Frailty is one of the great horror films of the 2000’s. Unfortunately nobody saw it. It barely made the top ten during its opening weekend and faded away after a few weeks, never finding a wide audience. It made back its 11 million dollar budget with a domestic gross of just over 17 million, so you can’t really call Frailty a box office flop, but compared to the 250 million plus that The Ring would make later on in the year, it pales in comparison.
The biggest problem was that Frailty was a good movie released at the wrong time. The Scorpion King was ruling the box office, Fellowship of the Ring was still in the top ten, and Harry Potter was on everyone’s mind. As I mentioned earlier, Japanese styled horror was poised to take over cinemas as well. The American public was tired of the seemingly dark and moody horror that the trailers were promising in Frailty. When I saw it in theaters I was the only one there. When I saw The Ring it was a sold out show.
The movie was directed by Bill Paxton who showed a real knack for creating a tense experience for the audience. While he and McConaughey were never on screen at the same time, you were always aware of the other’s presence in the story. About the story, I can’t really discuss very much about it. Really, the less you know the better. The rewards in Frailty are earned over time as the story unfolds into a disturbing but controlled madness. It’s truly unique, and in Hollywood that’s a rarity.
If you missed out on Frailty when it came out I strongly urge you to give it a chance. It’s dark, claustrophobic, and the plot is unlike anything I’ve seen since. Definitely a hidden gem of the muddy waters of 2000’s horror.