A gang of criminals take refuge in a hotel run by a family of degenerate Nazis. French cinema gets dragged kicking and screaming into the grindhouse in this gore-drenched debut.
Screened as part of NZIFF 2008
Paris is burning, after the election of a right-wing government prompts riots in the city's slums. Using the chaos as cover, a gang of young thieves heads for the Luxembourg border, with a suitcase full of loot. En route, the vagabonds take a wrong turn. They check into an isolated inn run by a family of inbred Neo Nazis, whose deviance makes Texas Chainsaw's rednecks seem harmless. Following in the bloodstained footsteps of similarly themed French shockers such as Sheitan, High Tension and The Ordeal, this film confirms that the don't-go-into-the-woods fairytale lurks deep in the Gallic subconscious. On the surface, Frontier(s)' galling viscera makes le Grand Guignol of old seem tame. Director/screenwriter Xavier Gens (Hitman) stitches fine threads of social commentary throughout his survivalist yarn. Race, gender, class and the family unit become targets peppered with the shotgun of subtext. — MS