Frontier(s) is a splashy and painful gorefest with little else going for it. The storyline is much too familiar - wild young kids with bad luck and hard lives head out for the countryside for some R&R (though in this case they are runnin' from the law). They wind up at a B&B run by some inbred cannibals with mutant children crawling around the abandoned mine that the B&B is built over. The inbreds humiliate, torture, kill and eventually eat the young kids. The female lead manages to kill them all and gets away.
So you've seen it a few times before. The twist here is that it's a) In French b) Set in the future and c) involves Nazis. Otherwise, there is very little to set itself apart from the other so-called "torture porn" films that have been popping up lately.
Well, I suppose that's not entirely true. Frontier(s) does manage to set itself apart in that it tries WAAAY to hard. The victims are remarkably resilient and tough, therefore requiring quite a bit of abuse. The settings and locations are extremely dark and spooky, the killers ridiculously sweaty, mean and one-dimensional. The situations are far too nasty - swimming through pig shit, tunnelling through teeny tiny crawlspaces ala The Descent, navigating one's way through an enormous maze of corpses hung up like sides of beef. And the gore is very over the top - melting faces, exploding heads, circular saws through the skull, wire cutters through the Achilles tendon, etc. etc. And gallons and gallons of blood.
So while gorehounds will be interested - I was for a while - eventually it becomes too much. Some restraint is required for this to be anything other than ridiculous and a spectacle of silliness. Which makes it all the more strange that this was awarded (slapped with?) an NC-17 rating. Maybe I'm too sophisticated or maybe I'm too callous and immoral, but I fail to see how anyone could take this all that seriously and be offended by it. Grossed out, sure, but a 16 kid would laugh at this and giggle along with the special effects.
Decent, but not great. A great film for those interested only in gore, but the lack of style and direction coupled with the just plain silliness of the whole thing might result in a "meh" for others. Still. . . when selecting tags below, I have to admit, this one kind of covered it all.
- Complaint Department