Eye For Film >> Movies >> Frontier(s) (2007) Film Review
A small group of young hoodlums take advantage of the riots during a presidential election in Paris to conduct a heist, which goes Pete Tong. One of the gang is shot and the rest get separated in the heat of the chase, with the police on their tail a couple of the gang members propose to meet outside the border in the nearest hotel they can find to re-group and share the loot.
The first hotel they come across is a seedy hostel which happens to be owned by an old Nazi family who have been hiding there since the Second World War - what follows for these guests is a comfortable stay with good food, beautiful scenery and very attentive staff. Yeah right - this is a French horror film clearly influenced by Seventies and Eighties horror, cue large amounts of gore and enough buckets of blood to quench every horror fans thirst.
Director Xavier Gens displays a clear love for extreme, graphic, unsettling violence from the moment the gang step foot into the hostel. This is European torture-porn for horror fans who like their horror from a Gallic perspective. Gens directs with assured confidence and his inspiration is clearly films such as The Texas Chainsaw Massacre (there is even a nod to the family dinner table scene from that horror masterpiece). He also includes some tense set-pieces and makes use of the locations extremely well - but the script he is working from is dire. Ridiculous lines and arrogant, heartless protagonists leave you feeling you have seen this type of film many times before but done way better.
I think it is about time the horror genre takes a different route than. Hostel's lukewarm and poorly received sequel, proved these sorts of movies aren't what many people want to go and see any more. For Gens this was his calling card to go on and direct his first Hollywood feature, Hitman for the rest involved I can't say anyone's work really stuck with me apart from a turn from Samuel Le Bihan, who is always good value but sorely underused here.
Frontier(s) is a movie that will be good Friday night viewing if there is nothing else on as its something that would pass the time - but then again so is reading a book. Most of my viewing time I was a little depressed and if I'm honest slightly disinterested in what unfolded, in fact I think it was only the constant screaming that drew my attention back to the screen. A decidedly average horror-film made for certain fans - one being the director.Reviewed on: 18 Jul 2008
Related Articles:Horror's new Frontier(s)