Saturday, March 27, 2010
Horror Film Review by Dan Collacott
Ok I admit, I love zombies (not in the biblical way), they're just so versatile, I mean they can run, bite, shamble, infect, have every limb shot off yet still carry on with that happy-go-lucky lust for other human meat. Sadly, 'Frontiers', a French film directed by Xavier Gens, has no zombies in it, although it does have some country dwelling fascist cannibals but what countryside hasn't? - I'm from Kent and that sort of thing goes on all the time, and worse!
But I digress, 'Frontier(s)' is a brutal and uncompromising survival movie not unlike Hostel and classics like Texas Chainsaw Massacre. It does manage though to develop quite a few interesting ideas throughout whilst a political undertone underpins the main rather bloody carcass of the movie.
In not too much detail as to completely spoil the plot; a group of young Arab people bungle a robbery in the midst of the French riots, the result is they split up and flee to the countryside. Of course no visit to a remote countryside is complete without a visit to the very 'local' family run hostel (which they each arrive at different points in the film). And sure enough when they get there they eat cake, play cards, get a little drunk on the fabulous and very reasonable French red wine and live full and plentiful lives. No of course they don't! They all suffer hideously at the hands of their psychotic right wing tormentors (probably much like attending a Tory party convention).
The action is claustrophobic and at times quite uncomfortable, but for some reason you forgive the horror cliches employed here because they have made the main monster a Nazi fascist consumed by hate; they even deal into the race game a few digs at Sarkozy. So despite the primal nature of the sadism at hand, the film is intelligent and has a deep political edge throughout; thus avoiding the big dumb gore flick mire that so many horror films end up drowning in.
That aside you'd think even Inspector Clousseau would be able to work out all those missing people seem to have disappeared surprisingly near to a popular yet barely profitable local hostel? But alas this is still just a horror movie, albeit a very good one, that continues to prove the French are very good at this genre!
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