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Frontiere(s) (2007)

Director: Xavier Gens
Starring: Karina Testa, Aurlien Wiik, Patrick Legardes, David Saracino
Unrated Running time: 108 minutes
Released by Lionsgate

FRONTIER(S) begins in Paris, where riots have broken out following the election of a neo-nazi Prime Minister. A group of thieves, all of Middle-Eastern/Muslim heritage, are trying to flee the city after a heist goes sour. The group splits up, and two of the crooks find a country hotel to hide out in. The hotel is owned by the Von Geisler family, a weird bunch who greet the pair of fugitives with a little too much enthusiasm. Most people would have found a less freakish place to hole up, but a pair of hot-to-trot ladies persuade the two criminals to hang around for awhile. After summoning the rest of their crew to meet them at the Von Geisler's pad, they discover that the oddball family is planning to eat them.

That's right. The Von Geisler's are cannibalistic nazis who are running a butcher shop/breeding farm and the fugitives are on the menu.

FRONTIER(S) is another entry in France's ultra-violent "New Wave of Horror." While it's definitely violent and horrific, it's not nearly as good as its peers (INSIDE, MARTYRS, THEM, etc). The biggest problem here is the way it is shot and edited. There's lots of quickly cut shaky cam scenes that render action scenes very difficult to process. Not only is it hard on the eyes, the story is essentially a mishmash of THE TEXAS CHAINSAW MASSACRE, HOSTEL, and some of the more recent torture-porn films popular during that era. Gens is also going for some kind of commentary on the political climate of France, but isn't able to make it gel with the rest of the movie. It also doesn't help matters that the protagonists (the robbers and their friends) are incredibly dumb and unlikeable. There's nobody to sympathize with.

It's grimy and gross, but isn't as scary or upsetting as it tries to be. FRONTIER(S) has little to offer aside from special effects and gore.

2 out of 5.

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