Frontière(s) (2007)

Frontière(s) is the best horror film I’ve seen from the last decade. It’s been characterised as “torture porn” or a French ripoff of The Texas Chainsaw Massacre, and while neither description is completely inaccurate, they don’t capture the blistering intensity, the bone-shaking strength of the film.

Frontière(s) is set after the election of an unseen but fascistic new leader in France, and while its explicit political symbolism may not be cogent, the film shudders with impotent rage. The best horror taps into a vein of something real; here it’s a fear of a bleak, oppressive future. The plot points may be recycled, but their execution is uniquely powerful.

I have a pretty good tolerance for gore, but I was regularly cringing throughout the running time of this film – it was a visceral ordeal, leaving me drained. The violence here rarely feels superfluous. Instead, it’s giving a voice to something beyond words.

The film is relentless, with an all-encompassing atmosphere of dread throughout that it refuses to soften with humour or lightness. There’s no light at the end of the tunnel here, just pain and helplessness.

It’s a gruelling experience, matched by few films – recommended if you have a strong stomach.

Rating: 184/200

5 thoughts on “Frontière(s) (2007)

  1. Excellent review! I agree 100% and I loved the lead actress Karina Testa who is talented, and still looked good even after all her hair got wacked off! lol. Check out my blog if you get a chance. On my “Obscure recommendations” page I listed this movie with some other great European horror films! Will be looking through more of your reviews, and either agreeing or debating. 🙂

    • Thanks (for the compliment and the comment)! I did like Karina’s work in this – I haven’t seen her in anything else though (I really like French films but I’m notoriously slow at actually getting to watch them, since while I have no problem with subtitles it does require you to not do anything else while watching). I’ll follow your blog and take a look 🙂

      • I saw Karina in this other european movie “Switch” and she played a cut-throat villain, and was a total bitch! She can turn on the switch and go from innocent and sweet to unmerciful. Unfortunately, she wasn’t in the film but for a few minutes b/c her character was a mystery until she finally surfaced in the final act – and man I didn’t expect her to come across like that. She’s a good actress! 🙂

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