Meiks is not portrayed as a demented madman, but as aloving father and committed Christian doing what he believes is the right thing - even if (with echoes of The Rapture) that means locking Fenton in a makeshift prison until he shares the visions or dies.
Years ago, Meiks says, he lived with his loving father (Paxton) and younger brother, Adam (Jeremy Sumpter).
Frailty'' seamlessly goes back and forth in time, as McConaughey's older Meiks tantalizes Agent Doyle with new bits of information.
Calling himself Fenton Meiks (McConaughey), the man tells Doyle his brother, Adam, was behind the killings, and that he committed suicide the previous night.
Meiks tells his ghoulish family story, which pic divides into two large flashback sections of 26 and 41 minutes each, gracefully overlaid with Meiks' v.
Meiks calmly explains the murderer is - or rather was - his younger brother, Adam.
Back in 1979, Dad Meiks (Paxton) was a gentle and loving mechanic, struggling to raise two sons on his own.
They were the chosen ones, the Meiks who would inherit the Earth.