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Frontiere(s) (2007)

Frontiere(s) poster art

Next up in the French Extremity festival is Xavier Gens’ shocker Frontiere(s) which takes a group of youth on the run after a money heist, fleeing a riot-torn Paris for the presumed safety of the countryside. But the remote inn they end up at is run by cannibalistic inbred Nazis in this Gallic Chainsaw Massacre riff.

Like other films from this era of French horror, the film is a dark descent into nihilism and violence. Our protagonists have grown up in the Parisian ghettoes, but their one chance at emancipation is thwarted, the film seeming to posit they are doomed no matter what they try.

Like the French classic La Haine & the recent Kandisha, the main characters feel very real, full of anger, bravado & a desperate longing to escape their circumstances. The opening scenes in Paris feel very current, with the world on the verge of tearing itself apart.

Taking a major leaf out of Chainsaw Massacre, the family of Nazis have an elaborate pig farm / butchery / hotel operation by which they lure, kill & eat their victims. But final girl Yasmine, who is pregnant, is kept to become the bride of the ghoulish families favoured son which of course erupts into bloody carnage.

This is a filthy, unpleasant film, rubbing the characters (and the audiences) faces in blood, shit & decaying viscera for maximum impact. It is a thrilling, dark & disturbing vision although the hyper stylised editing & shaky cam almost derail it at times. Plus for fans of The Descent there is a small tunnel crawl set piece that will make you clench all your bits.

4 roast dinners out of 5.

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