At the pitch meeting sometime in 2006…
Writer (W) – “I’m thinking of making a horror movie.”
Film company rep (R) – “Great. Cheap, easy to sell. Here’s a bag of money……. Wait, the company gets mad if I don’t tell them at least something about the movie. Is it a remake?”
W – “No”
Rep reaches into the bag, takes out a fistful of cash.
W – “But it will be very gory and totally depressing from start to finish.”
Rep puts the money back into the bag.
R – “OK, we’re good, but I need a title.”
W – “I was thinking Frontier.”
R – “Hate it, should have asked sooner and saved us both some time.” Drags bag towards him.
W – (Hurriedly) “W-We could put an (s) behind it, that’ll look mysterious.”
R – “Frontier bracket-s-bracket. Does it mean anything?”
W – “Whatever you want it to mean.”
R – “I Like it!” Money is back on the table. “But it’s not a remake? What at least will you be ripping off?”
W – “It’s like nothing before, see 4 guys and a girl are looking to get out of France and 4 of them end up at a bed-sit sort of place for the night, where all sorts of disgusting things happen to them.”
R – “Hostel, Vacancy, Psycho, I like it so far.”
W – “No-no-no-no, THENNN, a couple guys manage to escape and end up in a tiny tunnel, where they are trapped.”
R – “Ohhh, The Descent, didn’t make much… Maybe the critics might like it.”
W – “I’m not finished, when they get through the tunnel, they’re trapped by the bed-sit owners, who are… wait for it… a FAMILY!”
R – “Like Texas Chainsaw Massacre.”
W – (Speaking faster) “Yes. NO! They are INBREEDING and need new blood. Oh and they’re CANNIBALS and they use the bodies of their victims to eat and feed the DEFORMED INBRED KIDS!”
W – “You’re not listening! I will kill them off one by one and you’ll never know who, if any will survive.”
R – “Every horror movie ever made. You’re losing me again.”
W – “I’ll use sledgehammers, I’ll boil a guy alive, I’ll blow people up and maim them with boltcutters! I’ll hack them up with a table-saw.”
R – “A saw? That sounds like that movie……. Saw! And Hostel again, that made buckets – can you somehow get buckets in the film? So it’s a franchise? I still think we’re missing something.”
W – (Sobbing) “What more can I give you? I spent 20 minutes of my life in your waiting room working on this!”
R – “The studio would feel better if there was something more timely to scare the mainstream with.”
W – “Like a terrorist or a computer hacker?”
R – (Snaps his fingers.) “How about a Nazi?”
W – “I guess I could make the patriach of the cannibal- inbred-murderers a Nazi.”
R – “Yes, yes. But how would people know? Movie-goers are stupid you know.”
W – “We could make him speak in an exaggerated accent, he could shoot someone with a Luger.”
R – “Too subtle, think stupider.”
W – “He could wear a Nazi uniform to dinner.”
R – “SOLD!” (Extends arm for handshake.)
R – “While still shaking hand.) “But I want you to add 20% to everything we’ve discussed.”
W – (Exhausted) “W-W-What do you mean 20%?”
R – (Screaming) “TWENNNTTTTY PERCENNNNTTTT!!! (As the Rep walks out away from the Writer.) Oh, and enjoy remaking whatever 20 year old piece of crap Hollywood gives you 6 months after this is released.”
(I was close. It wasn’t a remake though. It was a video game conversion.)
Back to me, this movie was nuts. Totally over the top, littered with direct rips from other movies so as not to appear to copy any of them, but at a pinch I’d say the first 30 minutes was Hostel and the rest The Descent, with bits of everything else thrown in.
In a 103 minute movie the heroine is submerged in Blood / Pig shit / Blood again X2 / Brains and finally Mud, which must have felt like Evian water after everything else.
With B grade horror movies it’s not who you are but what you go through, but in this case I thought she was such a trooper that I IMDB’d her name. It’s Karina Testa. (Don’t bother remembering it as I don’t think she is destined for huge things.)
Frontier(s) does what it does well, even though I would argue that there is a diminishing need for this type of ultra-violence and degradation in films. The Xtreme set has a lot to answer for, there are only so many ways to kill and torture someone, hopefully we get there soon.
Final Verdict – 6 / 10. If you thought the above was a transcript then this is for you, (which would also be my argument for you not watching it). If your idea of horror is Freddie or Jason steer clear.
If you are a woman in a horror movie these days expect to be punished mentally and physically, I am a firm believer in equality but even I am finding that the pushing of the boundaries has gotten away from entertainment and is now more about showing how far a director is willing to go.
I’ll leave it to you to decide if this is really entertainment, I myself am giving it a rest for a while and am even looking forward for a return to some join the dots plots and the well worn cliches that only a year or so ago I grew tired of.