The French have been on a roll over the last few years with their horror films finally getting a global distribution. Despite their reputation as a nation, their horror movies are anything but soft! ‘Haute Tension’ was a visceral entry into the stalk and slaughter genre, ‘Frontiers’, from the same production team I believe, continues in this vein.
Before I start the review I will say that Frontier(s) is nothing short of breathtaking, expertly combine gore, plot and inhumane brutality without ever getting sensational or loosing continuity.
The plot surrounds a group of Muslin thieves who, after fleeing the scene of their crime, take refuge in a hostel situated in the countryside bordering Holland and France. All seems ok, the women are loose and the owners seem oblivious to the group’s crimes. Sadly, they are also hard lined Nazis who have about as much respect for the ‘half-breeds’ as they do animals. Needless to say one by one they are tortured and killed in a variety of ways.
Now, even after reading my own synopsis I can understand how this film has been associated with Hostel, however, in my opinion, owing to the atmosphere created and the location I would say that ‘Frontier(s)’ is closer akin to the ‘Texas Chainsaw Massacre’. Definitely a good thing.
The plot is pretty good, as simplistic as it is. The Nazi’s are real Nazi’s, not thuggish skinheads. The father of the house, obviously an ex-SS commander, keeps the propaganda talk sensible and thick with ideology. It was scarily convincing. The location of the farm house, isolated and ruinous added to the believability of the story in that this group could exist, unhindered and unquestioned by anybody else.
However, as with ‘Haute Tension’ with all the groundwork bolstering the atmosphere it is the sheer brutal nature of the death scenes which really shine through.
Each one is both graphic and brutal, and there are plenty of them. One guy gets boiled alive in a steam room; there is some limb removal, some axe wielding, and circular saw dismemberment. To top it all off there is a rather foxy Aryan blood spattered blonde wielding an old WWII machine gun, lovely, and oddly arousing!
The majority of the gore is shown, with only some off screen shot and all of the effects are really high quality.
It’s been a while since I watched a movie which entertained me as much as this one did. It really doesn’t sell you short on any level. The gores great, the acting and script are solid and the plot is complex enough sustain a story of this nature. Go watch it, it’s fucking brutal.