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The Borderlands ( 2014 ) – Supernatural Pagan Gods

 

The Borderlands ( 2014 ) - Supernatural Pagan Gods

​British Found Footage offering The Borderlands is based on supernatural Pagan gods taking over a small church in the English countryside. We were recently reminded about this film by a regular visitor to the site ( cheers Emeric ), so we eagerly sat down to watch it a second time for the purpose of this review…

The British Way

There’s something about British Found Footage movies that just plain WORKS. I know Hollywood has a hard time digesting them but that’s normally down to a lack of vision on their part.

The dull, dark weather, rolling green countryside and ancient architecture around the country makes it a perfect fit for independent horror filmmaking. The atmosphere these landscapes create is perfect for Found Footage cinematography ( in our humble opinion! ).

The Borderlands seems to thrive off these British aspects and offers a very different and original Found Footage film. The actors seem to incorporate a deadpan British edge to their characters and this only added to the overall ‘feel’ of the film – it was a refreshing change to the more American offerings.

The Plot

We have a crack team of Vatican investigators who are sent to look into reports of supernatural Pagan gods kicking up a fuss in a small English church.

The team are provided with footage of these paranormal incidents but they can’t help but be a little skeptical. The church in question is run by a rather strange priest and his congregation is dwindling – could this be an attempt to put his church on the map?

They set up typical amateur movie cameras around the location and strap mini cameras to their heads ( or ‘head cams’ as I’m reliably informed 🙂 ). During their investigations they also find out that there is a maze of ancient tunnels below the church – could these be related to the supernatural Pagan gods?

They also stumble upon information about an orphanage and a diary left behind by a strange character who disappeared without a trace, but in the interest of avoiding spoilers, we digress.

Not Exactly a Frighfest

The film production is not really based on the ‘jump out of your seat’ factor that most Found Footage efforts rely on. This is more a gradual build up of atmosphere and story line.

There are certainly plenty of creepy moments that a well executed – dark whispers and the sound of babies crying, moving church furniture and slamming doors, eerie scraping and scratching noises ( you get the idea ).

The team remain pretty skeptical throughout the majority of the film which sort of adds to the eerie atmosphere and build – but this skepticism can only last so long…

Conclusion

Hollywood can go and **** itself – this is a well made horror movie that provides some great dark British atmosphere. If I’m brutally honest – an American production crew could not really pull this off!

It was a slow burn of a movie that managed to keep up the tension throughout with style. The story was very strong and the further it traveled into subject of supernatural Pagan gods the more compelling it became.

You may of noticed that I am a big fan of the British countryside due to the fact it offers perfect amateur cinematography scenes. This was the case with The Borderlands – the location helped make it rock!

The ending is pretty impressive and even a little mind blowing – not your usual weak Found Footage climax. Overall the film offered a lot of unique ideas for this genre and it was backed up with really decent actors.

If you are not a fan of the Found Footage genre then you should probably stay away from this film ( and ask yourself what you are doing on this site! ). If you do enjoy these films then I think you will have no problem sitting through the slow burn of this film – the ending is well worth the wait…

Definitely worth a watch!

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Chris

17 Comments

  1. I really enjoyed this movie. Has to be one of my favourite found footage movies ever – bloody excellent! I completely agree with you on the British countryside point – the church chosen was also quite haunting.
    That ending though! Completely out of the blue!

    • Well, I am quite biased due to the fact I’m British but this was a good film. Simple and low budget but the location made it work and work well.

  2. I enjoyed the movie a lot, didnt found the pacing slow since i felt it flowed naturally. Good review.

    SPOILERS

    So the ending they went into a demon insides? It looked like they were being digested.

    • I’m thinking along those lines myself Oscar but I can’t be sure – they sort of let you make your own mind up on what happened to them ( and thanks for using a spoiler alert ) 🙂

  3. How did they “find” the tapes after the end? Isn’t that the whole premise of found footage films? I loved this film though. Slow at times but excellent ending.

    • The footage was being bounced via the marker relays they placed back to their computer? Given the number of cameras they had set up, it would make sense for the data to be stored in one place.

  4. Very atmospheric. Agree entirely about the locations used. I was wondering how the footage was found but the explanation above seems pretty good. Very Lovecraftian in feel – and Gordon Kennedy was outstanding!

  5. Decided to give this one a watch since I’ve seemingly run out of good films to take a look at and wasn’t disappointed. Definitely has the Lovecraftian feel going for it which is only further enhanced by the rural British scenery. Not too scary but certainly not without it’s thrills. I am finding that I often enjoy lukewarm horrors (not very scary, slow burn types) in found footage more than the jump scare types. Need more like this. Enjoyed this one from start to finish. A solid, well-made film.

    • Glad you enjoyed Mitch! It’s a solid enough Found Footage effort isn’t it?
      I’m definitely biased but there seem to be several British FF films out there that are way above average…

      • Yes I agree. The ones that I’ve seen that are British have been excellent! I’ve found that I’ve gotten more enjoyment out of foreign efforts (I’m in Canada) than stuff from over here and in the US, though us Canadians aren’t too shabby with this stuff either.

  6. Definitely agree about the countryside being a great addition to any film. I’ll say that the ending was really well done considering how uncomfortable it made me as it unfolded. Good work!!!

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