Monday, October 29, 2012
When I first saw Frontier(s) I didn't think much of it. It reminded me too much of Texas Chainsaw Massacre and all the other similar redneck-slashers. But I liked the style, the visuals, the actors - but then I forgot about it and it wasn't until now I picked it up again, after the mastermind Cinezilla reminded me of it the other day. I can't say it's up there with Inside and Martyrs, two of the best horror movies to ever come from
, but it's still a gritty,
violent, dirty and shamelessly exploitative - but with a message - dares to not
fancy around the grey zones of morality. This goes a lot further. France
What the heck, it worked a lot a better now - for several reasons. Lets go back to Texas Chainsaw Massacre, Tobe Hooper's original classic. What we have there is almost a story where we partly, in a macabre way, is on the side of the killers. For some it's a satire over the working classic hitting back at the spoiled youth. Could be, but I think it's mostly a primitive look at what happens to a country when it's fucked up by right-wing governments, war, cynicism and religion. It's a movie with a message open to discuss. Frontier(s) have a very similar story, but set in the countryside outside of Paris where our victims is a bunch of small-time criminals, protesters and their friends - escaping from the riots and the police and instead of coming to the welcoming arms of hard-working country folks, falls directly into a nest of those Paris don't want to talk about, the racists, the facists, the dark past of France, the neo-Nazis... the evil that everyone ignores because they're cowards.
There's no grey scales here. The nazis, the racists, are the evil ones - and they're directly born from the original Nazis, with ideas and a lifestyle from the source of it all. There's no stupid ways of saying "oh, they're just misunderstood and under-educated blahablaha" - no way, they're fucking evil. Just evil. And that makes Frontier(s) a lot more powerful than the last time. We're living in a
Europe which now is
rapidly going back the fascism of the thirties and forties and no one seem to
care. People are to damn lazy. In the Frontier(s) family we have a cop, we have
a old-school Nazi, we have a country-side brute and a bunch of women who do everything
to defend their Aryan genes. But at the hands of the people, those who can't
accept the rise of the fascism in Europe,
there's of course only one way to deal with these people...
Like Samuel Fuller's White Dog there's an ending that leaves no room for forgiveness or understanding, and I'm grateful for that. It's us or them. But hey, that's a lot of politics... and this is mainly a horror movie and one damn brutal one. It's without a doubt one of the most violent French movies I've seen with a huge amount of gore and blood and just very painful beatings and stabbings. It all looks quite good also, even if it's a bit too much after a while - because if you're going to do a splatter movie you need to have a good story to tell also, believe it or not.
That's the only weak thing with Frontier(s), it's too generic. We've seen much of it before and some of the scarier ideas (like what's down there in the underground) is left unexplored an could have been milked even more to boost the horror and not just the violence. It's a good movie with some amazing performances and awesome gore + an interesting, semi-apocalyptic atmosphere. Well worth revisiting!