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Borderlands, The


Stars: Gordon Kennedy, Robin Hill, Aidan McArdle, Luke Neal, Patrick Godfrey

Director: Elliot Goldner

The groundbreaking (at the time of its release, that is) but overrated shocker The Blair Witch Project unleashed the ‘found footage’ genre that has become a cinema staple, notably in horror movies like Cloverfield, Paranormal Activity and their plentiful ilk.

So my heart sank when I realised at the start that The Borderlands was yet another ‘headcam’ movie.

Which simply taught me yet again that no reviewer should ever reach a final judgment until the movie is over.

Praise is due to writer-director Elliot Goldner for creating growing suspense and reaching a truly chilling climax by telling the story of two investigators sent to the West Country to check out reports of paranormal activity during a Christening at a newly reopened remote church.

Supernatural shocks duly occur and the line “It’s just echoes. No monsters. No demons” proves to be a great deal less than comforting.

The inclusion of a lay head-camera expert (“I’m a techie, mate”) in the-demon-seeking safari turns out to be particularly effective as Goldner approaches his truly terrifying underground climax, while the absence of unfamiliar faces in a cast giving convincing performances adds impact to a small-scale chiller that achieves much more than might initially be expected.

Alan Frank

UK 2013. UK Distributor: Metrodome. Colour.
88 minutes. Not widescreen. UK certificate: 15.

Guidance ratings (out of 3): Sex/nudity 0, Violence/Horror 3, Drugs 0, Swearing 2.

Review date: 28 Mar 2014