Apr 1, 2008

Frontière(s)


This is among one of the newer breeds of the French extreme new-wave horror movement. This along with Inside and Haute Tension are well on their way to being the classics that define a genre. This film-festival charmer has been bringing about quite some hype as to how brutal it was. I generally feel sorry to say that it definitely does not live up to the expectations of intensity that were paved for this film.


This film is another film idea wrapped up in Nazi sensationalism. Frontière(s) plays out like Calvaire and Texas Chainsaw Massacre meets Leni Riefenstahl's Triumph of the Will. The fact that they used Nazis in the film as the antagonist is a weak move for director Xavier Gens. I wish directors would incorporate new tactics in deriving fear out of people rather than getting chased by a big French butcher who claims to be a Nazi who prays to a rumpled copy of Mein Kampf.


Not so much that they are just Nazis but that they are given the title of cannibalistic Nazis. I'm surprised that Jack Bliesener doesn't reprise his role from Hard Rock Zombies as Hitler. That might make the situation more believable and enjoyable. If if wasn't for a couple of conveniently short scenes and lines, you wouldn't even know they were Nazis. One of the young thugs notices a portrait of Hitler in the cabin and another meets the "Fuhrer" figure of the household.

One humorous scene does involve a Muslim not eating the fried "pork" that they serve at dinner. When he declines due to his religion, the big guy asks feverishly "Are you Jewish!?!" I would have liked to see where that would have went. On to the topic of how brutal it is, I wouldn't say it was as shocking as Inside or as creepy and sinister as Calvaire, but it is still a damn enjoyable film. Like most of the French horror before it, this film takes on a feminist outlook, portraying this lush and beaten heroine as a goddess and all the male cast like garbage. Is the newest craze to shave a womans head and have her run around screaming? Suffice to say, Sigourney Weaver was the only one who could pull it off.


The film's plot involves a very similar French feel to it, almost like Sheitan. Like Sheitan, It involves a group of young punks going to a remote country area to have sex and do drugs. The overview of the plots fit like a stencil. This film doesn't have the excellent performance that Vincent Cassel brandished for the film and only adds some less-than-memorable roles. In the direct synopsis, this film claims to have to do with a political election and right-wing liberals, but this is only explained in an archived riot footage that they call a "montage." This move to try and position intelligence upon it will only get it slandered. This film was actually rated NC-17. I cannot understand this seeing as how intense and provocatively violent Inside was.


Frontière(s) is not something we haven't seen before. If you go into it expecting the brutality and hype that everyone has been assaulted with, there is no doubt that you will be disappointed. While not being perfect and relying on it's own form of propaganda to try and make us hate Nazis once more, Frontière(s) is a damn fine thriller and you will enjoy every blood-soaked minute of it. That is, unless you expect something intelligent.


-mAQ

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