Director: Xavier Gens
Jean-Pierre Jorris/Le Von Geisler
A group of French hoodlums get the f*ck out of Paris during a riot (sparked by a right wing election) and find refuge in some remote hostel ran by a family of murderous, Neo Nazi cannibals. Talk about bad luck man! Not just murderous cannibals but murderous Nazi cannibals! And I thought I couldn't catch a break!
Some lines should not be
I'll be honest with yall, I've been ducking FRONTIER(S) all year. Why? Because I heard it was a torture film and I am personally SERIOUSLY tired of the subgenre. Enough! Give me a ghost story or a monster movie already! But being that it’s the end of the year, I couldn't put my Top 10 Movies of 2008 together with a straight face without having seen this jack-hammer. So I pulled a FRONTIER(S) today and thank mighty Thor that I did because I freaking loved it!
FRONTIER(S) was another French ringer that went buck nuts on the extreme stuff with child like glee. Think THE TEXAS CHAINSAW MASSACRE with French Politics undertone, graphic goods and lots of automatic weapons. Plot wise the flick was nothing original, I could pretty much second guess its every move. But it was a different story when it came to execution. FRONTIER(S) stroked me right in 5 key instances. First the flick's morbid coated visual style whooped me stupid; stylish, arresting in terms of fly shots with moody cinematography in its back=pack, this savage bitch looked good. Second of all, tension was in the house. Often enough these "gore shows" drop suspense in the name of solo Karo but not this mofo, it got its whore and ate her too.
Thirdly; the level of violence just kept topping itself much to the delight of the gore boner living in my ripped jeans. By the time I saw that dude do the table-saw-dance; I knew FRONTIER(S) had no problem going all the way and then some. I respected that. Fourthly, the powerful score by Jean-Pierre Taieb so hit the spot when it came to evoking emotion out of the imagery at hand. And finally; any film that decides to go HORROR but with machine guns in tow is all good in my book! Seeing hot cannibal babes opening fire in our heroine's way made for quite the turn on! Moreover, tossing mucho pow=pow in there made for a unique genre bending vibe in terms of the last act. Me likey a lot!
On the slim downside, as I already mentioned, FRONTIER(S) unoriginality somewhat played against it. Predictable was the word and that took away from it. If it had played against expectations more, my score would've gone higher. And what was up with that oddball grandma character and them freako kids being introduced and then done nothing with? I hate dangling ideas in films. And the same could be said about the NEO NAZI family not really being true to their bigot beliefs. If you're all about "pure blood", how the hell could you want an ethnic dame to father your future kids? The film did explain it with a throwaway line, but I just didn't buy it. Too convenient. Having the baddies stay true to themselves would have made them scarier and amplified the film's political subtext.
All in all though FRONTIER(S) proved once more that the French have something in their chinos that US horror is severely lacking now of late and that's a set of big bulldog balls. While American Horror is too busy focusing on opening weekends with its PG 13 drivel, French horror says f*ck you and goes for the jugular. AS IT SHOULD! You going to cross this border? I recommend ya do!
Wow! Where do I begin? Humans remains, hits on the head, a dude burned to death, another being sawed to splat, gun shot wounds, fingers blow away, a throat bit out, another slit and more! If you like red onscreen, you'll be well greased with this one!
Karina Testa (Yasmine) was credible and intense in her role. Looked like it was a taxing part to play. Props! Patrick Ligardes (Karl) owned as the imposing and no bull second in command of the evil family. Estelle Lefébure (Gilberte) brought sexy, psycho menace to her role while Jean-Pierre Jorris (Le Von Geisler) creeped me the f*ck out as the warped patriarch. It should be said that all the kids that played the heroes and the peeps that tackled the villains were on the ball as to their roles.
T & A
Funnily enough, outside of a undergarment laced sex scene and a dame in wet undies/top – NATHING!
This was Xavier Jens feature length directorial debut and I understand how it got Hollywood's attention. Visually remarkable, a sly way of capitalizing on his creepy settings, back-handing use of slow motion. a strong grasp on tension and some beautiful moments of horror/art made this one stand out.
The haunting and emotionally charged score by Jean-Pierre Taieb owned me!
FRONTIER(S) was yet another take no prisoners, don't push the envelope, BURN IT, French horror effort. The flick had me from the get-go and didn't let up till the bitter and grisly end. Sure, it was far from original as to its content, missed a couple of opportunities and did one miss-step as to its villains but none of them snags diluted this well acted/shot, grab ya by the throat and f*ck ya in the ear ride. You like it extreme? Bend this one over and teach her a lesson…old school, she'll thank ya after with a bloody sheets and an army of STDs.
Xavier Gens was born on April 27 1975 (we share the same B-day) in Dunkerque, France.
Xavier Gens shot HITMAN as an R rated film. The Studio wanting a PG-13 brought in editor Nicolas De Toth to re-edit the movie for its release.
VISIT THE FRONTIER(S) SITE HERE