Frontier(s) (2007) Poster


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Slick Mayhem
seany_c3 January 2011
Frontier(s) is a fast-paced, very violent thrill-ride from Xavier Gens. While it won't be everyone's taste, for fans of full-on gruesome action it's a must. It's basically a very decent version of 'Hostel' with a couple of thugs on the run from riot-torn Paris who seek refuge at a seedy hotel, unbeknownst what lies ahead. It's not a great film by any means but it is a thrilling one. The lead actress did a great job, but there's also good stuff the actor who played Farid and the actor who played the meathead lunatic. Its style is slick, just what I enjoy watching. Fans of the genre will know what to expect, others may not. But I recommend 'Frontier(s) for a mind-f*ck of a night. ***/*****
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Lives not closely up to the hype
dschmeding31 March 2008
Warning: Spoilers
Damn, after really good french movies like A L'interieur and High Tension I was really eager to see Frontieres from reading all the positive reviews. The movie starts out kind of different with political riots and some kids who seem to have stolen money in the hassle. After some dramatic departure of one gang member they flee and split up to meet at the border to go to the Netherlands. The first two take a break in a hostel (Yeah, Hostel everyone!) where they soon meet some strange backwoods girls and a butcher guy... after some uninspired sex with the girls the action breaks loose just waiting for the other 2 to arrive You can pretty much guess what happens... like in a million other movies they were killing tourists for years (clicheed pictures of boxes full of cellphones and passports and abandoned cards hint to that like in Wrong Turn etc.). Its exactly the old TCM Theme with a real messed up family which in this case happen to be the followers of some cliché Neonazi who talks a real fake mix of french and German. You get some violence and torture and like the french love it the only girl turns out to be the toughest of the gang. The cinematography is nice, the acting is OK, the gore is kind of average considering that we live in the age of torture-porn Saw/Hostel movies and the violence is not as over the top as I expected. What bothered me about Frontieres is the strange pacing... the movie is way to long and beginning and end are strangely torn by some cheesy dramatic elements (the female main actor real overacts the last sequences... it seemed way off to me how they were all permanently crying in this movie or telling each other how the love them). The main part of the movie is stretched and seems kind of random in how the family story is implemented. Its just puzzled together with a decrepit slobbering grandma, then some deformed children in the basement, Nazi Daddy and the obligatory good character in form of a seemingly sick girl who lends a helping hand in the backwoods mess. Most of this stuff is just thrown in, dropped off and doesn't work as creepy as e.g. the family story in TCM2 but rather seems like a patchwork of loose ideas. Frontieres is not a bad movie but it suffers from a kind of stylistic inconsistency that throws it from drama to hostel-horror to weird action-style shootouts and back to drama. I am a friend of movies that try to break the genre boundaries but this one didn't quite work. I think A L'interieur did that way better. If you just rent this for he violence you can fast-forward this but you won't see anything you haven't seen in other movies before... OK, maybe I never saw a messed up girl in such a bloody bloody white dress but the whole idea was there ... in other french movies of the recent past. Overall a rather average movie that obviously stole too many ideas from here and there.
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Boring Mess.
louis-price25 June 2008
Warning: Spoilers
I just thought I had to throw in my penny's worth here and express my surprise at the glowing reviews for this film. Normally I tend to agree with the majority of reviews in the IMDb comments bit, but I feel like I live on a different planet to most of my fellow reviewers here. I had really high expectations for this movie, I loved Haute Tension, Calvaire, Sheitan, Inside, Trouble Every Day, Irreversible, Dobermann, etc etc; These new french horror flicks are really exciting, they follow the lead from the 80s french horror 'Baby Blood', in that they are uncompromising, gory, unpredictable, and even sexy. Frontier(s), sounded like it could easily fit in with this ethos, but it was a total blow out.

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.
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Sadly typical.
Jacques982 September 2008
Warning: Spoilers
Maybe I need to watch it a second time. Just being honest, the first time I saw it I actually fell asleep because it was so typical. I watched the last hour I had left this morning, and I still wasn't impressed. I think reading the review on helped me enjoy it a bit more, but . . .

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 others—the little girl, the fat guy—were 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.

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A shocking experience
javicozar7 November 2007
I saw this movie at Sitges International Film Festival on October, 2007, and I am still trying to survive to the shock. I've seen lots of gore movies as I am a big fan of these kind of genre in cinemas, but I hardly remember something so cruel, so brutal, so anti-human, so dirty and so extreme. It's one of those movies that you must not see with your girlfriend, otherwise you're exposed to have a deep argument about your film tastes. So you are on your own, if you have the chance to take a glimpse to this movie, don't hesitate. It's, by far, one of the most thrilling experiences in the land of gore movies for about the last 10 years.
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Above average horror/slasher antics
slake093 May 2008
If you like the slasher genre, specifically the Texas Chainsaw Massacre, you'll like this. This film has the same atmosphere of dread, of bad things about to happen, of bad people on the way to do bad stuff. It takes a lot longer to get to the gory part, so don't be discouraged by the first 45 minutes or so of drama. Once the killing, maiming and screaming start they don't let up.

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.
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A Good Variation of "The Texas Chainsaw Massacre" and "The Hill Have Eyes"
Claudio Carvalho30 August 2008
Warning: Spoilers
In Paris, during the riots due to the election of a conservative candidate to the presidency of France, the Muslin small thieves teenagers from the periphery Alex (Aurélien Wiik), Tom (David Saracino), Farid (Chems Dahmani), the pregnant Yasmine (Karina Testa) and her brother Sami (Adel Bencherif) plan to run away from Paris to Amsterdam with a bag full of robbed money. However, Sami is shot and the group split, with Alex and Yasmine going to the emergency of a hospital with Sami while Tom and Farid heads to the border with the money. Tom and Farid decide to stop in a bed and breakfast nearby the frontier, and are hosted by Gilberte (Estelle Lefébure) and Klaudia (Amélie Daure) that offer free room and sex to the newcomers. They call Alex and Yasmine that are fleeing from Paris to join them in the inn, but sooner they discover that their hosts are sadistic cannibals of a Nazi family leaded by the deranged patriarch and former SS officer Le Von Geisler (Jean-Pierre Jorris).

"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")
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Effective flick especially if you know about recent riots in France
cinaphile23 April 2008
It's not often you need an overview of recent European history to fully enjoy a horror movie. But Frontier(s) is a special case. All the negative commentary I've read seems to come from the hype surrounding this film. Is Frontier(s) blood-soaked and violent? Sure is! Is it the bloodiest, most repulsively gory film ever? No. I also agree that the basic plot doesn't really venture too far off the path of Hostel, The Texas Chainsaw Massacre or Motel Hell for that matter. But what some people seem to be missing is socio-political climate of France in the last few years. Well, here's where a short French history lesson may come in handy. In October and November of 2005 there were a series of large-scale riots in France that stemmed from the death of two teenagers who lived in a low-income suburb of Paris. They were suspected of a break-in at a construction site and being chased by police. When they tried to hide in a power substation they were electrocuted. The civil unrest that broke out was fueled by unemployment, religious tensions, racial inequality and a growing fear of police harassment. A little over two years later more riots broke out when two more teenagers died after a police car collided with their stolen motorbike. These recent events give Frontier(s) a healthy dose of sub-text as well as a realistic backdrop for its extreme violence. Fear and intolerance are now right beside baguettes and berets as France's main cultural identity. The France seen in Frontier(s) isn't the glossed up version most of us have dreamily romanticized. There are no midnight walks on the Seine. No sipping of espresso at a sidewalk café with the Eiffel Tower in the distance. No scenic tours of the Louvre or the Arch de Triomphe. Writer/director Xavier Gens shows a modern day France that's dark, violent and in anarchy. This is the France that in 2004 banned the wearing of khimars (headscarves) by Muslim girls at school and in 2007 elected Nicolas Sarkozy — a right-wing conservative — as president. So it should be no surprise that Gens' choice of a Nazi family as the bad guys works as a not so subtle metaphor for the French Government. So, for what it's worth, anyone too myopic to know something about France's current environment probably just won't get what Gens is saying in this film.
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Brutal and savage French horror.
HumanoidOfFlesh21 March 2008
"Frontieres" by Xavier Gens plays like the berserk and utterly deranged French version of "The Texas Chainsaw Massacre" and "Hostel" with the family of bloodthirsty Neo-Nazis instead of stereotypical redneck crazies.The violence with the exception of the great and gory band saw scene is rather suggestive and wasn't explicit with the camera panning away or jump cutting almost all the gory bits.Still "Frontieres" is a very intense and visceral experience that will surely please the most hardcore horror fans.The killings are pretty brutal in their extremity,the acting is fine and some scenes are incredibly intense.I enjoyed the music in this flick,which was excellently blended into the action.The plot goes like that:running from Paris the group of youths end up taking refuge at a run-down motel on the Luxembourg border presided over by the Von Geisler family and is thrown into bloody nightmare.The two older "sisters" entice the guys with a vigorous foursome while the marginally less depraved youngest girl-plucked from her real family years earlier to be a breeding vessel for this one-assists our heroine when she is eyed up as representing new blood to continue the family line.9 out of 10.
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French Kiss .... The Extreme Kind!
Coventry8 April 2008
Warning: Spoilers
The French seemingly can't be beat when it comes to visceral, savage and in-your-face sadistic survival/torture porn flicks lately. Since "High Tension" skyrocketed the popularity of the horror genre in 2003, this nation already delivered a couple of ultimately brutal movies that – without the slightest form of exaggeration – make U.S. films "Saw" and "Hostel" look like soft and sentimental Disney cartoons. The more or less simultaneously released "à l'intérieur" (a.k.a. Inside) thus far remains the absolute highlight of shocking controversy, but this "Frontière(s) surely ain't no Saturday afternoon picnic, neither. The rudimentary concept is a variation on the infamous mid-70's sub genre of 'Rednecksploitation'. These films revolved on maniacal hillbillies terrorizing and butchering big city folks in rural areas far away from the civilized world and usually strictly for their own sheer entertainment. Considering the high population density all across the European continent, it would be pretty ridiculous to introduce unworldly rednecks and so Xavier Gens' script cleverly replaces them with extremist cartels. There are several of those around here, including fanatic minions of Hitler's Nazi principles. The city of Paris is in complete chaos following the announcement of the election results, and a bunch of young thugs grabs this opportunity to commit a bank robbery and flee towards the French-Luxembourgian border. They arrive in a place far worse than the Parisian suburbs when checking into a hotel run by a deeply deranged family of Nazis. The family, led by an elderly patriarch who easily could have been one of Hitler's closest drinking buddies, need the girl for breeding reasons and subject the men to various games of sickening torture.

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.
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avoid it like the pest
water_method_man16 August 2008
Warning: Spoilers
Nazi Cannibals, do I need to say more? Yeah, I guess *g*. You maybe heard by now that Frontiers "borrows" a "little" bit from Texas Chainsaw Massacre, The Hills Have Eyes and Hostel. And if you like the above mentioned you maybe think this is a movie I like to see. Well, THINK AGAIN!! First let me tell you I hated Hostle. Torturing people to death? I don't get it. But I'm not squeamish when it comes to ridiculous violence or gore (go watch Braindead). But Frontiers won't show you anything you haven't seen already, let alone original. Like the recently released Inside, it tries to push the boundaries, but my only reaction is a mild shrug. I won't go into the details of the stupid plot. Just that it seems like when they tried to come up with a original story, they decided the best result could be achieved if you put a stoned monkey and a typewriter in a room and lock the door. So to conclude my little rant. I like to point out that there is hope. Every once in a while you still can stumble upon a Horror flick that actually deserves that name. Rec, The Descent, Tale Of Two Sisters, House of 1000 Corpses, Kairo, The Rise of Leslie Vernon, Haute Tension, Severance...just to name a few from recent years. So look out, but please avoid such movies like this.
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It's about recipe ... not ingredients
Poe-1715 May 2008
Warning: Spoilers
Reviewers of this French offering frequently comment about how there's nothing new here. If you've seen this or that then you won't be treated to the "never seen before". Okay, I agree. We're approaching a century of cinema, folks. Like Chefs with the same cupboards with the same spices and cooking methods turning out very different dishes ... it's about the recipe. Everything's been done before. The "never seen before" is a tall task. Think about it. Take a few minutes and come up with something "never seen before". Yeah, they're out there but very, very rare. More likely, to post with a "different" film, you're going to have to use ingredients common to movie goers and genre aficionados and deliver them in a different recipe. All film makers are in the same boat here and with the welcome explosion of independent film makers, similar movies are bound to be made. Some will be better than others regarding similar subjects. Anyone believing films like SAW or Hostel were breaking ground simply aren't familiar with cinema history. FX doesn't count here because technology advances and can make the "had to be implied" of yesteryear an "in your face" today. Not always a good thing. But it can be. The "skin peeling" scenes in the early 30s "The Black Cat" are going to be hard to beat, FX or not. Torture is old in cinema. Seems we've all been warped for a long time. All of cinema, except for the very cutting edge, is repeating and revisiting earlier themes. "Frontier(s)" revisits in a peculiar and interesting way ... if you're bent in this direction. It's a period piece, it has the TCM butcher, the family patriarch (played so well that I wanted to kill him - he had the look and nailed the heinous arrogance of a human monster), all kinds of uncomfortable sub tones, drippy bloody stuff, realistic butchery, cult-ish sickness, really weird ladies, gratuitous pigs, dead nipples ... the list goes on and on. Fess up, you wouldn't be here if you weren't warped a little. Relax, you're among friends. Scores high on the "icky" meter. But that's why we watch these things, right? This one has some intelligence behind it. And some real "whoa..." moments. Watch.
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Boring copy of a copy
kakoilija13 August 2008
Warning: Spoilers
Did I see this film already? Texas Chainsaw Massacre, House of 1000 Corpses,... all bad hillbilly movies and messed up families.

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
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Painful to watch
ra-zu10 May 2008
Warning: Spoilers
I sat down to watch this movie only half an hour after I finished FF through The Bucket List, so, along with being pleasantly surprised by the sheer agility cascading from every pore of the producers, or whoever made the trailer, I was expecting what IT(yes, the trailer) had promised me - that is, gore competing with the likes of Saw and Hostel, those being the benchmarks, I presume, and a compelling storyline with a twist, since, after all, it's made by Europeans. Now, after watching the flick, when trying to compare this grotesque piece of film making, that, without the shadow of a doubt, I could probably replicate using my cell phone and shooting all the scenes in the bathroom and closet, to the mentioned above almost cult bits, and as a matter of fact, to any movie from here back to 1952, Frontier(s) is nothing but a tragic display of letting foreign people take hold of a camera every once in a while. Then I started thinking, how can the movie be so unpleasant to watch, so I broke the whole thing down and got the following gaps in the picture. Well, no so much gaps, as huge, unlit holes in the middle of a freeway, the kind of holes you would avoid as you show nothing but hate against towing your car some 40 kilometers back to get it fixed.

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.
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Château of A Thousand Corpses
cashiersducinemart13 September 2007
Warning: Spoilers
To say that this French thriller is derivative would be a compliment. FRONTIERES follows a road map of other previous films. It travels from RESERVOIR DOGS Place down PSYCHO Lane as five (soon to be four) friends escape Paris with a duffel bag full of cash. There's a signpost up ahead. It reads "FRONTIERES" with an arrow pointing right to HOSTEL and one pointing to the left to Texas CHAINSAW MASSACRE (in little letters below that it says "the remake"). A little on up the road there's a detour marked THE DESCENT. All of these places are in the idyllic French countryside in the county of HAUTE TENSION.

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.
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The Final Frontier(s)?
Jonny_Numb2 August 2008
Homage is a tricky thing–there is an extremely fine line in paying tribute to the cinematic works of others and merely ripping them off (hello, "Doomsday"!). And integrating a whiff of political commentary to give an aura of sophistication to what is, at heart, an unabashed splatter-fest, is even trickier (and much harder to pull of convincingly–see George Romero's "Living Dead" series). Despite how wobbly Xavier ("Hitman") Gens' blood-soaked "Frontier(s)" is in both of these departments, it comes out ahead due to its own maniacal, implacable energy; while prone to including too many monotonous chases that slow up (rather than quicken) the overall pace, there are scenes of such visceral savagery on display that it's hard to take your eyes off the screen. While some of the performances and characterizations veer dangerously close to camp, Gens comes close to establishing the same sort of fever-dream madness that made "The Texas Chainsaw Massacre" so endearing: when an extreme right-wing candidate is elected to the French presidency, the citizens take to the streets in protest (the film's opening images are culled from actual news footage); using this as a cover, 5 small-time crooks knock off a bank and meet up at a countryside hostel that just happens to be run by several generations of an inbred, neo-Nazi family (including a patriarch that looks like B-movie king Roger Corman; and a sister who resembles Gen from The Genitortures); what ensues is a survival-of-the-luckiest chase through bowels-of-hell settings that have been well-established in the "Saw" and "Hostel" flicks. Gens also pulls (un)inspiration from the likes of "The Descent" (a fantastically claustrophobic tunnel-crawl; subhuman critters in underground caverns), "High Tension" (the beleaguered heroine spends the last 20 minutes wearing a literal coat of gore), and seemingly every one of the "Texas Chainsaw"s (coming closest to the family dynamic of Part III). While "Frontier(s)" spills its share of the red vino, it doesn't approach the level its reputation would lead you to believe–by comparison, the far more original "Inside" trumps this in terms of jaw-dropping carnage–but Gens instills his violence with such a brutally misanthropic tone that it comes across with more discomfort than catharsis. That being said, there is a bizarre appeal to our protagonists, probably because their initial crime and in-fighting becomes more forgivable in the face of the malevolent menace they bump up against; and the villains are grotesquely charismatic, forming an interlacing network of poison DNA and an undeniable (and undeniably perverse) sense of familial honor. "Frontier(s)" is messy, and certainly no masterpiece, but it makes for a diverting trip into the potential for genre extremity.
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108 Minutes You Wish You Had Not Spent
lennyp7515 September 2007
Warning: Spoilers
Last night I managed to see Frontière(s) at the Toronto Film Festival during its third and final screening. The presenter had told the audience that French films are not normally well known for their horror movies, and after watching this awful train wreck I can see why.

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).
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Do your horror homework - this movie stinks!
mickeyshamrock23 February 2008
Don't believe the hype – this movie is total garbage! Another mediocre director creates another boring, by-the-numbers "Texas Chainsaw Massacre" rip-off featuring the same lame gore and violence we've seen a thousand times before. If you think this movie is gory you need to do your horror homework. And if you have not seen these same scenes, themes, and characters in a million other horror movies you need to have your horror movie fan pass revoked. TCM was released over 30 years ago and yet filmmakers still seem to struggle (and fail) to recreate the truly twisted, mean-spirited, "horror" found in that film. So... that about sums it up, but IMDb now requires you to write a minimum of 10 lines so I'm forced to keep typing and waste more time and energy discussing this movie which itself was a huge waste of time and energy - the horror continues!
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Skip It
ozlifter19 July 2008
I'm surprised at all the glowing reviews here. I'm a huge fan of horror films, and I've been especially fond of some of the new French horror films being released over the past few years, but this one really missed the mark for me. I suppose my biggest gripe with this movie is that it was just plain boring. We've seen everything here a million times before. There were just no surprises and nothing fresh. I wanted to shut it off and go to bed, but I decided to stick it out. For that, I at least got to see a cool scene with a saw towards the end that was pretty neat, but it still didn't make this film anything more than average. This film borrows very heavily from Texas Chainsaw Massacre and Hostel. TCM is my favorite horror film ever, while I despise Hostel. I think the tone and look of Frontiers is so similar to Hostel, that it turned me off to the movie early on. And the story doesn't deviate too much from the classic TCM plot. I also really didn't like the acting from the lead during the last act. Sure, she had experienced a lot of brutality, but the zombie-like shaking and convulsing was a little over the top for me.'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.
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Chainsaw on steroids
doug-69712 September 2007
Warning: Spoilers
I saw this movie at the Toronto International Film Festival and love it. But it won't be to all tastes, to say the least. Will you like this movie? Did you like Texas Chainsaw Massacre (the original not the remake)? If you did, this is like Chainsaw on steroids. Like Chainsaw the movie brings you into the personal horror of it's victims. It's not voyeuristic or prurient like Hostel. It's extremely violent, but you are clearly hoping the victims will escape. Hostel wants you to enjoy the suffering. In Hostel, suffering is the entertainment. In this movie the entertainment is the threat and attempt at escape from the suffering.

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.
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One of the better installments in the modern torture trend
Warning: Spoilers
Continuing in the NEVER-ending string of Eli Roth-induced torturefests, France brings us 'Frontière(s).' I don't like Eli Roth, and I REALLY don't like Eli Roth-wannabes, but some of the torture flicks have been better than others. 'Frontière(s)' fits in the 'better than the others' category, I guess, but I have some problems with it. One thing that can often ruin a film for me is a lack of likable characters. Even worse is when a film tries to make me like the unlikable. In this film, the world is evenly split between thieves and Nazis. Well, hell, that's not going to work for me! I don't like thieves, for obvious reasons. But Gans tries to make me like them. . . Why should I? Because one's female & pregnant? Because another is sweet and quiet and doesn't want to mess around with the women? They're still criminals! If I had to choose, sure, I'd rather root for a couple of robbers than a family of disgusting genocidal cannibals. But, 'lesser of two evils' doesn't make you any less bad. Speaking of disgusting, at what point in the Nazi control of Europe did Hitler start surrounding himself with disgusting cannibal hicks in the backwoods of France (or anywhere)? Anyway, there are quite a few positives behind the annoying negatives. For one, violence and gore is abundant, hence the NC-17 rating. Is it NC-17-worthy? I don't think so. I've seen much of the violence in other R-rated films, and there was no sex (except a brief dry-humping scene) and only a brief topless shot of the 'heroine.' It honestly feels more like the 'unrated cut' of an R-rated film, which would include some 'never-before-seen shocking new footage!' In addition to the violence, there are some genuinely frightening scenes, like the claustrophobic-to-the-max 'tunnel scene' (which I believe will stand out as a shining moment in recent horror) and the first look at the freezer. Technically speaking, the direction and cinematography were quite good, often reminding me of a '28 Days Later...'-esquire film. The writing, well. . . hard to tell how good or bad it was, as the subtitles in my copy seemed like they were written by someone with only the slightest knowledge of the English language, and I had to constantly translate from 'Broken English' into something more logical.

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.

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Extremely derivative, but awesome nonetheless
amazing_sincodek11 January 2009
The Texas Chainsaw Massacre is credited with revolutionizing the horror genre. Many subsequent films emulated its brutally, psychologically violent approach. And a few subsequent films have just ripped it off.

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.)

Qualification checklist:

--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.

Quality Evaluation:

--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.
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Gloriously gory... but nothing new!
Luke Bone22 July 2008
Frontier(s) is a French horror film written and directed by Xavier Gens, also responsible for the computer game inspired film, Hit-man. The film begins in Paris with a group of criminals involved in a heist. As they are carrying out their robbery something goes wrong and it descends into chaos leading to the group splitting up and arranging to meet in a hostel out in the sticks. Unbeknown to the criminals the hostel owners are neo-Nazi degenerates with a hidden agenda, part of this agenda being the mutilation, torture and murder of their new guests.

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.
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You Love Horror-movies ? - Don't Miss This One !!
homecoming810 February 2011
"Frontiére(s)" begins as a crime thriller when a couple of friends are running from the riots where one of their friends has been shot. He dies in the hospital and a couple of them take shelter in an isolated hostel while waiting for the others. From that point, everything takes a different turn when they find out that the place is run by a sadistic family led by a former Nazi criminal.

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...
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Logical frontiers
p-stepien10 September 2012
In the not-so-distant future of a near-fascist France a rag-tag band of outlaws of Arabic descent attempt to flee the country following a robbery. The foursome include the pregnant Yasmine (Karina Testa) and her former boy-friend Alex (Aurélien Wiik). During the escape the split and decide to meet up next to the Belgian border. Brothers Tom (David Saracino) and Farid (Chems Dahmani) arrive first to a run-down village inn fronted by nymphomaniac sisters from hell...

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.
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