A man walks into the FBI building and tells Agent Doyle
that his brother is the God's Hand killer. He tells the backstory
which begins with his childhood. He and his brother live alone
with their father. Everything is normal until dad tells them
he has been visited by an angel. Apparently, the final battle
between angels and demons has begun. The demons are already
here in human form, and it is the family's task to destroy
them. When the angel revisits, relaying a list of names, the
I watched the opening shot of Agent Doyle exiting his car
wearing a stereotypical mean expression, and walking through
a night storm to the FBI building, I couldn't help sighing.
This was going to be another one of the multitude of tired
cops and robbers films that Americans insist on doing so badly.
Matters didn't immediately improve when I realised a small
part of the early plot was similar to a short story I had
written some years ago. Thieves! Plagiarists! Where's my money?
Ahem, where was I? Oh, yes, being dreadfully wrong. Frailty
(The God's Hand Killer would have been a good title)
quickly lifts itself from the mire and into the elite stream.
As time passes it's becoming increasingly difficult for the
horror genre to reinvent itself. This film leans more towards
thriller, but there's a hint of a supernatural element hanging
over the events.
entire package is extremely effective, even though one of
the twists at the conclusion is blatantly predictable. The
script doesn't need to be totally original, because it's so
well told. However, it's the strong central characters and
the actors' corresponding performances that make the tale
so convincing. Bill Paxton, making his directorial debut here,
plays the angel-visited dad. The two boys, who play Adam and
Fenton, are even better, both displaying genuine reactions.
Their expressions alone draw you into the emotional mix. One
sees his dad as a murderer and longs to run away, but he won't
leave his brother behind; and his brother trusts dad, having
no problem (only a strange fascination) with what is going
once in a while it's nice to be pleasantly surprised, and
that's precisely what happened here.