Monday, November 19, 2007

Borderland (2007)

Note: This review is part of my coverage of Horrorfest II.


I guess you could call this a somewhat more sophisticated version of the "torture porn" story of international tourists becoming victims of a sadistic cult. And it's actually supposed to be based on true events. In the story, three young men cross the Mexican border for a vacation, and one of them is abducted by a terror cult to be used as a sacrifice for their rituals. With the help of an ex-cop who had a previous run-in with the cult and survived, the abductee's friends make a point to retaliate, and against all odds, actually manage to bring the cult to its knees, though not without sincere casualties and awakening the beast within.

Despite the torture-y subject matter, I'd be more tempted to pair this movie with a title like Midnight Express than Hostel, because it seems to focus more on the idea of being up against sinister forces in an unfamiliar land, and the measures that are necessary to survive them, than about the actual torture and sadism. If anything, though, it's probably a cross between the two.

By all accounts that I can mark, it's a well-made film, that seems able to affect its audience. It's also a very human story, about some inhuman deeds that went down, and for real. The Mexican setting is enriching, and the characters are interesting. The violence serves its purpose, and the cult symbolism is intriguing, particularly the "re-heading" treatment, and of course the main ritual. I'll say that this was a very good film.

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