October 28

We are entering into the final stretch, the night of the long shadows is just around the corner…

I’ve been catching up on TV’s Supernatural lately. I had been pretty unimpressed with the pilot and a subsequent episode or two, but I found Liz Shannon Miller’s skip-it-watch-it guide. The rest of her site, “Liz Tells Frank” is worth checking out as well for TV (and video games/movies) geek-culture coolness.

Anyhow, thanks to the skip-it-watch it, I gave Supernatural (or the truncated version I am watching) a second chance, and it is good diversional TV. These two brothers hunt demons (and, dare we say, the supernatural) in the foosteps of their shitty dad.

Of course, what if their dad was lying? What if he was crazy? What if there were no demons?

2001’s Frailty was the directorial debut of character actor Bill Paxton. It’s a tight, creepy little movie with some great performances (Paxton, Powers Boothe, Luke Askew, and McConaughey are all great, and so are the two children who are the real leads) and the movie just works.

It also feels, in retrospect, like a blueprint for TV’s Winchester brothers, or at least a “what-if?” kind of genesis for their more acceptable (Demons=evil, thusly ok to kill!) mission. After all, the movie is just a tragic little thriller about an insane man and the mark he left on his two sons…

Or is it? Paxton keeps the movie pretty ambiguous until the very end.

The trailer certainly establishes the sort of grim, bleak southern gothic feel while also letting us know (if we are attentive) that maybe something… just isn’t right with the narrative Powers Boothe is getting from this stranger.

I know a few horror buffs who skipped this one because A) McConaughey was just entering his over-exposure period, and B) some thought the title marked the movie as typical slasher-fare, with a killer targeting women (I guess extrapolating from the title a reference to Willy Shakespeare’s “Frailty, thy name is woman” from Hamlet?)

Their loss.

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