After Haute Tension hit the scene and caused a little bit of buzz (if very little attention from the U.S. box office), it only seemed to be a matter of time before a few new freaky French horror flicks would rear their unseemly heads. And here's one of 'em: A patently over-the-top piece of gore-drenched survival horror called Frontiere(s). The debut from writer/director Xavier Gens (who also has a studio flick called Hitman on the way), Frontieres feels like half Texas Chainsaw Massacre and half Hostel, with some liberal dashes of Haute Tension (and even a little bit of The Descent) tossed in to keep things juicy.
We open in the near-future, and France is suffering through a socio-political firestorm. A "right-wing" police state is in effect, and as we settle into the story we're introduced to five criminals on the run: Four hateful men and one pregnant woman. (Guess who's the hero(ine).) After one of the gang members drops dead in a hospital, the remaining quartet splits up and makes plans to meet up at an isolated hotel on the French border. To say these idiots choose the wrong hotel would be a stunning example of understatement.
Without giving too much away, I can tell you that the hotel is run by an extended family of Nazi cannibal mega-freaks. And needless to say, they're not very nice. Once both cars arrive on the scene, the cat & mouse carnage can begin in full force. A few of our anti-heroes are dispatched in decidedly unpleasant fashion, but of course we're not suffering through all this slaughterhouse insanity with no promise of catharsis on the horizon. Plot-wise, it's all very familiar and frequently quite predictable -- but boring? Absolutely not.