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Frailty too predictable??? [spoilers w/o tags]

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Frailty too predictable??? [spoilers w/o tags]

Old 09-17-02, 10:58 PM
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Frailty too predictable??? [spoilers w/o tags]

I tried writing this w/o giving too much away, but it wasn't make any sense

I just finished watching this movie and I have to say nothing really took me by surprise. Before they left the office you knew the FBI agent was dead because he was a "demon" (I didn't really guess the thing about the mother but that didn't really matter). After Fenton "saw god" it was obvious (to me) that he was going to kill his father. The big "switch" of Adam/Fenton wasn't really all that surprising either, I mean it could have gone either way (the did it or they didn't) and it really wouldn't have changed that much over all. The final thing about Adam being the Sheriff is pretty much the same way. When the FBI agent walked into the office you knew who was going to be there.

Overall it felt like the way Billy Crystal described Danny Devitos book in "Throw Mama from the Train". Something to the effect of it's hard to write a convincing murder mystery when you only have two characters and one of them is dead on page two.

Have I just seen too many suspense/thrillers to be shocked anymore Was I the only one who felt this way?
Old 09-18-02, 12:23 AM
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The only twist i saw coming was Adam being the sheriff. Despite that, i think Frailty is a damned good film.
What i wonder however is that if they were really being guided by God, or instigated by the devil. I say God, but my girlfriend insists that it was the devil's doing....

Last edited by mee2; 09-18-02 at 11:25 AM.
Old 09-18-02, 01:11 AM
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I saw a lot of it coming too, but that did not in any way detract from my enjoyment of it. Yes, I guessed that Mathew McConaughey was actually Adam, and I guessed that Doyle was gonna get killed, but there were many little details that I never saw coming. When Adam finally revealed who he was, I assumed at that point that he was the "God's Hand Killer", but the movie goes on to reveal that it actually was Fenton who killed all the people (Well, Adam did too, but those were "demons", and the bodies were never found).

I had one plot question. At the end, when the FBI goes to Fenton's home and finds his victims in the basement, they also find a list of demons with Dolyes name at the bottom. Am I correct in assuming that Adam planted this here?

Oh yeah, one more thing. I am confused as to how the term "God's Hand Killer" was coined. Who knew that the killings were based on visions from God? I thought the only people who knew that were the boys and their dad. Anyway, the bodies that were found were only those that were killed by Fenton, and not Adam (right?). But Adam was the one who was "doing God's will," not Fenton.
Old 09-18-02, 01:13 AM
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Re: Frailty too predictable??? [spoilers w/o tags]

Originally posted by nemein
Have I just seen too many suspense/thrillers to be shocked anymore Was I the only one who felt this way?
No, you certainly were not.

I just watched it tonight, and yes, I pretty much knew as soon as the concept of demons and the list arrived that a) the FBI agent was a demon, and b) he would be killed.

Like you, I didn't see the switch with the mother murder coming, but it's not like that could make the movie one way or the other.

Nonetheless, I admired a lot of the film and the acting was very good, especially for the drama.

But to me it's far from a four star movie like I know a lot of critics, Ebert included, made it out to be. I'm still torn between a 6 and 7 for my imdb rating.
Old 09-18-02, 01:21 AM
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Re: Re: Frailty too predictable??? [spoilers w/o tags]

Originally posted by JonTurner
I'm still torn between a 6 and 7 for my imdb rating.
You're actually "torn" about something as insignifigant as that?
Old 09-18-02, 05:02 AM
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I for one did absolutely not see this ending coming! This was, to me, a pretty damn good film. Up until the end. Then I was flabbergasted!

The final touch reminded me of a Shyamalan pic. Routine and then …POW!!!

Needless to say, I'm happy with it.
Old 09-18-02, 05:32 AM
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Originally posted by caiman


Oh yeah, one more thing. I am confused as to how the term "God's Hand Killer" was coined. Who knew that the killings were based on visions from God? I thought the only people who knew that were the boys and their dad. Anyway, the bodies that were found were only those that were killed by Fenton, and not Adam (right?). But Adam was the one who was "doing God's will," not Fenton.
If I understood correctly Fenton was the one who put the phrase on a note w/ the body of the first person he killed. It was a way of drawing Adam out from "hiding". Although why Fenton didn't know Adam had become the Sheriff of their old home town goes unexplained The bodies that were found in the basement of the house were Fenton's doing and all the victims of the "God's Hand Killer" (along w/ the body of Fenton). The only one missing was the FBI agent since Adam put his body with his usual "collection". Speaking of which though those bodies weren't buried very deep, don't you think someone would have found them by now in a public rose garden...
Old 09-18-02, 08:10 AM
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Re: Re: Frailty too predictable??? [spoilers w/o tags]

Originally posted by JonTurner
I'm still torn between a 6 and 7 for my imdb rating.
Maybe I'm being too critical but the more I think about it the lower my rating goes. I started by giving it a 3/5 on my netflix rating. I went back though and lowered it to a 2. I guess for me the thing I like about thrillers (and maybe I'm putting this movie into the wrong genre) is that they stimulate conversation. There really isn't much that was left to question about this one.
Old 09-18-02, 01:51 PM
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Originally posted by nemein
Speaking of which though those bodies weren't buried very deep, don't you think someone would have found them by now in a public rose garden...
I think that goes along with the whole "God will blind them" thing.
Old 09-19-02, 12:49 AM
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I thought the present-day ending was a bit murky and unconvincing-- Fenton never really believes his dad, and finally kills his father to stop him from murdering people, and then starts murdering people himself to "draw out" his brother? They're both killing people, but both think the one's motive is wrong? Just didn't make sense to me... But then, neither did the "identity switch" when you find out McCoughnahey is Adam... Too many plot conveniences and cheats...

It was weird that the true nature of the visions is ambiguous for 3/4 of the movie--and then is suddenly shown to be real. I don't mind weird... But then, if God was really behind the killings, were the victims really demons? If not, what does that make God?

Last edited by adamblast; 09-19-02 at 12:51 AM.
Old 09-19-02, 05:25 PM
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I thought the present-day ending was a bit murky and unconvincing-- Fenton never really believes his dad, and finally kills his father to stop him from murdering people, and then starts murdering people himself to "draw out" his brother? They're both killing people, but both think the one's motive is wrong?
Fenton wasn't killing "demons" as was his father and brother. He was killing for pure pleasure as he was a demon himself. Fenton didn't see God when he was locked in the cellar. He was actually visited by Satan who was his "god" since he was an evil person. So when he told his father he was visited by god he was not lying. His god told him to kill his father not to stop him from killing "people" but to stop him from killing more of Satan's followers. Fenton tries to draw out his brother to kill him because he is one of God's chosen warriors.
Old 09-20-02, 09:55 AM
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I agree with adamblast, the ending had too many switcheroos going on for my taste.

Indy, your explanation makes sense but I didn't get any of that from the movie.
Old 09-20-02, 03:07 PM
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Indy, your explanation makes sense but I didn't get any of that from the movie
That was my interpretation, for whatever it may be worth, of the film. It has been said that the Devil will temp and corrupt you when you are at your weakest and most vulnerable. Certainly Fenton was in this state after being locked in the cellar for long. The angel or God perhaps had the ability to forsee this and tried to warn the Dad when the angel told him his son was a demon. Since Fenton had yet to commit any evil deed at that point his Dad did not see anything when he laid his hands on him. Naturally the Dad, since he saw no "truth" when touching his son, thought the angel must be mistaken. Unknowingly, by locking his son in the cellar, the Dad fulfilled the angel's prophecy. In Fenton's weakened state Satan convinced him of his role in life and told him to kill his Father. Again, these are just my thoughts on the movie.

Oh, and BTW, yes I did think Frailty was a little too predictable but I thoroughly enjoyed it.

Last edited by Indy Jones Fan; 09-20-02 at 03:12 PM.
Old 09-20-02, 11:11 PM
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the graves can't probably be seen but i'm sure after that long somebody would of tripped on them by now. plus, in a public place, dogs would be sniffing and digging around all the time. there was this scene also when adam and fenton were watching a show and one character said to the other "god doesn't force people to do anything, he gave us free will". or something like that. so i don't believe adam's work was god's work. without coffins the rose garden would stink way too much for anyone not to notice somethings not right. all in all the movie was easy to predict. At least with Seven, spacey's character showed up near the end and was really powerful. this fell flat after you knew five minutes into the movie that matthew or adam was the killer going to kill powers booth. nothing mattered after. still a good movie but nowhere near a "two thumbs way up" that ebert gave it.
Old 09-21-02, 01:24 AM
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Originally posted by sinister
nowhere near a "two thumbs way up" that ebert gave it.
Ebert just gave it one thumb way up, the other came from Roeper

And yes, C.H.U.D., I was very much "torn" over something as insignificant as my rating. I'm not "worried" about it, but I'm undecided. Perhaps you interpreted "torn" as more severe. Anyhoo, I've decided to go with the 6 because the longer the film's had to set in, the less I've come to think there was much worthwhile about it. Yeah, and enjoyed much of it, but it was definitely way too predictable, the plot didn't do much at all for me, and I was never fascinated by any of the characters.
Old 09-21-02, 03:50 AM
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I liked the movie but it would've been better if at the end, it didn't really show the audience that "someone was protecting them and not getting caught". It would've been better if it was left to the audience to decide whether they were really seeing the visions or if they were just psycho's.
Old 09-21-02, 11:07 AM
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I actually liked it that at the end they showed that someone was really protecting them. I would never have even considered that possibility if they hadn't shown that, and then wondered if the visions were fake or real.

As for predictability--I pretty much knew that the brothers were switched and that the FBI agent was a "demon." I didn't know that the visions were real or that the older boy had turned into a serial killer too. (I really like Indy Jones Fan's interpretation of that--it all makes sense. Much better than "the shock of it all drove him crazy" theory I had while watching the film. The idea that he was a demon all along, though innocent as a child, really fits in with the way the visions and God's protection turned out to be real.

tasha
Old 09-21-02, 12:04 PM
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You actually learn that The FBI agent is a demon right away, because Adam doesn't sake his hand when the FBI offers it, he just hands him the picture.
Old 09-22-02, 05:18 AM
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I dont know how this one got away in the theatre. One of the best movies Ive seen this year and I loved the ending. I saw some things coming but it was much better than most thriller movies that Hollywood cranks out these days, even Shamlans. His last two movies were contrived and overdone to me.
Paxton did a great job here and I help it finds more of an audience on DVD.
Interestijng to find out from the commentary that Paxton showed the film to James Cameron and he suggested some things for editing. Isnstead of showing what is seen when the demons are touched when he is touching them, he suggested saving it for the end.
Old 09-22-02, 10:34 PM
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Great film...Three thumbs up!!!
Old 09-28-02, 05:12 AM
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Originally posted by nemein
...though those bodies weren't buried very deep, don't you think someone would have found them by now in a public rose garden...
Just watched this last night and thought is was wonderful!

Anyway, to address your point, it was clearly established that the rose garden was no longer a place that people would be visiting. You could tell that the whole place was really dilapidated and hadn't even been gardened for years:
  • Overgrown plants and shrubs.
  • Broken statues (the cherub they walk past on the ground).
  • The extras section of the DVD (as well as Paxton's commentary) even talks about how the pile of rocks/rubble in front of the car when they pull up is actually the ruins of their old house (it "burned down").

So I guess that whole area or part of town has kind of been forgotten about.

And I don't think the story was really all that "predictable." It seems like those who didn't care for it think the movie was a waste just because they "knew the FBI agent was gonna get it," or they "knew that McConaughey was actually Adam," but can any of you honestly say that you thought Dad was anything but crazy for 9/10 of the film? Much like The Sixth Sense, I think a lot of this movie's power lies in the last 5 minutes. I sat there for an hour and a half thinking Dad was completely nuts and that he had created 2 cold-blooded killers that were just playing some sick game with the FBI agent, only to find out that everything Dad had said through the entire film was 100% accurate. That really threw me.

Anyway, I thought it was a noble effort by Paxton and I hope (very much) to see more from him in the future.
Old 09-28-02, 05:58 AM
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I didn't like the film much at all. I saw everything coming from a mile away - nothing in the film surprised me at all. That's not why I didn't like it though - (I figured out Bruce was dead and a ghost when he met his wife for the anniversary dinner, but I liked that movie alot). The reason I didn't like Frailty was because I just didn't think it was a very good film. I didn't find any of the religious motivators to be motivating enough for them to be doing what they were doing. I wanted to like it though. Oh well..
Old 09-30-02, 12:29 AM
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Originally posted by Samuel
You actually learn that The FBI agent is a demon right away, because Adam doesn't sake his hand when the FBI offers it, he just hands him the picture.
Also, when Matthew is handcuffed & getting into the back of the policecar, Booth goes to put his hand on him to help him in & Matthew moves away from his hand quickly avoiding being touched by him.

To be honest, I figured out that Matthew was the younger kid just by looking at the physical similarities right off.

My wife & I thought this was a top notch cring-inducing film & the kid actors were outstanding. Even Paxton gave a good performance...which after all these years of watching him, I thought was an impossibility.
Old 09-30-02, 08:51 AM
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I liked the movie but unforunately i found it to be very predictable. I had the entire plot figured out after the first 15 minutes, including all the twists in the end.
Old 09-30-02, 09:44 AM
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Originally posted by nemein
If I understood correctly Fenton was the one who put the phrase on a note w/ the body of the first person he killed. It was a way of drawing Adam out from "hiding". Although why Fenton didn't know Adam had become the Sheriff of their old home town goes unexplained The bodies that were found in the basement of the house were Fenton's doing and all the victims of the "God's Hand Killer" (along w/ the body of Fenton). The only one missing was the FBI agent since Adam put his body with his usual "collection".
I dont think Fenton was trying to draw Adam out. I think Fenton went insane. The kid witnesses his father commiting what he thought was serial murder. It resulted in him murdering his father. Fenton became a true serial killer and "Gods Hand" was his psychosis. He doesnt even have to be visited by satan in the basement. As Adam said, he snapped, went insane. It was also quite clear Fenton was buried in the rose garden with the rest of the "demons".

The creepiest thing in this movie and what really sealed it as a great experience for me was when the kids are burying the father and Fenton acknowledges that Adam will kill him eventually. So many ways to take that scene. I love it. It gave me a chill, and thats the most I can ask from a movie.

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