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Showing 1-10 of 121 reviews(Verified Purchases). See all 194 reviews
on November 1, 2016
I've never been really into the torture porn stuff but every genre has its exceptions. This has a little bit of story to act as a catalyst for the gore so it was tolerable, but it's worth mentioning that Tobe Hooper wrote that story in the early 70s. Not that it detracts from the movie being entertaining, but (as lots of people have pointed out), Frontier(s) is very much like The Texas Chainsaw Massacre. It isn't a movie that references it, or pays homage to it, it just kinda copies most of the ideas and puts them into another setting. It wasn't the first, or last, film to do that, and if you're curious what all the hype about the movie was, there's no reason not to check it out and enjoy it. I don't see myself re-watching the movie anytime soon or raving about it to friends, but I'm not bothered that i paid the few dollars to cross it off of the list.
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on March 27, 2015
Xavier Gens' Frontier(s) owes so much to Tobe Hooper's original Texas Chainsaw Massacre that you almost feel Hooper should be collecting royalties on it—and yet when you look at it from a different angle, Frontier(s) has so many innovative takes on the basic TCM scenario (a group of young city slickers running afoul of a backwoods family with strange customs) that it would really be a shame if it were judged only or primarily as a TCM tribute (or ripoff, depending how you feel about it). And yet, I think it's worth looking at the two side-by-side.

I've done my best to give only the tiniest of spoilers here, just itty bitty hints of what goes on...

I think of Tobe Hooper as a sort of Thelonius Monk, jazzing it up in all sorts of ways nobody was expecting and dashing all kinds of expectations. So many elements of Leatherface and his family go unexplained, the pace of events shifts at all sorts of unconventional places, and it ends in a spot that almost feels like there should be a whole other act.

Whereas Gens is like this obsessive classical composer focused on using structure to his advantage. Not to spoil it, but the whole second half of this film is basically an escalation of adrenaline-filled, climactic moments so well planned an executed that it's almost impossible not to watch without getting an adrenaline rush.

Hooper dropped all sorts of cultural and even subtle political references into TCM, and just let them swim around like goldfish; Gens's F(s) has a political point about racism in France that he's hammering home from the very first moments of the film when Yasmina says her world is anything but fair and equitable and then we cut to a massive Paris riot in response to the election of a far-right-wing French President.

TCM was shot on the cheap, and the film-stock graininess gives it a natural and inimitable time-stamp as a work of the late 70s. Hooper and his people went to great lengths to spell out the madness of Leatherface clan in ever element of set dressing possible, throwing in details like the weird ornaments skewered on the barren branches of the trees outside the house, details for the curious viewer to puzzle over before the carnage begins.

F(s) on the other hand is very slick. I've no idea how much money it cost to make and no interest right now in looking it up, but it looks pricey to me, and while there are all sorts of little details in the set dressing here as well, they are overpowered by a great attention to atmosphere. The air in the barnyard looks thick, the palette of the farmhouse interior seems to exude a musty odor and you can almost picture the rust on the hinge of the scissors during the haircut scene. But I promised no spoilers.

I will say, though, that the key element of the crazy, backwoods family is much more fleshed out here than in TCM. Each character gets something of a backstory and a character arc.

If there's one thing I find similar about these films, it's that, moment-to-moment, they were both quite unpredictable to me on first viewing. I had a general sense in both films of where things were heading (and, I mean, come on, with a name like Texas Chainsaw Massacre, you sort of know what's coming), but if you had paused it for me in the middle of any scene in either film and said, "what do you think is about to happen?" I wouldn't be able to guess with much confidence. That's pretty rare once you realize how formulaic movies tend to be.
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on March 28, 2014
This is a well-composed, solidly executed film and lovers of cruelty and jaw-dropping violence will likely enjoy it. It's not great--but very good for sure.

I'm beginning to develop a fondness for extreme French cinema. Martyrs (2008) and High Tension (2003) delivered some solid splatter along with well-thought stories that didn't seem run-of-the-mill, formulaic or familiar. Frontiers may follow the ABCs of a Texas Chainsaw Massacre movie, but it remains well-executed and moderately interesting.

Four morally questionable twentysomethings flee to the country from Paris after political events result in violent riots citywide. They find their way to an inn run by some rather crude, aggressive, lascivious folk…two attractive women, and their rough brother Goetz (Samuel Le Bihan; Brotherhood of the Wolf). They exude a strange mixture of unnervingly forced hospitality and an almost sociopathic abrasiveness. During their stay we come to find that much more of this strange family runs things around here…and not in the most conventional of ways.

This twisted family turns out to be a bunch of cannibalistic neo-Nazis with a patriarchal pecking order and they have plans for their new guests. From here, as with any Texas Chainsaw Massacre, Wrong Turn, Hostel or Hills Have Eyes film, we sit back and watch while wondering if any of our protagonists make it out alive.

Writer/director Xavier Gens (The ABCs of Death - X is for XXL) brings us from a socially/sociopathically awkward bed and breakfast to a tour de force of violence, cruelty and gore. From hooks through Achilles tendons to using boltcutters on Achilles tendons, this film provided me with ample reasons to wince...and a lot of reasons for me to fear for my Achilles tendons! The sound editors clearly had their hands full with all of the bloodsplatter, bludgeoning, crushing and stabbing going on.

I was especially pleased with the acting. I don't speak French, but the fear of the victims felt real and the family had a more intelligent and methodical Texas Chainsaw-esque vibe to their unsettling behavior and fearful respect of their father. The fear was certainly merited and shared by the audience because of the tone set by the constant violence. Although the violence never turns to rape or sexualized violence (like so many movies just out to shock us at whatever cost), there is abundant violence against women and the ease with which it's executed is truly illustrative of the soulessness of our villains.

I found this to be a well-composed, solidly executed film and lovers of cruelty and jaw-dropping violence will likely enjoy it.

This review was of the unrated director's cut, which was not available with English dubbing. Surprisingly, the subtitles seemed poorly translated at times. I won't explain…it's no big deal, but you'll see what I mean unless you can follow the film in French.
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on March 29, 2015
Love these kinds of movies. Yes, I guess I'm crazy and into horror, torture and survival and revenge. I watch tons of movies, and how in the world this one got past me for so long, I'll never know. This movie was BADD A$$. The writer and director and actors and actresses were all superb in this movie. Loved it to the very end. I love the song at the end too. I'm going to download it, if I can find it. This movie rocks. Definitely disturbing, and could actually happen. Some crazy freaks living in an old and I'm talking OLD run down hotel, house, old mine place ran by a super mean Nazi retired old man and his crazies some his blood, some half breeds, he calls them. Great location, out at the end of nowhere land in France country side. PLEASE, make some more of these movies. GREAT JOB. And the father OMG, trip out, he would scare me and make behave without lifting a finger, just his presence in a room. Yikes.
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on December 10, 2014
If you are looking for a cross between Hostel and Texas Chainsaw massacre in French...look no further. I will do my best not to spoil the movie. There are some satisfying scenes in this film once the "bad guys" are in full swing (no pun intended). The special effects are difficult to differentiate from reality at points. These days technology can deceive the eye quite a bit. Luckily this isn't a total despair film. Traumatic, gory and graphic...yes. But how French movies go the ending still felt more complete than most French films I've seen in the past. Reference Martyrs...that ending has no resolution at all other than for certain characters and the viewer is left holding what little humanity left they have by a string. If you like your movies raw and bloody this one does not disappoint. You may even get some satisfaction from some of the actions of the "victim" as the victim attempts to escape. I know I did. This movie is not for the weak of stomach. Be prepared to hold on to the edge of your seat and see some fairly shocking images. But if this movie does not shock you...then reference Martyrs....
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on April 8, 2017
There's pieces of a good movie in here, but it never really gels. Equal parts Green Room and Texas Chainsaw (but not as good as either) with a dash of the socially aware torture not-porn that New French Extremity is known for, Frontier(s) has some good points to make, but it does so unevenly. Obviously the antagonists of the film are insane, but whatever internal logic they're operating under is ineffable, which damages the film's believably and immersion for me.
The script isn't the only hiccup for the film. Some of the cinematography borders on divine, but that's offset by action shots which are filmed in shaky-cam at some absurd frame rate so that everything resembles a cheap war movie. At points it feels like there's two different cinematographers, each at war with the other's style. Worse still, a few shots are augmented by CGI to get "interesting" results, but wind up looking obvious and feeling unnecessary. Also obvious and unnecessary is the CG blood, considering how many buckets of the real stuff show up onscreen.
Overall Frontier(s) isn't terrible, but it's far from my favorite of the New French Extremity films. Better examples of the genre include Inside (2007), Martyrs (2008), and Calvaire (2004 - Belgium). I think fans of the genre may enjoy Frontier(s) without being wowed by it, but regular viewers might struggle with the clumsy and ham-fisted (albeit timely) attempt at social commentary and uneven filming.
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on March 20, 2017
One of the earlier "New French Extreme" horror movies. This is more or less a pastiche of tropes from "The Hills Have Eyes," "Texas Chainsaw" and the french movie "La Haine" with it's focus on kids from the Paris ghettos. All this being said, it packs in a lot of creative energy, surprising and horrifying ideas and lots of chills and thrills. This is quite simply a rock solid horror flick. Some of it is stomach turning and upsetting. The end feels a little bit easy but never mind - the whole thing works. If you like creepy ordeal type scenarios, this is your jam.
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on May 1, 2017
Between the creepy believeable cast and that hot trailer trash blonde girl this film it a blast to watch from beginging to end. You should know it's a region 2 dvd and will not be working on a North American DVD player. The gore is outstanding and the tortutre is unsettling.if you enjoy sick twiztid films your love this one!
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on September 21, 2016
This movie is awesome. It's an acquired taste but great none the less.
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on May 19, 2008
Frontier(s) Is Now one of my all time favorite slasher/horror films of all time..
It was definitely the best movie of all the Horror Fest flicks.
It's like the Texas Chainsaw Massacre for the new millineum..with some Hostel thrown in.

great gore effects, great characters,It has everything I want in a horror/Slasher movie,a good story as well.

It is a must buy,I don't want to give too much away but if you like cannibalistic Nazi's that butcher their prey ,hang them on meat hooks by their feet,make their prisoners eat their friends,Oh and mama has a tube in her throat and when they feed her it can be rather messy and unpleasant to watch, worse than Grandpa in Texas Chainsaw Massacre .

The gore was off the chain and the acting especially by the 2 female leads (Karina Testa) and (Maud Forget) is amazing and totally believable,when the final battle is finished you are just as exhausted as the remaining characters and what a battle it is.This is Slasher heaven ....

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