Frontiers is like the French answer to The Texas Chainsaw Massacre as a group of thieves decide to hole up in a remote hotel and fall foul of the Nazi cannibal clan in residence. This is fast-paced exciting stuff which is well directed and features some great gore effects and make-up. It may be derivative but it is also slick, stylish and very entertaining.
We open with a slightly odd introduction from central character Yasmin who explains she is three months pregnant and intends to escape the projects. We then cut to the Paris riots in the aftermath of an election as Yasmin and her band of young thieves try to escape the city with their loot. There are explosions and gun fights as they race through the streets. Her brother Sarni has been injured and the group split up so Yasmin and Alex take Sarni to the hospital in a futile attempt to save him. The group intend to meet up at a remote hotel in the country and after this explosive start the pace calms a little.
We join Tom and Farid as they drive into the rural backwaters of France, eventually near the border they find a place with rooms to let and pull up at the creepy house thinking it the perfect hideout. Once inside it becomes quickly obvious that all is not right here, they are greeted by two strange women and after some outrageous flirting they go back to their room for some sex. Afterwards they are invited for a meal with the women, their muscle bound brother and a drooling mother. The hosts claim the food is pork and proceed to force feed it to their mother as Tom and Farid look on in undisguised disgust. When the pair retire to their room there is a knock at the door and things take a serious turn for the worse.
This is far from original stuff and director Xavier Gens appears to cherry pick elements of other horror films but they are packaged together well enough to make this a decent horror flick. His direction is slick and effective and the gore is top quality with some truly memorable sequences involving axes, a circular saw, a gas chamber and some gun play. The plot is slightly ropy and the clumsy attempt to inject some kind of social commentary with the election background doesn't really work. What does work for the film is the characterisation and the gory violence.
When Yasmin and Alex arrive at the hotel they have no idea what has befallen their mates but they soon find out. It turns out the family are led by an old patriarch, an escaped Nazi who settled here after the Second World War. He has brought his family up as cannibals and judging by their basement complex full of bodies they've been doing this for quite a while. He wants Yasmin to join the family so they can inject some fresh blood and produce children who aren't deformed victims of inbreeding. What he doesn't count on is the survival instinct of Yasmin who goes on a crazed rampage which is reminiscent of The Descent.
This is exciting and enjoyable for fans of horror. High production values, great characters, fantastic gore and artful direction allow you to forgive the obvious references to other films and make this well worth seeking out.Short Review
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