Forgotten Horror Thriller Marked Legendary Actor’s Directorial Debut, Stream Now Without Netflix

By Shanna Mathews-Mendez | Published

Call me a huge fan of twisting plot lines and surprise endings; Frailty, released in 2001 and now somehow forgotten by the public mind, is up there among the best. It was the first movie Bill Paxton directed in his long and lustrous career, and he also stars in the film alongside a young Matthew McConaughey. If you’re wondering what to watch this weekend, Frailty is it.

Bill Paxton In Frailty

When Bill Paxton took on the project of Frailty, he was already well-established in Hollywood. He’d appeared as the comic relief meathead in Aliens, the frustrated husband trying to get his ex to sign divorce papers in Twister, and Wyatt Earp’s little brother in Tombstone. We knew who Bill was. 

Matthew McConnaughey As Well


Matthew McConaughey was a different story. He’d hit the scene in Dazed and Confused in 1993 and slowly built his reputation as an actor who could play both serious roles, like his turn as a lawyer fighting racism in the south in A Time to Kill, and more lighthearted ones, like the silly fame chaser in Ed TV

So, it was thrilling to see these two come together in the epic thriller-bordering-on-horror that is Frailty

About A Serial Killer?


McConnaughey enters Frailty as Fenton Meiks, a man walking into a federal office to report his brother as a serial killer.

He meets with Agent Wesley Doyle, played by Powers Boothe, to tell him that his brother, Adam Meiks, has just committed suicide after murdering countless innocent victims, all because he thought he was acting on God’s will. 

From this point on, the viewer bounces back and forth in time. We sit in this dark FBI office with Fenton and Agent Doyle and we live out Fenton’s memories of his childhood. 

A Crazy Father


You see, in Frailty, Fenton reveals that his father, played by Bill Paxton, came to the boys after their mother was murdered and the murderer was never caught.

Dad told his sons that he had been visited in a vision by God, who told him that he needed to murder bad people (who were actually demons) and bury them in the rose garden. God promised that he would shield any witnesses’ eyes from the murders and that Dad would be protected. 

Killing Bad People


Fenton then recounts the first, second, and third experiences Adam and Fenton had with their dad abducting and killing bad people. God gave Dad the power to reveal the bad people’s evil deeds when he lays hands on them. 

The suspense builds in Frailty as Agent Doyle agrees to drive Fenton to this rose garden in Thurman, Texas, and Fenton continues his story. We watch on the edge of our seats as Fenton reveals that an altercation takes place, during one of the abductions, between Fenton and his father. 

Streaming Frailty



You see, the angel of God told Dad that Fenton is a demon, and now Dad has to decide what to do about it.

I won’t reveal any more for fear of spoiling the thrilling fun; suffice to say this film delivers surprise after suprise after surprise in the most delicious ways. The acting is superb, and Paxton offers excellent direction. I give it 5 stars out of 5.

Stream Frailty on Tubi or Roku this weekend for a harrowing viewing experience.