On a trip to a Mexican border town, three college friends stumble upon a human-sacrifice cult. Based on a true story Borderland was released as one of the ‘8 Films To Die For‘ at Horrorfest 2007.
Every now and again I am going to re-release one of my old reviews in the hope of getting them a few extra views. These reviews were done when I had about 2 followers, and now I have slightly more I would love to try and share these films in the hope of enticing some of you to watch them. Todays re-visit is Borderland.
Borderland is very loosely based on a case which occurred in Mexico in 1989 where a group called “narcosatanicos” killed at least 20 people and their bodies were used in satanic cults. They were accused of the murder of a student who disappeared in March 1989 and killed by this group during a spring break.
The film revolves around friends Ed (Brian Presley), Henry (Jake Muxworthy) and Phil (Rider Strong), three recent Texas college graduates who decide to head down to Mexico for a week to hit up the strip clubs and take advantage of a lack of law enforcement. Naturally things don’t go as smoothly as they had hoped. One of the friends is kidnapped and taken hostage, and he is then held under the watch of a man named Randall (Sean Astin – in a very different role to his role as a hobbit in Lord of the Rings!). With the aid of a disgraced local policeman the two remaining friends plan to try and save the life of their buddy.
Borderland started with a nice scene which showed the cult the film revolves around, as they torture one policeman whilst making the other watch in a bid to scare the rest of the police away from interfering in their business. Straight away the violence is strong and sets the scene for the rest of the movie. The main villain is established as psychotic and clearly enjoys his work. As the film progresses, the violence is mixed in constantly and we get various scenes of torture and brutality. Be-headings, limbs hacked off and eyes removed, Borderland doesn’t hold back in the violence stakes!
The story itself moves along at a fast pace, and whilst we get a few little side stories involving barmaids and babies, it’s all about rescuing the missing friend and trying to work out who is doing this and why. Visually the film looked good, and whilst some of the ‘Films To Die For‘ have a slightly amateurish feel to them, this really felt like a much bigger and better production. The students all played their parts well, the disgraced cop angle was good and whilst it would have been nice to get more of his back story, it was nice to see how his story intertwined with the boys journey. Sean Astin fans may be shocked at the character he plays here, it was a refreshing change to see him do something drastically different. They are aided by a good supporting cast including two very different but no less psychotic villains running the cult, topped off with some ladies to give the film some eye candy, overall Borderland had a lot going for it.
It definitely has some flaws, the story could have done with being a little tighter, there were a few too many loose ends and unanswered questions mixed in with some strange choices from the characters, but overall I enjoyed this film and was surprised by it. I try watching all the After Dark/Films To Die For series and this is up there with the very best they have produced. Not an easy film to watch with a few scenes of graphic violence, but all in all a good watch and worth checking out if you can find a copy.