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Frailty (2001)

A man confesses to an FBI agent his family's story of how his religious fanatic father's visions led to a series of murders to destroy supposed "demons."



3,392 ( 109)

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5 wins & 16 nominations. See more awards »



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Cast overview, first billed only:
Becky Meiks (as Melissa Crider)
Alan Davidson ...
Vincent Chase ...
Edmond Scott Ratliff ...


FBI agent Wesley Doyle is startled by the spontaneous declaration of youngster Fenton Meiks about how his father's delusions to have a divine mission as avenging angel required him and his brother Adam to become his 'demon-slaying' murder accomplices. But when Doyle accepts to be shown concealed victim graves, the plot twists in the present just as gruesomely. Written by KGF Vissers

Plot Summary | Plot Synopsis


There are demons among us See more »


Crime | Drama | Thriller

Motion Picture Rating (MPAA)

Rated R for violence and some language | See all certifications »

Parents Guide:






Release Date:

12 April 2002 (USA)  »

Also Known As:

Dämonisch  »

Box Office


$11,000,000 (estimated)

Opening Weekend:

$4,208,655 (USA) (14 April 2002)


$13,103,828 (USA) (9 June 2002)

Company Credits

Show detailed on  »

Technical Specs


Sound Mix:

| |



Aspect Ratio:

1.85 : 1
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Did You Know?


This film is the second project on which Bill Paxton and Powers Boothe both worked, after "Tombstone" (1993). Both men were attached to a third, "Tattoo" (2011), which never materialized. See more »


When the boys are in bed at 13:04, Adam says "Goodnight, Curtis" to his pet millipede in a jar, not to his brother Fenton. See more »


Dad: I never killed a man before tonight.
Young Fenton: I've seen you kill plenty.
See more »

Crazy Credits

Directors Sam Raimi, Ivan Reitman and James Cameron, among others, are thanked at the end of the credits. See more »


References Vertigo (1958) See more »


Ball & Chain
Performed by Dale Watson
Written by Dale Watson
Courtesy of Hightone Records
Published by Bug Music o/b/o Watson Texas Music (BMI), and Songs of Windswept Pacific
By Arrangement with Ocean Park Music Group
See more »

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User Reviews

Bill Paxton has a winner in his directorial debut
23 April 2006 | by (United States) – See all my reviews

Bill Paxton, of Aliens, Near Dark, and Terminator fame, surprises me with his debut as director for Frailty. He hits on all cylinders, but there is one implausibility near the end that involves the FBI agent (Powers Booth) which deducts a point from this otherwise chilling and thought provoking thriller. Other than that, this movie was just fine.

Bill Paxton plays Dad. He's never given a first name, but that is not a weakness of the film. It in fact strengthens the film, allowing the viewer to see him as a sort of symbol of some kind. He has a vision one day which he says was sent from god telling him that the world is coming to an end and both he and his two sons Fenton Meiks(Matt OLeary) and Adam Meiks (Jeremy Sumpter) must fine the demons and kill them. The demons look like normal people which they kill, and this makes the viewer wonder if Dad has just lost his mind, or is he really doing god's work. There are scenes that reflect both points which adds to the confusion and gives the film more suspense.

The story is told in flashback by one of the sons who is now grown up (Matthew McConaughey) and is speaking with FBI agent Wesley Doyle (Powers Booth) who is very skeptical and rightfully so. After all it's not everyday that someone comes in to your office to tell you that he knows who the killer is.

The film has many twists, and Bill Paxton directs splendidly by keeping us guessing without losing interest. The acting is incredible. The two young leads and Paxton work great together, looking like a normal family even though they are all involved in murder. Like I said there is the one implausibility involving Powers Booth's character, but it really isn't a big thing. This was an extremely well made film involving faith and family.

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