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Frontier(s) is slickly shot, quite gory, and has some bits that should be scary, but it has this horribly immature atmosphere to it, like it was made by a bunch of 15 year old kids let loose with a decent budget and short term memory loss. The editing is ridiculous, rendering the film unwatchable and incoherent in the action scenes, Frontier(s) makes 'Van Helsing' look like a Bela Tarr movie. The acting is really bad too, with the main characters performances reminding me of some kind of inner London 'Yoof' centre Am-Dram play. The director has obviously watched 'The Texas Chainsaw Massacre' and realised that if everyone screams their head off and goes into (unconvincing) spasms, then they will create a scary atmosphere. All it does is pull you out of the film.
Finally, the plot is completely stupid (even by horror standards), introducing a Nazi sub- plot (There is definitely a 'La Haine' type plot element, with Paris rioters coming into contact with neo-Nazis, hmm), and making no attempt at all to explain anything.
If you want to watch a film where by the end you feel like you have been shouted at and smacked around the face with a packet of Bernard Mathews gammon for 10 hours, then watch this film. Otherwise avoid like the bubonic plague.
Things you need to know about this film that no one is mentioning:
- It takes a lot of time to start up. There is a lot of action in this boring time, but none of it is extremely well done, so you'll most likely be bored in the first hour.
- The plot itself is nothing special. It IS, not arguably, The Texas Chainsaw Massacre with a Nazi instead of a wannabe cop gone over the edge. Leatherface is replaced by a guy with his exact same build, but no chainsaw or skin disease. The family table scenes are copy/pasted into this movie in nearly the same exact form. Rip off or inspiration? You decide, but you can't deny the liberties the director took to use the same exact story as The Texas Chainsaw Massacre.
- The way it's shot is a copy/paste of the Saw franchise, minus the clock-tick camera scenes. The way it's cut, combined, edited, and shot originally are all heavily influenced if not directly ripped-off of Saw. Once again, decide for yourself which it is.
- Unlike the poster tries to suggest, this is no epic. It's more or less a "went to a hotel with the family from The Texas Chainsaw Massacre, they put me in a Saw II-like maze, and I got out like every typical horror movie ever". Nothing more, nothing less.
- It is NOT insanely violent. If you've seen Saw III, this is tame. Nor does it have the brutality of Saw II. The gore is very generic, almost boring, and certainly predicable in every way. It remained me of an edited cut of The Hills Have Eyes minus the mutants and minus the more extreme moments. Do not expect a gore-fest. If you do, you'll be disappointed. Some gore scenes are even cut-off scenes.
My opinion: This film was way too typical. You've seen the formula done a hundred times. The reason I enjoyed it was because it was very well done, and it was pretty intelligent. I was disappointed with the lack of gore, but it wasn't too bad. If I hadn't seen the movies it took everything from, I would have really loved it. But I have, and it was just too typical. The action scenes with the guns were very cool and probably the most memorable parts of the movie. Some of the acting was dead-on-amazing, while othersthe little girl, the fat guywere just lame. The only thing that sold me was the twisted moral about wishing your child was dead before it was born into a world like this.
Worth a buy? Not really. Worth a rental? Hardcore, yes! Just don't go into it with the expectations that a perfect review suggests you have. Maybe it does earn a perfect review for the moral, or maybe it deserves a low one for the clichés. I don't know. Decide for yourself. Do not skip a viewing of this movie in some way.
I found it to be considerably bloodier than Texas Chainsaw Massacre, with about the same amount of suspense. There are a couple of moments when you're hoping the characters aren't really going to do what you just know they are going to do: those "ouch!" moments right before the bloodshed.
If you're tired of the slasher satire films and ready to get back to some old fashioned blood and gore, this one is for you.
"Frontière(s)" is another brutal French horror movie and a good variation of "The Texas Chainsaw Massacre" and "The Hill Have Eyes". As a fan of horror movies, I note that French directors are making extremely violent and gore movies, like "Haute Tension" and "À l'Intérieur" that I have recently seen. "Frontière(s)" presents the storyline that everybody knows, but associated to a good screenplay with many cruelties and tortures, great acting and realistic special effects and make-up. I believe that fans of the genre will not be disappointed with this film. My vote is seven.
Title (Brazil): "A Fronteira" ("The Border")
Admittedly "Frontière(s)" sounds like a compilation of gratuitous gore and perverted characters, but writer/director Xavier Gens definitely had some more admirable ambitions. Extreme right-wing political parties unstoppably march forward in pretty much each European country (in fact, their victory triggered the whole chain of events here), and Gens actually attempts to illustrate albeit quite vigorously what the consequences would be if they regain power one day. Anyway, you obviously shouldn't watch this movie for its valuable morality lesson, but rather because it vividly depicts hardcore violence and uncompromising cruelty. Unless you have nerves of steel and a properly insulated stomach, you might want to consider turning your head away from the screen most of the time. There's a truly nauseating massacre involving a mechanical band saw, various close range shotgun killings, slit throats, stabbed chest and one excruciatingly uncomfortable moment featuring pliers and someone's Achilles tendon. Yikes! Vile, revolting and totally unnecessary? Perhaps but definitely fascinating to behold. "Frontière(s)" suffers a bit from messy cinematography and limited imagery, but at the same time you could claim this also increases the primitive and savage atmosphere Gens intended to reflect. The film is definitely a bit too long for its own good (110 minutes of running time for a sickie film?) and some of the redundant sub plots and character drawings during the first half hour could easily have been cut. The make-up effects are simply great and Xavier Gens' surefooted directing skills already bought him a one-way ticket to a promising career in Hollywood.
The movie is not even that gruesome... because the bodies don't look real. I don't get this... watch some real dead b o d i e s before making movies like this.
This movie is just a copy of a copy of a copy. The beginning was like from 28 days later, or zombie movie.
I would skip this one! The ending was worst crap I've seen in a while! I hope the makers quit making movies thank you.
Oh boy now to fill the lines... PLEASE Don't GIVE THESE PEOPLE MONEY TO MAKE MORE CRAP
First of all, the director, Xavier Gens, better known for directing Hit-man, which, although a painful movie to watch, was at least well directed, disappoints like whole grain bread. Don't get me wrong, the directing bit is somewhat flawless, but, in lack of a better word, shallow. As shallow as French actors actually trying to perform in front of a camera. It's the same with Mountain Dew, the drink tastes good, but after a while you start thinking what's point is? The issue here is not so much the directing, but the writing, which Mr. Gens is also credit for. The movie is so mind numbingly stupid, it makes fatal head injuries seem like playing World of Warcraft. Some young, passionate, probably mentally incompetent thieves from Paris flee and end up in a hostel, where, get this, the movie shifts to a slaughterhouse, condo, trailer park or whatever, literally littered with Nazis, that, besides killing innocent people and cooking them into delicious, mouth-watering treats, try to find a bride for the man of the family, as no sane chick with hook up with a French neo Nazi that just happens to trick teenagers out of their vital organs. Now that's a perfectly ordinary English statement.
The gore is not visual, nor feels gore by the end of the movie. It's more of a feeling the movie projects, anguish and such, but there are no more than three, maybe four violent scenes, the rest being endless reels of garbage with bad French, which reminds me, not only is French bad in general, but here its spoken with such a rebellious, ignorant and utterly dumb accent that you pretty much have to drink toilet scrub to get it out of your system.
Then it's the retarded and clichéd bit where the heroine kills everybody, and it's done in such a bad taste, it makes you shiver with contempt when the movie comes to a halt. And the even more idiotic, and this time just annoying scene where the girl happens to have a very steady aim when killing her brother, or whatever he was, but will not budge for the wood of the true cross to help the main protagonist in defeating the final villain. This, along with the melee weapons that just happen to be left ALL throughout the building and the unrealistic fighting, all of this of course being painful to watch, leave the competitors sighing with relief. I'm sure a lot of people liked the movie, but then again, a lot of people think Chronicles of Narnia was good, and you don't see them being put to sleep now do you? There was a great scene however, the one where the blonde, obnoxious kid gets stuck in the tunnel, that was really well done, but, of course, they screwed that up in the end, as the kid was just lazy and self conscious, not stuck. A more vivid experience of horror would be looking at my thumb for one hour, or possibly eating cereal with a fork while I try to pick spilled human entrails from the floor.
Watch this only if you find trees interesting.
Throw in a Nazi war criminal as a patriarch, some terrifically hot girls, and a few thuggish brutes and you've got all the makings of the next Rob Zombie film. I was casting the American remake in my head as the events of FRONTIERES predictably unfolded. The joke, of course, is that the film is named FRONTIERES but it doesn't boldly go into any territory that horror fans (especially those enthralled with torture porn horror) haven't been to before.
Even a fan of extremely violent horror flicks cannot find an appreciation for this trash. Every scene is full of clichés that are executed poorly, the acting is unbearable, and the actual "horror" element of the film is not even entertaining to say the least. All the movie has to show is blood; a lot of it. Yet there is no depth past that point, and after about thirty minutes into the movie you can already tell exactly where it is going. (At least most of the audience did as they began to leave the theatre).
You almost wish that the movie picks up at one point and gets better but it only goes downhill until the very end. The last 30 or so minutes were some of the stupidest scenes I've watched in any movie, you can tell it just had absolutely no direction and almost felt like the director thought of an ending on the spot while they were filming this garbage. I can go on forever about what is wrong with this movie but I'll spare you the details and just strongly recommend you do not watch Frontière(s).
Meh....it's not a horrible film, and if you liked Hostel, you should give it a shot. But I definitely won't be watching it again anytime soon.
Also, the opening of this movie is one of the best openings I've ever seen in any movie. It has an energy that's astonishing and it actually got applause from the audience. Objectively, it may even be the best part of the movie.
This movie is just amazing gross-out fun. The proverbial roller-coaster ride.
This is a French movie that I saw with sub-titles. I hope it gets North American distribution and it should. It would work well either sub-titled or dubbed.
To wrap up, I have a feeling this film could've been the 'Texas Chain Saw Massacre' of the new generation, because it took the 'torture' trend and added a more interesting plot behind it other than 'hot teens on vacation run into trouble.' However, due to some poor execution, it will probably only be remembered by those who are big into the genre. Although, I say again, the 'tunnel scene' does have a strong chance of making it into the next edition of 'Bravo's 100 Scariest Movie Moments.'
Overall, a 7/10.
Accordingly, I've generated a checklist to evaluate whether and how well modern horror films rip off the TCM. (I'm kidding, BTW. I'm making this "checklist" up on the spot.)
--Crazy family of murderers? (Check.)
--Butchery of the dead? (Check.)
--Emphasis on realism and brutality? (Check.)
--A scene where someone thinks they've escaped the family and gotten help, only to discover that the person they're getting help from is also part of the family? (Check.)
So, yes. Frontier(s) definitely qualifies as a TCM rip off. But how good is it? Pretty darn good. Good enough to offend you. Good enough to keep you on the edge of your seat, even though you've seen it a million times before. Good enough, perhaps, to make you cringe. Highly recommended, if that's your sort of thing. Not really as gory as some films, but it certainly has enough brutality to stand among the best of them.
Of course, it takes a lot more to shock us today than it did in the 70s. Accordingly, my quality evaluation checklist bears little resemblance to the shocks from the original TCM.
--Pregnant women gets punched in the face? (Check.)
--Severed tendons? (Check.)
--Someone gets ruined with a buzzsaw? (Check.)
--Exploding head? (Check.)
--Boobs? (Sort of. I recall seeing a boob for about half a second in the latter half of the film, and earlier in the movie there's a nonsensical, fast-paced sex scene with music video style editing. I can't remember if any breasts are bared in this early scene.)
So, all in all, it's pretty good.
On a parting note. Others have compared it to Hostel and to High Tension; I think these are inappropriate comparisons. The film's structure is much more similar to TCM. Hostel is divided distinctly into two sections, with the first half being a fantasy wonderland and the second half being its seedy underside. High Tension is pretty much one situation happening for an hour and half. Frontier(s), like TCM, is a downward spiral for the first 45 minutes or so, and then an extended climax that maintains its intensity right up until perhaps 30 seconds before the credits roll.
Ultimately I did not warm to this film as I found it to have too many problems. Coincidently the first of which occurs in the very first few scenes of the film. These opening shots utilize frantic camera-work interlaced with rapid editing that both confuses and disorientates the viewer. On a personal note I find this method of film-making to be unnecessary especially when executed so poorly. This technique is superfluous, MTV-inspired and amateurish and does nothing but cheapen the film. The over arching feeling of the opening few scenes is that of the director trying his best to hurry the viewer or rather speed up the narrative in order to get us the "meaty" part of the film. In general the direction of the film was mediocre with dingy and overly stylized scenes, the final reels being a fine example of this.
Once the "meaty" part of the film arrives we are treated to some gruesome acts of violence and horrific forms of mutilation, which to give it its due are a lot more impressive than the film Hostel. When viewing Frontiers horror fans will notice the vast array of influences/rip-offs from the previously mentioned Hostel to The Hills Have Eyes, The Descent, Wrong Turn, The Texas Chainsaw Massacre, House of a 1000 Corpses, Blair Witch etc etc! In fact it draws so heavily from other films a case for plagiarism could probably be made, some critics citing it as the 'French Chainsaw Massacre'. Although it seems obvious to draw comparisons with Texas Chainsaw Massacre, Frontiers lacks the suspense of that film and the ingenuity of direction that was so wonderfully conveyed by Tobe Hooper. On the surface Frontiers appears to have been made by people that have seen a lot of horror films but have failed to grasp the concept of what makes them successful, something a lot of horror aficionados can do and probably would do if they were given the same resources. Frontiers fails to further the genre or create anything new, instead it offers the same old "been here, seen it".
Essentially the film lacks identity and this is due to it feeling too much like a Hollywood film. Often fans of the genre turn to other countries for something new or fresh or for something that isn't available in their own culture, but with Frontiers this isn't offered. Being so Hollywood in its construction with its stylized death scenes and MTV School of directing it alludes to the possibility of a director that is using this film as a cleverly engineered stepping stone in his career, and given his next feature it seems to have paid off. Basically Frontiers is a film that shouldn't have left the drawing board The redeeming features for Frontiers are its violence and gore content as it does contain some memorable death scenes - but even here I still feel it's trying too hard to compete with the Saw franchise. There has been a market for this kind of violence with some referring to it as "Torture Porn" but perhaps mediocre films like Frontiers indicate that it's nearing an end. This notion is further supported by the fact the film lacks any originality or intellect the fact it tenuously draws on recent French history and has a Sarkozy lookalike on TV doesn't qualify as intellect.
Finally, the manner in which the film has been made hints at a director that is clearly full of his own ego and if this were the case it would help to explain the shaky camera-work in the opening scenes as maybe whilst filming he's masturbating furiously at his deluded talent. I would recommend avoiding Frontiers if you like your horrors to be engaging but that maybe you'd enjoy it if you're only after high levels of violence and gore - just fast forward the first few scenes.
Okay, so it appears to be the french version of "Hills Have Eyes" and "Texas Chainsaw Massacre". But this is not just another clone. "Frontiére(s)" delivers in a big way: a great cast, an entertaining story with surprising and shocking moments and the violence is hard- hitting and extreme. Loaded with awesome special effects and brutal killings. This is precisely what it's supposed to be: a highlight in the horror genre. Don't let the french language turn you off from seeing this picture. Great horror-movies can certainly come from France, remember "High Tension" (a.k.a. Switchblade Romance)??? Enough said...
Featuring a collage of ideas ranging from Nazi nymphos, retarded mutant offspring, mindless cannibalistic butchers and some of the dumbest victims in movie history, "Frontier(s)" attempts to ditch story for a plethora or gore, guts and other such ravings. Despite an initially promising suggestion of social commentary with racism set to be the carrying motif, Gens bottles the opportunity to randomly introduce gruesome deaths and reckless behaviour by dimwitted Arabs.
Truly appalling script stitched together for its basic premise, while all other focus was diverted to churning out a Carrie inspired blood-soaked wedding finale. Situational examples? Two brothers crash in their car (lets avoid the touchy subject of actually being able to survive such a fall) - after miraculously surviving and being left for dead by the Nazis they decide on checking out a defunct mine shaft. Plot logic zero, but it did follow towards a tension-filled scene. Another? Farid, hunted by two Nazis, dispatches one aggressor, then decides to drop his weapon and scream at the toppled body (guess who comes up behind him?). As the plot thickens idiocy scatters around the movie with as much frequency as human entrails, leaving little to nothing to the imagination, probably because the scriptwriter lacked any to deliver a semblance of a logical story.