It's time for more British horror, but this time let's get modern!
The Borderlands (2013) is a found footage British horror film.
The film opens in Brazil with shouts of things going wrong before cutting to the title. Later, in England, Gray sets up cameras in a house before mounting a head cam. Soon Deacon arrives and he's fitted with a head cam. His screw up in Brazil has caused the need for closer scrutiny. Deacon convinces Gray to head up to the church where they meet Father Calvino. They have come to the tiny village church to investigate his claim of a miracle which was caught on film, mostly.
The found footage acts more like a first person element than anything, making it much more tolerable than most of the genre. There wasn't exactly need to set up cameras in the house, but it certainly wasn't distracting. There were also some jump scares that were distracting but not overly so. This is a film with solid characters, an interesting premise and even a solid end.
Deacon is an alcoholic priest who investigates miracle claims for the Vatican. He is losing faith due to all the crap he's seen the church cover up. He's the most fascinating character in the film as his alcoholism, rage issues, and desire to uncover the truth drive the film.
Gray is the techie who sets up the cameras. He is the audience eyes and ears. Astonishingly, he is the one who is most willing to believe Father Calvino's claims. The most amazing thing is that both are leads are likeable and develop a friendship.
Father Calvino is the local priest. He seems to want desperately to believe in a miracle. However, Deacon believes Calvino wants a miracle so badly that he'd manufacture one.
Brother Mark is the by the book observer from the Vatican. He tries to keep Deacon on track and make sure there's not another Brazil. Even as the 'jerk' character he manages not to be too annoying.
The demon is something I'd rather not give away. It provides some usual haunts before getting more creative.
The church is cool and quite creepy. Very few effects were used which makes the scares much more impressive. The feels of the characters are where this film derives most of its scares from, and the fact that it has likeable leads is crucial. Just a warning, I could find almost no photos of this film, it's that new, so the few here aren't even from the film. I'll update as soon as possible.
In the End
Lots of tunnels. The ending of this film is enough to catch anyone off guard. If you hate vague horror endings, this film is for you.
This film plays out like some classic ghost story with more complex characters and a nonstandard finish. The beginning and the end have a few sections that drag, but Gray and Deacon's humorous friendship makes at least the early sections enjoyable. I recommend it to any fan of horror.
Next Time: 13 Frightening Fictions!