October 4, 2011

Borderland (2007)

"On a trip to a Mexican border town, three college friends stumble upon a human-sacrifice cult."

Loosely based on a case which occurred in Mexico in 1989 where a satanic cult called "narcosatanicos" killed at least 20 people, "Borderland" actually turned out to be little more than a clone of "Hostel" (2005) and "Turistas" (2006). So now you have another country which you know never to visit.

It's not a bad story and, considering it was one of the "After Dark Horrorfest" films, it's actually very well made. I wasn't too keen on the look of it to begin with as it went the clich├ęd route of using lots of browns but I found myself getting drawn in by the characters who weren't such complete assholes as you'd usually find in something of this nature.

Of course, the biggest attraction for me was Martha Higareda who played Valeria. There wasn't much else to look at since it was a mostly male film with three pretty boy TV actors, one a bit rougher round the edges than the others, and a load of sinister Mexicans. Sean Astin was in it as one of the bad guys but I couldn't tell if he was acting or not.

The torture and gore scenes were some of the most evil which I've ever seen, not because of the effects per se, but just in the mean-spirited way that they carried out. These were probably the sickest bunch of satanists that I've seen portrayed on film to date.

Although it was all rather slow, the only place "Borderland" really fell down was towards the end when it just got messy and didn't follow the normal formula for doing things. The dynamic changed in a very extreme way and the last fifteen minutes or so felt like a whole new film had been tacked on.

The ending itself was very unsatisfying as it ran out of steam and used title cards to say what happened afterwards rather than neatly tying up all the loose ends within the action itself.

Overall, I enjoyed it but it was just another slightly below average "torture porn" with different actors and locations.

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