|Nazi Dinner Party|
I'm getting jaded, I'll admit. When I first become a father, I laid off of horror movies for a long while-the better part of a decade, in fact. After years of worshipping Stephen King and Clive Barker, and witnessing all manner of deviant violence and terror, there was something about having a tiny life to protect that made screen violence too disturbing. Now that I often want to kill my children myself, with my bare hands, I've returned to horror in a big way. I've been thrilled with the direction horror has taken, and through a bunch of awesome horror bloggers, I have been introduced to the finest films the genre has to offer. Upon my initial return to horror, I watched so many great, genuinely scary movies that I kind of forgot that there are, and have always been, so many bad or just plain forgettable horror flicks out there. While I end up liking most of the horror movies I watch, it's becoming rare to find one that makes me so much as cringe.
Of course, all of this is to say that Xavier Gens's Frontiere(s) is something pretty special. This was my second viewing of the film, and I found that it didn't lose any of its potency the second time around. In fact, I liked it better and found myself cringing, shouting, groaning, and laughing in the face of extreme violence every couple of minutes. Despite the film's serious tone, it is a bloody good time.
The plot centers around 5 twenty-somethings from the Paris slums who take advantage of a riot sparked by the election of an extreme right government, pulling off some offscreen heist and fleeing town. As can be expected with any trip into the boonies, they encounter a family of weirdos who put them up for the night, then begin to kill them one by one. Pretty standard stuff, but standard stuff done extremely well.
Being hoodlums, most of the characters aren't immediately likable. There's Yasmine, who is the narrator and main character. She is 3 months pregnant with a baby she doesn't plan to keep. When we meet her, she is fleeing the crime scene with her brother, Sami, who has been shot and will die within the first ten minutes of the film. We sympathize with Yasmine because she's a pretty girl, she's pregnant, and she's just lost a brother. Other than that, we never learn much about her.
|Another forced haircut. Must be a French thing.|
|Farid realizes he left his wallet in El Segundo.|
|Alex in Chains|
|Tom Auditioning for The Descent 3|
|The steam room, but not the relaxing kind.|
|God, my family is so embarrassing!|
Frontiere(s) is certainly the best film put out under the After Dark Horrorfest brand, and if I were writing my Top Ten Horror Movies of the Past Ten Years today, I'd probably bump something to make room.
|Hey, I think I see what your foot is caught on.|