FRAILTY is an interesting thriller with a religious twist. When Fenton (Matt O’Leary) and Adam (Jeremy Sumpter) were young boys, their father (Bill Paxton) tells them that he had been tasked by God to root out and destroy demons whose names were to be provided for him by an angel. Special tools have been given to aid him: gloves to protect his hands from “revealing” the crimes of the demons until they were ready to destroy them, a lead pipe to knock them unconscious, and an axe named “Otis” to destroy them with. At this news, Fenton mentally shuts down, refusing to believe his father would really kill people, but Adam quickly believes his father to be doing God’s work. FRAILTY is Bill Paxton’s directorial debut. He does an excellent job instructing the, then unknown, young actors as well as giving a chilling performance as the God driven’ murder. Because of the dark religious tones, people either love or hate this film. Moviefone has listed FRAILTY as the eleventh best horror movie of all time.
Matt plays young Fenton, the sole voice of reason in the film. He had to dig for hours in the name of God, was forced to witness murder at the hands of his father, and even locked in a dark crawlspace for days until he “believes.” Matt’s performance of a young boy who has to quickly grow up and find a way to stop his father’s horrible acts has been acclaimed by critics for years. Matt proved early in his career that he truly knew how to act, and was not just another adorable face like so many other Disney child actors at the time.
2002 International Horror Guild -- Special Recognition For Excellence in Filmmaking
2003 International Horror Guild -- Best Movie
2003 Bram Stoker Awards -- Best Screenplay: Brent Hanley
2003 Academy of Science Fiction, Fantasy & Horror Films -- Best Director: Bill Paxton
2003 Academy of Science Fiction, Fantasy & Horror Films -- Best Horror Film
2003 Academy of Science Fiction, Fantasy & Horror Films -- Best Performance by Young Actor: Jeremy Sumpter
2003 Academy of Science Fiction, Fantasy & Horror Films -- Best Writing: Brent Hanley
2003 Chicago Film Critics Association Awards -- Most Promising Director: Bill Paxton
2003 Online Film Critics Society Awards -- Best Breakthrough Filmmaker: Bill Paxton
2003 Online Film Critics Society Awards -- Best Original Screenplay: Brent Hanley
2003 Young Artist Awards -- Best Performance in a Feature Film by Leading Young Actor: Matt O’Leary