Frontiers (Movie: 2007)

Frontiers is a 2007 French horror movie directed by someone named Xavier Gens and starring a bunch of people we don’t know in the US because the only French actor Americans have heard of is Gerard Depardieu and he is not in this. I heard someone call it “The French Deliverance” — but its not at all like Deliverance. There are no hillbillies who rape canoeists, but there are neo-nazi cannibals. There is no river but there are some creepy mines, a pig farm, a shoot out with automatic weapons and a weird hotel. There is a lot of blood and corpses and other stuff. At one point one of the evil people turns on a table saw… and as soon as the saw blade starts to spin you just know someone is going to get ripped apart on it… and in this way the director does not disappoint. In fact, you get to see people get shot, stabbed, broiled, beaten, etc., throughout the film. If you like violent slasher films with high production values, this is the film for you (providing you speak French or can read subtitles). It is like Deliverance in one respect: at the end of the film, everyone is either emotionally destroyed or dead.

The movie starts with some disillusioned young men (and one woman) who have taken advantage of the confusion from a riot in Paris to pull some sort of heist — what sort of heist is not explained, but they have a bag full of money. The cops are after them so they decide to get out of Paris while they can and end up at a Hotel which is obviously not listed in the Michelin guide. Here, after a strange sexual encounter the creepy occupants of the hotel and our erstwhile heroes come into extremely bloody conflict — the gore in this film goes from wince-worthy guy getting shot in the hand to ridiculous who-turned-on-the-firehose jets of blood. There were a few horrific scenes that really had me wincing (including one where a poor guy is suspended upside-down by means of hooks right through his feet — ouch! — and a really mean old nazi does something particularly horrible with a pair of pincers).

I think the movie is not particularly well known in the US, I guess because a) most people in the US who are willing to see a movie in which meat hooks and table saws figure prominently don’t want to have to read subtitles to find out what is happening, and, b) the film got an NC-17 rating which is apparently the kiss of death for theater distribution.

Not for the squeamish or faint of heart… but I’d recommend it.

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