Frailty

A few of our Patrons recommended this stunning and surprising film which is directed by AND stars Bill Paxton, one of our favorite actors. Get ready for a ride that will keep you on the edge of your seat and guessing the entire time. We really enjoyed discussing Frailty. Have a listen!

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Frailty ()

Ep 299, 2 Guys and a Chainsaw

Todd: Hello and welcome to another episode of Two Guys and a Chainsaw. I’m Todd

Craig: And I’m Craig

Todd: Well, today’s movie comes to you via request from a few of our patrons. This is a big shout out to Dave and Jessica who requested Frailty, the 2001 Bill Paxton starring and directed film. Um, what a great idea, because, uh, I know of this movie, I did watch it once before I remembered it being pretty freaky and pretty quick.

And I didn’t really think of it as a horror movie at the time. I, I just remembered thinking of it as like a crime type film, but once I watched it the second time, definitely classifies as a horror movie, really enjoyed it this time around. I probably watched this around the time it came out, but on video and I think this is the only film that bill Paxton has directed.

Am I right about that? 

Craig: I think so. I mean, uh, when he was done with this one in the, the director’s commentary, he said that he hoped that he would have the opportunity to direct again. I think that he did, which is unfortunate. Cause I think he did a really good job. I I’m typically skeptical when people, um, direct themselves, it always kind of feels like a vanity project, but this didn’t, you know, his, his, his character is pivotal.

I mean, he’s, he’s a main character. I he’s not the main character. And I thought just based on what I’ve read, it sounded like, um, he was a pretty easy director to work for and it, it just seems, uh, his performance seems natural. I know there’s one scene in particular. He felt that he maybe went a little bit over the top, but it, I didn’t think so, but I always enjoy watching bill Paxton.

I think he’s a really good actor. And, uh, as far as directing goes this season, Perfectly competent to me. Um, especially considering, you know, they shot it on a pretty low budget and, uh, you know, it was his first time behind the camera, but the man had an extensive career, you know, in front of the camera.

So it’s not like he was completely green. But, um, yeah, no, he did it. I didn’t realize that he directed it until I watched it this time when I pulled up the IMDP page and I saw that he directed it. I’m like, dang, we should have done this for our bill. Paxton tribute when he passed. Well, I didn’t even didn’t even occur to me 

Todd: again.

The reason I think I passed over was because I really wasn’t thinking of it in my head as a horror. You know, but I mean, horror, what is it? Right. It’s just horrible things happening. Really. We’ve done a lot of movies where it’s, you know, it could actually happen in real life. There’s nothing supernatural about it.

One thing I really liked about this movie was just how unpredictable it was. Like, I feel like just when you think, you know, where it might be going, it, it throws a little twist in there, or at least it throws enough doubt in there. And there’s always a carrot of doubt dangling in front of you for this movie that, uh, it’s.

It just had me grip. Really pretty much from the opening scene. I have to say, uh, just, it’s just a big mystery. What’s going on? What’s this character, what are these characters? Motivations? The story is a story more or less told in flashback, but then it brings us into the modern day. And you’re kind of wondering how is this all going to wrap up?

I think quite unpredictable. I remember being 

Craig: very surprised the first time, and this is going to sound stupid, but I remember. Being surprised at being surprised. Um, I didn’t see the twist at the end coming and in watching it. I think this is probably the third time I’ve seen this because I saw it like you soon after it came out.

And then one of our big box video stores here in my town. Went out of business and sold everything at ridiculously low prices. And I bought it for like a buck or something and watched it again. It is good. It’s good at building suspense. It’s good at casting doubt and suspicion. And then the end surprised me.

And, uh, I guess there was. Choices that were made that kind of prolonged the suspense. I think originally some things were intended to be revealed much earlier. Paxton got advice from another famous director. I don’t remember if it was James Cameron, James Cameron, James Cameron told him, you know, you need this suspense.

You need people to be questioning things. And you need them on the side of certain characters, if you want the ending to be effective. And I think that that advice was spot on, uh, and it really worked for me. Paxton said that. Intended the movie to be a movie that you would want to watch and would enjoy watching multiple times.

He wanted that surprise the first time around, but then he wanted you to also have the satisfaction of knowing the twist and going back and watching, finding new clues and things that suggested. I think that makes sense. I think that you do really want to watch this movie more than. At least twice, it feels like a completely different experience when you know how things eventually play out.

Watching it again. It’s interesting. I do have to say that I’m a little bit of the cyst because I knew what was going to happen. Obviously a little bit of the suspense was lost, so it wasn’t quite as exciting the second time, but I’m still, still very interest. 

Todd: I love it. When movies drop clues, I don’t want the clues to be too obvious.

You know, you want to find that right. Mystery level balance, but this movie definitely drops hints. And as a guy who went back to watch it and generally remembered how it went, but I did not remember the ultimate sort of conclusion and explanation behind everything. So I was still guessing through the movie, even though I generally knew what was going to happen.

I was on the lookout and kind of relishing these clues. They were just some very poignant words that are said and moments and things that are just big flashing red signs, especially once you’ve seen it a second time. But also I just thought that the care with which the movie was made it’s it takes its time.

It’s a slow, I mean, it’s a slow burn, but it’s a slow. Ben’s Filburn the cinematography is gorgeous and not pretentious, but still very thoughtful. And there’s a lot of meaning I think, imbued in the framing of the scenes and the way certain things are shot. It’s just very satisfying. Movie as art, you know, where somebody is just not pointing the camera around and whipping it around and, and, and trying to be super stylized or whatever, but just, it has a style that is really impressive for a first-time filmmaker.

You know, he is, this is not his first foray into, into the film world, you know? I mean, so, uh, it’s not like bill Paxon, you know, graduated from high school and cobbled some money together to make this first movie. Right. But you can see that he’s learned the lessons from all the projects that he’s been in and really brought it all in here.

And I’m quite surprised actually, that he didn’t get a chance to do anything after this. 

Craig: And he worked so closely with so many esteemed directors before. So you know, that he had to have picked things up along the way. And, um, I think another reason that this movie that the suspense works so well is because the stakes senior really high it’s scary, uh, especially, you know, in, in a lot of ways too.

Um, we talked about how it’s got elements of crime drama, which it certainly does. And I liked those elements of it, but it’s also a family drama. I was really invested in these. Characters, um, it’s center, it centers around a father, a widowed father, and his two young sons. And I was invested in their relationship and as is typically the case in real life, their relationship is very it’s nuanced.

Um, it’s complicated and, and confusing. And I think that’s, I think that’s very true. To 

Todd: life. It feels real and it’s very sincerely played by two very talented child actors, I think. Yeah. Matt O’Leary, uh, he’s been in a lot of stuff actually since this movie, um, this wasn’t his first film, but it was only his third.

And then, uh, Jeremy something. Uh, who I believe was in the Peter pan from 2003. And it’s been an right. And this was his first film. He was the young boy, youngest boy, Adam, in, in this movie. Yeah. Their performances as well. Very convincing. 

Craig: Yeah. Especially Maddow Leary who plays young Fenton. I mean, he carries much of the weight of this movie on his shoulders.

Uh, and he does. Uh, in a very skillful way for an actor. So 

Todd: young he’s, I mean, and then since that needs, he has like 49 credits to his name. He’s been in the couple of spy kids movies. And then as a, as an adult now, like the agents of shield TV series and, um, a number of, uh, of films and stuff. So I on TV and TV.

So, uh, he’s got a, an ongoing career where he has three or four projects in the works at any given time during the. So if the movie did well, did him well, for sure. Well, it starts out in the, Souq such a classic way, right? It’s this very dark and stormy rainy night. And this guy just shows up at an FBI office who’s he says.

This is Fenton Meeks and he comes in and powers booth is the FBI agent that he comes to see. He wants to see this guy who has been assigned to the gods hands killer case, um, which is sort of a serial killer unsolved serial killer series of murders. Uh, and he basically just sits down and says, I know who did it.

And it was my brother. Right. And powers booth, uh, is a very recognizable face. Just a ton of stuff. And I love this guy, but he’s always this sort of stern, either sort of cowboy rugged dude, or once again, this, um, high level, rough and tumbled kind of detective or that kind of thing. He was also in the agents of shield TV series, Gideon Malik.

In fact, he had sadly. He ended up bill Paxton died in 2017. Uh, both of 

Craig: them. Yeah. And they had worked together before and were good friends. I think they met on tombstone and became good friends and I love 

Todd: tombstone. Oh, 

Craig: it was a great movie. I think Paxton really admired him as an actor. And so, you know, was pleased to work with.

On this adult, Fenton is played by Matthew McConaughey, a young, very handsome Matthew McConaughey in, I mean, this was, he, he had done some other things. I think his star was already rising at this point, but young, I mean, this was over 20 years ago, so it doesn’t feel like it like, isn’t that God we’re so old.

I can’t believe that this movie is over 20 years. I couldn’t believe it. I feel like that’s possible. And it doesn’t, it, it feels like it could have been made yesterday. I mean, that’s how good it looks. 

Todd: It’s not really dated at all. I mean, of course, most of the movies and flashbacks, so that, that helps as well, as soon as they sit and they talk and he mentioned this, he says that his brother, he, again, he’s talking, but then we get to see this visually.

And sometimes a narration comes in, oftentimes the movies just playing out in flashback, but he says, uh, just before he came over, you know, his brother had called him and had said, The demons are taking over the world and, uh, you need to take me to the rose garden, like you promised. And then, um, he shot himself in the head.

This would be Adam, of course. The agent, uh, what’s his name? The FBI agent was Wesley. Wesley. Yeah, that’s right. Wesley says, oh, come on. He’s very skeptical. He’s extremely skeptical and says, well, how do you know that he killed these people? And he says, well, it, it all goes back to the summer of 1979. Uh, and then we get them as children.

Uh, and then the story kind of unfolds, but 

Craig: just before that Wesley calls the Thurman Sheriff’s department and, and speaks with, I guess, a receptionist who confirms what Fenton said, he’s, he’s like, oh yeah, that Fenton, it almost sounds like he’s kind of the town troublemaker, but they’re not really particularly concerned about it.

And he’s like, yeah, he’s stolen ambulance and his brother’s body. So the story gets confirmed and the agent comes back in and says, you know, they said that. They’re not interested in pressing charges. They just want you to return the ambulance and that kind of stuff. But basically, um, this woman confirms what Fenton has said.

And so. He’s willing to listen to this story and you’re right. Then we jumped back to the summer of 1979. And these cute boys. I mean, they’re both just, I don’t know how old, 12 and 10 maybe roundabouts young and they’re cute. And they’re just, they’re walking home from school, I think. And Adam is singing like a religious song.

I used to sing back in Catholic school. Yeah. The joy judge, judge, judge down in my heart. This is supposed to say where I don’t want to sing that dumb song. You don’t have to say, just say where. All right, where not now. I’ll point to you. When it’s time. I got to Georgia, Georgia, Georgia, down in my heart.

Dani and my heart, where down in my heart, I got the Georgia Georgia down in my heart, Tuesday, Fenton, you know, through his narration explains that, uh, their town, uh, Thurman, Texas, this all takes place in Texas. Uh, all of the central actors are Texas born. He explains that their town has. Public rose garden and they live in the house directly behind it.

The house was originally built for the garden keeper, but his dad got it on auction for really cheap. And, uh, they lived there. The, the mother passed away in childbirth with the second kid. So it’s just the three of them. And the dad is a mechanic and we only get to kind of see before. Strange things start happening.

We only get a glimpse of their life, but it seems nice. It seems like a nice life. You know, a dad works hard. He seems like a caring, loving dad, the boys, um, Fenton, especially because he’s the older one seemed to kinda help take care of things. Fenton makes dinner it’s on the table every day. When dad gets home from work, they all sit and have dinner together.

It seems like a really nice dynamic. It really does. So then when things get thrown into chaos, You kind of, you feel bad, you know, every, everything was, everything seemed to be going okay. And then all of a sudden they just get 

Todd: hit with this bomb. Yeah. They’re, they’re just laying in bed, you know, sleeping and dad comes in and wakes them up and says, boys, boys, and they’re worried what, what what’s going on.

What’s going on. It’s said there’s something very important. I need to tell you something just happened. Um, and he says that he got a vision. Angel God spoke to him through this angel. And there’s a little flashback where he’s looking from his bed at some of his, uh, trophies, I guess, the across the way.

And, uh, one of them has an angel like figure on the top of it and it kind of glows and he’s looking at it anyway. And he says, end of the world is 

Craig: coming. It’s near. The angel showed me there are demons among us. The devil is released in for the final battle it’s being fought right now. But nobody knows it except us and others like us.

I’m scared. There’s nothing to be afraid of. Tiger. We’ve been chosen by God. He will protect us. He’s given us special jobs to do. We don’t fear these demons. We destroy them. We pick them up one by one and we pitch them out of this world. That’s God’s purposeful. The angel called us God’s hands. So we’re like superheroes.

That’s right. We’re a family of superheroes are going to help save the world. My dad, that doesn’t make any sense. I know it sounds that way, son, but it’s the truth. 

Todd: Nobody else can see them or identify them. And God is going to send them three weapons to help in the process. And they can’t tell anyone.

About their task and he is absolutely sincere. Uh, 

Craig: Calm like, this is just, this has happened. And, and this is what we have to do now. And, uh, initially this was shot where all three of them were sitting on the same bed, but they changed it so that Fenton and Adam were both in their own bed and they shot it from two different perspectives.

One pointing at Adam and dad. On the bed, by the way, dad’s never given a name. He’s just dad throughout on, on Adam’s bed. And then one pointing at Fenton on his bed. And as they’re talking, both the cameras pull out and, and they, I wouldn’t have noticed this, but once it was explained to me, I was like, wow, that is so clever because it, it immediately shows.

That they’re being pulled apart that they’re separating because Adam is very young. And that’s why I say the family dynamic is so interesting because being so young, Adam just is on board. He just believes it. You know, if dad says it, it must be true. Fenton’s a little older and more skeptical. And so from the very beginning that Fenton’s skepticism along with dad’s.

What seems like fanaticism. Starts to pull them apart. And there, there is a rift then that continues to widen. Um, you’re out the rest of the, I mean, 

Todd: Fenton is almost downright terrified, you know, at this prospect. I mean, can you imagine that, you know of, uh, I have, I have some crazy relatives, you know what I mean?

But if somebody came to me with. Then I would definitely be disturbed and he’s a kid. So he’s also in, not in a position of power. He’s not appear. They don’t, they don’t have a mom to go to. Like you said, it’s sort of going to be dad and Adam on one side and fentanyl. Oh, my God, dad is crazy and he’s putting forward this fantastic story and something bad is going to come of it.

And he just sees all this right away and that’s impressive, but you know, what can he really do? Right. 

Craig: I think that this was intentional. Yeah. I think that Paxton and the writers want us to sympathize with Fenton. I think they want us to be in Fenton shoes because you know, us, we being. My first thought if this happened, if my dad came to me, my first thought would be, he’s lost it.

My dad has lost it. And like you said, when he’s a kid, that’s an even scarier prospect because 

Todd: he’s your provider. 

Craig: He’s, he’s your dad, what are you going to do? And it’s, you know, and he’s got this inner conflict where he knows that he should tell somebody. But who is he going to tell? And regardless of who he tells, nobody’s going to believe him, that is always a conflict in a movie where you’ve got kids and adults, you know, adults, adults believe other adults, or they tend to over kids, especially if it’s something this big that’s 

Todd: true.

Well, and it’s a dat, you know, I mean also like dad is off his rocker, like he’s like, he’s thinking dad is mentally ill, right? You know, it’s not like he’s running out, going crazy and you know, he’s going to start causing havoc. I mean, that’s an easier thing to kind of like run around and, and convince people or to be like, so oppositional, like dad, like this is no, you know, but he just kind of knows that his dad.

So convinced in so deep that there’s even nothing he can say to him, that’s going to fix this. He’s an adult. He’s the father. And he’s absolutely sincere about this, which just leads him to believe. Maybe dad, maybe dad is wrong in the head, which is something he says to Adam A. Little bit later. And also something he says directly to dad at one.

Dad is driving down the way. And we get a little bit of voiceover here where he says, eventually dad found his three weapons and brought them home. Dad’s driving down the highway. Well, not the highway, the dirt country roads, the highways. And he looks, and he sees a barn out in the field. That has a sort of beam of light coming into it from the sky.

And so he’s intrigued and he pulls over and he comes in and walks into this kind of broken down barn. And they’re right directly under the beam of light is a post and an ax stuck in the post that has the word Otis written on it. And a pair of. I mean, it looks like heaven sent, right? Yeah. Oh, absolutely.

And so he picks those up and brings that home and explains that this is, these are the first weapons and he says that God gave him a vision, that he would be able to lay his hands. Oh on the people who are really demons to be able to expose their true form to him and, uh, speculates. That must be what the gloves are for.

Bring them back to the house with the gloves and then take the gloves off, lay hands on them and reveal their true reform. And then later he comes home with a little bundle and opens it up and it’s a lead. Which is so unceremonious, like I do still wonder, like where the hell did he, we don’t really learn.

Do we like where he got the lead pipe, how that was like, revealed to him. And then he said, God is going to send us a list of the first seven demons really soon. And that, of course, Fenton is sort of freaking out about this because he realizes his dad is going to kill people. And so he’s a little concerned.

I think he, he talks to dad, right? He’s got a moment where they’re sitting in the, in the kitchen and he’s talking to dad and I know 

Craig: you’ve had some trouble, Justin, everything has happened this week. I’m sorry, but God has willed this and we must obey God. Maybe just trained it. I didn’t dream it. I wouldn’t make up something like that sign.

Maybe, maybe, maybe you’re not right in the head.

You’ll see that 

Todd: he’s reaching out a little bit, trying to convince his brother. Maybe think this don’t be so be a little more skeptical towards that and trying to kind of poke it down a little bit to see if he can get through to that. But the thing that sells this movie, so. Is that bill Paxton is absolutely sincere through the whole thing.

You look into his eyes and there’s never a doubt in your mind that this calm, cool collected guy, 100%. Believes this and he’s patient about it. And he’s kind about it with his son. 

Craig: And he’s not erratic aside from the things that he’s saying sounding crazy. He’s not acting crazy. It would be very difficult.

I mean, I can’t imagine, I can’t imagine being in this kid’s, uh, position. It didn’t occur to me, but he says, God will be sending the list of the first seven demons soon. And I remember thinking, well that’s okay. So you’re going to be getting them seven at a time. Well, I guess ultimately that’s significant because in present day, the God’s hand killer has killed all these people.

They found remains of the first victim. With a note, but in that first note, it said you won’t be finding any more remains because I want to keep them. And they’ve since found five more notes. So there have been six victims thus far. At that point, which becomes significant later. 

Todd: Exactly. It’s so cool. Of course we don’t find out about this until later as well, but yeah, it’s so interesting.

Right. So then Vinton through the voiceover says eventually dad, you know, had his vision and here’s dad and his job as a mechanic underneath the car, looking up at the underside of the car and all the pipes and things. There’s sparks flying behind him and everything from his, his, a colleague who’s behind him working on something.

And then he just looks at the undercarriage of the car as he’s working on it and he just stops and we get this sort of, yeah, late nineties, early two thousands of morphing. Where all of those little tubes and bits and things under their morph into the top of a chapel and this angel rides down with a flaming sword towards him.

And he’s just staring at this angel who I guess was like the props guy or something actually. And, uh, and yeah, and then he gets his vision and now he’s got his list of, of seven. And at this point, fentanyl. Once he sees dad’s got a list. He’s like he needs to do something 

Craig: well. And he says, dad shows him the list.

And he says, These are the names of people. And his dad says, well, they’re going to look like people, but they’re not. And, and he’s insistent about that throughout. They are not killing people. They are not killing people. They are destroying 

Todd: demons. Right. And demons not killing anything. Yeah. Right. And were you thinking like I was, I was like, where did you get that list from where those people come from?

Right. Are they people, he knows that he has a vendetta against her. They’re going to be people in their circle. Like, what is it? Anyway, what’s kind of neat too, is that they’re sitting around the table at dinner time and Adam runs in and he says, dad, dad, God talked to me too. And he gave me a list and he hands his dad.

This. That he’s made on a piece of paper and he’s like this kid, isn’t he the one who messing with you at school, you know? And he’s like, yeah. He says son, and again, like super patient, like he’s just teaching your lesson, rational, everything like that. He’s like, you know, God, didn’t give you this list. This is just a list you made up, right.

This isn’t how this works. I have the real list. Surely, someday in the future, God is going to come down to you. But for now, you know, it’s not right. We’re destroying demons. These people aren’t demons on. No dad. You’re right. You’re right. You’re right. That’s fine. Son. Just teaching them a nice little lesson.

It’s a really good 

Craig: scene. Yeah. At this point, Fenton feels like he has to put, he has to put a stop to it somehow, but he doesn’t know how. And so he tells Adam that they may have to run away, but Adam doesn’t want to, he doesn’t want to leave his dad. Um, and, and that’s when dad brings home the first demon, uh, who is.

A nurse and she’s she’s bound. Uh, her arms and legs are, are bound and he carries her like, you know, wrapped in a tarp or a blanket or something, and any, he throws her down on the ground to go into the shed. And that’s when the boys come out and she, you know, it’s, it’s just a woman. Um, and, and her eye makeup is, is smeared from crying.

And, and we see briefly that he. I met her at her front door as she was coming out, uh, for work. And he asked her name w I mean, he said her name and she said, yeah. And he knocked her out and, uh, he’s brought her here and she’s terrified. The boys are scared too, obviously. But then once he takes her in the shed, gosh, I just thought this was so neat too.

And it just, I didn’t know what to make of it. Dad takes off his gloves and he touches her. And he has an immediate and severe reaction. I don’t know. I mean, it’s, it feels like a visceral thing. Like he’s, he’s kind of riving in agony a little bit, kind of a seizure 

Todd: type thing. Yeah. But 

Craig: it seems like the woman has a reaction to like, she reacts to his touch.

Now. It very easily. Could be explained that she’s just terrified. Um, and, and is, is recoiling at the touch of this man who has attacked her and who knows what he’s going to do to her, but then, and they also, you know, the, the, the camera shakes it it’s, it’s all. It’s all very unsettling and you just don’t know what to make of it because in my head, in my rational head, I’m thinking, it just doesn’t make sense.

You know, I guess this scene seeing this woman in distress was so upsetting to some members of the test audience that they got up and walked out. I get it like it is distressing to see this woman in. And I 

Todd: think also probably piled on top of that because we do see, you know, people bound and gagged and you know, that bad things are gonna happen to them in even, you know, a James Bond film or something.

But in this case, it’s right there in front of those. And, you know, what’s gonna happen and he’s involving his children in this. It’s pretty upsetting. And so, you know, after the boys watched this, they literally just standing there watching this. And what I like about this movie is it’s not gory at all.

All of the violence does happen off screen. There’s not even a splash of blood or anything like that. Kind of thank God really. It, I mean, it almost might’ve wandered into cheesy territory, you know, if it, uh, if it had, but yeah, he, he raises his ax and takes it down on her, right there in front of the. It’s like you boys need to see this.

Cause this is our duty. You know, this is what we’ve been tasked with doing. And then, you know, it flashes back to the present and the detective is like, is that really true? Your dad murdered this woman in front of you guys. And he’s like, yep. Uh, and then we buried her in the rose garden and there we are in the rose garden.

They’re digging, you know, he’s digging the pit. The boys are there and Fenton is entirely. Upset about it. And dad is trying to comfort him again, very patiently. Don’t cry for 

Craig: her when she wasn’t human. You see that? When I touched her dad

killed her. I didn’t kill her son. I destroyed her. She used to do.

No, I wasn’t so sure I can do it myself. I mean, she looked like a woman to me too, but after I touched her, all I could see was the evil and I had to do it. I’m sorry. You didn’t see to you will next time you to do it again. This is our job now. Got to accept that again. Like it’s just the writing of the story is just so brilliant because a little kid would say that.

Yeah, I saw it. I saw it, you know, like, and maybe even a little kid would want to see. Because they would want their dad’s actions to be justified. It’s just really 

Todd: clever. It’s super clever. And, and, and yet they don’t give you quite enough information yet. Some more information comes later, which is so cool.

How this has parceled out 

Craig: well and a little details. I mean, gee, it’s hard to hit everything that I think is significant because some things are just dropped or said so casually. Um, Fenton tells his dad, I, you, you can’t do this. I have to put a stop to it all. I’ll tell someone. And dad says, if you tell someone, someone will die.

That’s what God told me that comes into play later. Then back in modern day, um, Finland tells Wesley that he thinks that all of the bodies that they are currently looking for are buried in the rose garden. So, uh, Wesley. Throws him, a pair of handcuffs says, put these on yourself. You put some in the back of a police car and they start heading there.

And, and the rest of their conversation happens on this drive. 

Todd: And I love this conversation too. I mean, it’s, it’s so classic Hollywood. I mean, uh, you know, they’re driving in the dark and, you know, the agents like got the stone face on look and in the back as Wesley kind of staring out, I’m sorry, is, um, Fenton.

Staring out the window and talking, but the age of Wesley says, I think there’s something you’re not telling me. You are hiding something from me and a fence as well. What, what do you think that is? And he is like, I don’t know. You keep talking and I’ll probably figure it out. 

Craig: Yeah. Fintan also asked Wesley about his mother, which he had already brought up his mother previously.

And so at this point when he brought her up again, I’m like, what is going on? Yeah. Um, but Wesley says that his mother was murdered 

Todd: three days before this picture on his desk was taken. Yeah. And then, yeah, Fenton, speculates, maybe that’s why you’re so into, um, you know, this is why you’re a detective now is while you’re in the FBI.

Craig: Right. And why you’re so invested in this case because, uh, his mother’s murderer was never apprehended. So he speculates, maybe you’re so invested in finding this guy. Because they never found the guy that killed your mom. Um, and that’s it, then it drops and they don’t talk about it. 

Todd: And then we’re back in the, in the past.

And, uh, the kids, uh, come home from school and dad has a van all of a sudden, well, the Fenton does say, look, some time passed like a month or two passed. And I thought maybe that was going to be the end of it. 

Craig: Right. Maybe it was just a horrible nightmare 

Todd: and it’s over. Yeah. Which is also kind of a neat little motif, right?

Like there, there they’re these shots of him in the, in school kind of like falling asleep. It was like shades of nightmare on Elm street in a way. Yeah. Yeah. You know, he’s like falling asleep and it’s just so neat how the visual matches what he’s saying. Like this kid just hoped that this was a nightmare and it would be done.

He’s disappointed. And then nothing happens for a while after the woman’s married, murdered in the knee, she kind of thinks that might be the case again, but then he comes home and it’s just like, boom, Nope, dad’s got his list in front of him again. And, uh, one of the other kids at school had said, Hey, why don’t you come over to my house or sleep over?

Or. We’re going to wrap somebody’s house. I’m not sure. I TPA, I guess, is what he made. And he says, I’ll have to ask my dad. And he’s like, oh, I’ll have my mom call your dad. And he’s like, yeah, that’s cool. But, but they come home and sees dad with this van and he’s got this list in front of him again. And he says, oh, by the way, your friend’s mom called and said, uh, I told her no, because we’ve got some work to do in the.

And that’s like terrifying of course, for Fenton. Cause he knows what that means. And so they drive out to get to the next guy on the list, which is this sort of older balding, seemingly nice man who, uh, is going into the grocery store. And they pull out into the parking lot across there with their van 

Craig: and they wait well and it’s midday and Fenton’s like, dad, it’s the middle of the day.

Somebody’s going to see us. And he says, no, God told me that he would make us invisible. Nobody will. That while we’re doing our work, nobody will see us crazy. He forces Fenton to help him get this guy. You know, the Fenton pretends that his puppy is stuck under the guy’s car or something. And the guy bins down to help him and dad attacks him from the back.

And again, midday in a grocery store, parking lot. Apparently nobody does see them. And you know, again, dad kills the old guy in the ax or the shed after laying his hands on him and having the same reaction. And again, it looked to me like the old guy had a reaction to being touched as well. Yeah. 

Todd: And right after he gets, he pulls his hand off and he kind of says to him, he says, did you think that nobody would remember what you did?

Or did you think that nobody would know what. Uh, forgot about that, huh? Which is a line that comes up later in the movie. 

Craig: Yeah. And he says he’s upset because Adams again says that he saw, but Fenton’s still didn’t and his dad is upset. He doesn’t understand why Fenton doesn’t see. And the next scene we see is the morning dad comes into the boys’ bedroom and wakes up Fenton and says, don’t wake up, Adam.

I asked the angel to visit you, but instead he visited me. They told me something. I don’t want to believe what doesn’t matter because together you and I are going to prove him wrong. You just don’t have any faith. That’s why you can’t see the truth. We’re going to change. 

Todd: Oh, God, that is so ominous. Right?

Cause I mean, I totally predicted what he was talking about. Right. Like, I mean, it’s pretty 

Craig: obvious. Well, and, and how scare, you know, whether you believe that there’s something going on or not for the dad to say the angel told me something about you that I don’t want to believe well, whether he wants to believe it or not.

Now that idea is in his mind and. Whether he’s crazy or whether he’s not. He now has this idea about Fenton, which is scary, but he doesn’t want to believe it. He thinks that he can establish Fenton’s faith, I guess. And so he makes Fenton, he takes him out in the yard and handsome the shovel and says, I want you to dig a hole.

And it, and he says it has to be 10 feet deep and 15 feet 

Todd: square. It’s like a pool. It’s like a swimming pool sized hole. It’s like, holy crap. 

Craig: Yeah. And he’s like, I want to have done by the time I get home from work. And Fenton’s like, dad, I can’t do that. And he says, pray. That is, that is insane. But I also, I also love this part because Fintan.

In his narration says he could make me dig that hole, but he couldn’t make me pray. I would not pray. I hated God. Yes, it’s so relatable. You know, you would hate God or the idea of God that died. Is forcing on him. Oh God. 

Todd: Well, a couple of times in here, Fenton is talking to Adam, trying to convince him to leave, but he won’t and fenced in, in the narration saying that he himself considered leaving, but he just couldn’t leave his brother behind.

So he feels kind of stuck. And east got blisters on his fingers and dads as well. You can take a break, but you really got to wear those gloves, but he refuses to wear gloves. And then the line I absolutely love from this movie when he’s finished, he says a topi five day. Working, you know, day and night to finally dig this hole.

He was like, he’s determined to do it anyway. Right? Actually 

Craig: it was six days, which I thought was really clever because then on the seventh day he rested, 

Todd: well, he said after maybe it was six, including the first one. Cause he said it’s like after five or six days, that hole was as dark and as deep as my hatred for dad’s guy.

It was such a good line. I had to write it down. You usually write lines down and I don’t, but I had to write that and there are 

Craig: lots of good ones. And, uh, then, you know, they, they reinforce it a little bit. Dad tells them that God said that it will hold, uh, and it does. And, and they, they pull a shed over it.

So it’s basically a seller, but Fenton says, I knew that we were building. Uh, dungeon. Um, and that’s basically what it is. Uh, and so the very next night dad brings home like this teenage boy, um, and tries to make Fenton kill him, but Fenton runs and he runs to the police and, and exactly what he feared happens.

This sheriff doesn’t believe him. Um, and he just takes him back home. To dad and, you know, sits down and talks with dad. Oh, you know, they go through puberty and all of a sudden they hate us, but you know, my boy and I got through it, you’ll, you’ll get through it. And also 

Todd: didn’t you feel the way the scene played out?

I kind of want. After a little bit, the sheriff maybe was getting curious. And, and I did wonder if maybe this was a bit of a ruse to convince the father to sh to let him check things out. I don’t know. I, it might not have been the case, but I felt that the way this was acted and the way the scene was laid out, it was very intense.

I thought variant. 

Craig: I thought that dad was intentionally giving Fenton a choice because, because, uh, the sheriff says, well, maybe we should, maybe we should just check the seller just to appease him or whatever. And dad says, well, if it must be done, I guess it must be done. And then he looks at Fenton and says, Must it be done and Fenton takes him down there.

Todd: So ominous the way he says it. Right. What do you think kiddo does it have to be done? He’s not talking about checking out the seller. Right? 

Craig: Right. And so the kid, uh, takes the, uh, the cop down there, but the teenager isn’t down there anymore and Fenton says. Uh, I can show you where they’re buried and the cop looks a little bit skeptical, but maybe like he’s starting to think, uh, maybe he’s starting to believe and he’s the cop starts to walk up the steps then comes flying back down.

Um, because dad is, he asked him, right? Yeah. Like in the chest, killed him and. Dad had said earlier, if you tell someone will die and he’s upset because he says Fenton, I have never killed anything in my entire life. And you made me do this. 

Todd: This man is dead because of you. He’s, dad’s practically crying.

He’s that upset. And Fenton’s like, I’ve seen you kill many people. It’s like, no, those were demons that were destroyed. This is a man who was killed. And it’s because of you. I told you this would happen. And because of you, this man is dead. 

Craig: Yeah. And, and he says, the angel told me you were a demon. And so he locks him in the cellar.

And they, there are parts of this. You really have to suspend your disbelief because supposedly he’s down there for a week with no food. And just with Adam coming in once a day to pour some water through a hole in the floor for him to drink. And after a week, Finally one time, Adam goes to check on him and he’s unresponsive.

So dad opens the door, pulls him out, starts giving him some water, but 

Todd: Fenton tells, you know, Wesley agent Wesley. He says, eventually he, after going down there, I went, you know, you can go crazy. And eventually I did see God and I understood my destiny right at 

Craig: which I. It’s true. Um, I think that he did feel a sense of destiny at this point.

So they pull him out fit and tells dad. He saw God one week later. Dad takes Fenton to get a demon. This guy seems like a really bad guy. Seems I don’t know. He looks like a big, tough motorcycle type guy. He yells obscenity at his girlfriend through the door. He’s he seems like a bad guy. This guy fights back.

Um, but Fenton knocks him out. They go back to the shed and Fenton, uh, dad, hands, Fenton, the ax and Fenton says. I’m ready to fulfill my destiny and he raises the ax, but instead of bringing it down on the demon guy, he plants it right in his dad’s chest. And bill Paxton does a great job here too. You know, he loves.

Surprised and sad. And he falls down and Adam runs to him and right before dad dies, he whispers something in Adam’s ear. Adam looks at Fenton with kind of hatred, um, in his eyes. And then quite 

Todd: suddenly, which was like kind of a jump scare, like grabs the ax and takes out that. Uh, Adam himself can do what Fenton couldn’t, um, he’s motivated and, and you’re like, he’s totally under the spell as well.

Right. And the guy never got saved. Right. So you just never know where this movie was going to go, honestly. Yeah, that was a, 

Craig: that was shocking. I mean, it’s, it’s, it’s also just shocking to see it’s small child. In that, in that state of rage, you know, with a weapon like that, like, I mean, that’s just shocking to see period.

I mean, he’s, he’s screams as he races towards the guy, uh, very creepy. And then it cuts back to present day infant and says, so we waited a week and then we went and said, dad never came home from work. And they put out a missing person, you know, thing, but they never found him. So eventually. We were sent to separate orphanages, but before they were separated, you see a scene of the two boys together.

And Fenton says to Adam, if you ever destroy me, promise, you’ll bury me here. And Adam just looks at him and said, I promise to God I’ll bury you here.

Todd: It’s very creepy. And the detectives confused this this way. Well, wait a second. You told me that Adam said that to you. So what, that doesn’t make any sense, how would that make any sense? And he says, well, it would make sense if the man standing in front of you right now is. Yep. And that’s when he confesses that he is not Fenton.

He is actually Adam Matthew McConaughey. He’s been 

Craig: at them all along and he shows, uh, Wesley the graves and he explains, and this is a detail that I had forgotten. He explains that Fenton is the murderer that the guy is looking for. But in fact, uh, Fen. Is a demon and his dad told him that and he believed it, but he couldn’t kill it.

Fenton until God put him on his list. And he had now put him on the list and we see Adam kill Fenton. So apparently the story of quote unquote, Adam killing himself that we saw in the beginning was not true. We see the real Adam Matthew McConaughey walk up behind his brother and his brother is to seated at a desk and he just looks up and says, Adam, doesn’t turn around.

And we see Adam raise the, uh, ax and, and bring it down. And this is when the big reveal comes that we flashback again to all of the times that dad had brought home a demon and laid his hands on. And we see what dad and Adam saw, these people were, if nothing else. Terrible people, murderers and child molesters.

And, um, so I think that what we now are meant to believe is that dad was telling the truth the whole time. This was, this was a divinely inspired mission. Yeah. And 

Todd: yet, even at this moment, I still wondered. Yeah. But maybe this is what dad thought he. I still wasn’t entirely convinced at this point that this was that the movie wasn’t leading me down a wrong road, because it could be what dad thought he said, And not necessarily that these people actually had this in their past.

Yeah, 

Craig: I suppose. I mean, it was very specific, you know, you saw, you saw the nurse laying in bed next to a guy whose throat she had slit and you see the older ball, gentlemen luring a small girl to his car, and then you see him dragging her body out. I thought. And these were the things that originally Paxton was going to.

When they happened in the moment and James Cameron said, don’t show it, save it until the end, because you need people to be with Fenton. You need them to be as skeptical as Fenton is. And I think it was absolutely the right choice. And I really like the reveal here. This is when then Adam, I don’t remember if he brings up Wesley’s mother again, or if he just grabs a hold of Wesley and we get one of these flashbacks.

And we see that it was Wesley who murdered his mother. And we also see that Wesley, the police at some point go to Fenton’s house and we see that, uh, Wesley’s name was the last name on the list. He’s the. Of of these people, I guess. But, uh, he was a demon and Fenton kills him and buried him in the rose garden before Wesley dies.

He says, I’m an FBI agent. They’re going to be looking for me. He says, no, they’re not going to be looking for you. They’re going to be looking for Fenton. And because Fenton really was a murderer who kept his trophies in his basement when they find that they believe that Fenton was the murderer all along.

And then it’s as though they remember. That somebody had come to speak to Wesley the night before he had died or gone missing or whatever, but nobody can remember what he looked like, uh, 

Todd: agent who was in there, who was the only other one there who kind of popped in and said, Hey, you know, before Wesley and, and, um, and a Fenton got too deep in their conversation said, Hey, I’m going to be going home.

Are you sure you don’t need me to stick around? He’s like, no fine. He’s the one who comes back. And he says, honestly, I know it’s crazy, but his he’s just a blur to me. Yeah. He 

Craig: says, I looked right at him. I shook his hand, but I can’t remember what he looked like. And they say, oh, that’s that’s okay. Cause we’ve got surveillance tapes and they start playing M and S and Matthew McConaughey starts to walk into frame.

And then the tape fuzzes. Just over 

Todd: him. Hey, as he’s walking across, it’s like, you know, like VHS tapes would do they fuzz out in certain places, sometimes it’s right there. Kind of following him and I’m just watching this. I’m going, holy shit. This is where the movie is going right now. And they go to fence house.

They find the trophies, all of. And then, um, the agent calls the sheriff, uh, Sheriff’s office, again, talks to the woman again. She’s like, yeah, you can, you can talk to the sheriff he’s here. And he walks into the Sheriff’s office. And guess who the sheriff is? It’s Adam, Adam. Uh, he 

Craig: walks out towards him, the agent that the agent doesn’t recognize him at all.

You 

Todd: think for a second, he might cause there’s like this whole thing, but then he doesn’t and then they walk outside and Adam, and as they go part ways, Adam shakes his head. And he looks at him and he goes, you’re a good man.

Uh, you’re a good man agent hall. He says, and then, uh, agent hall gets in his car and drives off. And the chick from the inside kind of comes out 

Craig: and, and she’s pregnant. And I had also noticed that, uh, Adam was wearing a wedding band now. So I think that this is his wife, um, and. She says is everything okay?

And he says, yes, God’s will has been served. And she says, praise God, and kind of embrace the SIM. I think she’s in on it. Yeah, clearly, clearly. Yeah. That’s she was, you know, when, uh, she got the phone call in the beginning. It was, that was a cover story, you know, she’s totally in on this whole thing, which I thought was clever and creepy, but I don’t know.

I just thought it was a really clever story. And I thought that the reveal was so interesting and, and. It just completely subverted my expectations. It really never occurred to me that maybe God really was talking to dad. You know, maybe an angel really did appear to him that didn’t occur to me. It occurred to me that maybe he was crazy or maybe there was something strange and supernatural going on, but it never occurred to me that no.

Todd: It’s got again, beautifully shot, really interesting on the edge of my seat, the whole time drawn into it, the whole time kept me guessing up to the very end. And then the ending, like you said was not what I expected. I did not expect us to end up becoming a supernatural thing where dad was actually.

Probably actually receiving these visions and then his son is two and presumably he’s going to be, this is, you know, the family legacy, right. Passing it down to his soon to be born kid. And oh my God. So interesting. Right. Yeah. I liked this moment. 

Craig: Yeah. I didn’t notice, but apparently in the very last frame, as it dollies away from Matthew McConaughey and the woman who plays his wife, two young boys go across the screen, either on bicycles or scooters or something.

And they’re played by the actors who play. The brothers as children, Paxton said that he did that intentionally at, you know, almost like almost as though this is all happening in kind of a Twilight zone kind of universe. Um, I didn’t even notice, but clever. He 

Todd: even gave a reason for, you know, that’s kind of a mystery, right?

Why is the name Otis carved onto the ax? And I guess in the commentary he mentioned, well, he mentioned that he came up with the name modus. Apparently he was trying to give some money to a homeless man and the homeless man didn’t want it, his money. So he said, well, can I buy the rights to your name for my movie?

And so, you know, he put, ended up putting the guy’s name on the ax, but he also said he wanted to personalize the acts. Right. I don’t know. That was like also like, as an heirloom, right. That something specific and. Personalized that was passed 

Craig: on. Right. And he kind of wanted it to be a character in and of itself.

I mean, it’s kind of like leather faces, chainsaw, you know, it, it kind of is a character in and of itself and it’s good. You know, this, I, I’m glad that people suggested this. I feel like. Yeah, this has been brought up more than once over the years. Um, but, um, you know, right back to back, we got a couple of requests for it, uh, on our Patrion page.

And I’m glad that we finally got around to it. Heck I think this is one of the, I think we talked about doing this movie, like when we very first started, it was, it was up there. Um, and we just never got around to it. And so here we are. What, 6, 5, 6 years later. It’s about time. 

Todd: Well, thank you guys so much.

And you know, we do have a patron going on right now, and this is one of the benefits that we’ve decided to grant the, those folks who support us on our Patrion page, that we do put out a little poll to that group of the requests that we’ve received, and then they can kind of vote on the next one that comes up.

So we’re really happy to. And a very big shout out to our three newest patrons, Haley Tyler and Roy. Thank you so much for your support. And if you’re willing to support and happy to support this podcast, go out to a patrion.com/chainsaw podcast. Or you can go to our website to guys.red, 40 net.com. And there’s a link there as well.

You get access to an exclusive 90 minute interview as well as many sodas that we’re putting out about random topics and as well. Full on edited version of our phone calls. Um, please share this podcast with a friend that some of the best supports that we can get to help grow our listenership through Facebook and Twitter and, uh, our webpage, they just searched two guys in a chainsaw, hot tasks, and let us know what you thought of this episode and anything else that you would like us to review in the future until next time I’m Tom and I’m Craig with Two Guys and a Chainsaw.


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