raimi and James Cameron. Happily, their faith is more than an old pals' act, for - the odd quibble aside - this is an unsettling and scary horror-thriller.

Clearly recognising that the Stephen King-meets-Usual Suspects plot is a load of old mothballs, Paxton wisely focuses on atmosphere, building terror through creepy verisimilitude, particularly in the flashback 'demon' execution scenes. He's helped by his excellent cast, notably McConaughey who, now that all the 'next big thing' hype has subsided, seems content to turn in edgy character work. Here, his brooding performance grounds the more fanciful passages in reality.

Unfortunately, Paxton nearly undoes all his good work with a patented M. Night Shyamalan-style 'Twistorama Climax'. But let's put that down to inexperience - this unnerving tale should set Raimi and Cameron glancing anxiously over their shoulders.

A sound debut, hamstrung by a ridiculous twist, but the promise just about eclipses the premise.