Samuel Le Bihan

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Frontier(s) Review


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As a horror movie, Xavier Gens' gruesome Frontier(s) is all mechanism and little flavor. As a mechanism, it throttles, slashes, upchucks, and goes through the whole sloppy mess all over again with an almost perverse glee. People are cooked and carved like Easter Sunday turkeys, melted down to liquid skin and bone and, just for kicks, bled like a prize hog while hanging upside down. Revolting as it all is, writer and director Gens has a problem, the very same problem Rob Zombie faced in House of 1,000 Corpses: an inability to give up the ghost of that all-too-familiar Texas massacre.

Four Muslim thieves flee a riot-ridden Paris with enough dough to retire at a Cannes beach house, leaving behind a comrade with a bullet in the lung thanks to some anxious cops. The comrade happened to be the brother of the gang leader's pregnant main squeeze, Yasmine (an intense Karina Testa) which leads to a very hostile drive out to the countryside. Two of the thieves happen upon a hotel run by a family of brutish pig farmers, one of which, Gilberte, suffers from something akin to hyper-nymphomania. One of the thieves nails said nympho while her brothers prepare the knives and slaughtering accessories, right as Yasmine and leader Alex (Aurelien Wiik) arrive at the hotel.

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