Borderland (Unrated) Review
Written by: TheDemon
This was my third delve into 2007's "8 Films 2 Die 4." I had panned two out of the first three. "Borderland" is--BY FAR--the best one I've seen to date.
With a Hostel-like premise, e.g. three buds (Ed, Phil, and Henry) decide to visit a bordertown in Mexico for a weekend of fun and debauchery, and such visit quickly turns ino a nightmare. They happen upon a Mexican drug cartel run by a grand poobah psychopath who believes strongly in human sacrifice (they actually thought the sacrifices made them "invisible") and soon no one is safe.
For those of you who may have read my reviews on Hostel and Hostel II, you may be asking yourselves why I would like this movie since its premise is basically the same as the one in Hostel. I'll be happy to answer. In "Bordertown," I was given three characters that I could have empathy for. And the actors were allowed to grow in their portrayals of these characters. Mr. "Billy Bad-Ass" soon realized he was in WAY over his head and turned from a shit-kicker to a whimpering mess. The other characters also went through quite a change before the end of the movie. When they realize they are in a town where even the police look the other way, there was an air of reality here that didn't come across in the Hostels.
And gore? Oh yes; there is a lot of that, too. There is not that much violence in this movie, but when it happens, IT HAPPENS. Yet, for a pleasant (not to mention surprising) change, the gore was integral to the plot of the movie. Also, the movie wasn't about the gore; it was about the story. These were mean, nasty, people who would just as soon cut your head off as look at you. And they all were as menacing on screen as you could ask for.
Terrifically acted (be sure to look for Sean Astin who plays a goon for the drug cartel leader), terifically directed (by first-time Zev Berman), and based on true events, "Bordertown" gave me the willies. I can't image a more terrifying (and helpless) experience than what these three guys went through.
The unrated version is 105 minutes and contains some pretty strong violence, language, and brief nudity. HIGHLY RECOMMENDED!