Borderland

Critics Consensus

No consensus yet.

100%

TOMATOMETER

Total Count: 8

43%

Audience Score

User Ratings: 4,187
User image

Watch it now

Borderland Photos

Movie Info

When three Texas University students travel to a Mexican border town on the eve of their graduation, the last thing they expect is to face their own deaths.Without warning, they fall prey to an ancient blood cult hellbent on finding candidates for human sacrifice. Based on true events, Borderland tells a story which blends the raw fear of Texas Chainsaw Massacre with the stark reality of In Cold Blood, evoking a world soaked in paranoia, fear, and dread.--© After Dark Films

Cast

News & Interviews for Borderland

Critic Reviews for Borderland

All Critics (8) | Top Critics (1) | Fresh (8)

  • ...ultimately descends into a brutal orgy of torture and mutilation that's harrowing to watch, because it's played completely real.

    Nov 18, 2007
  • Borderland teeters between a torture film and a spiritual thriller, but it also plays around with both genres in very intriguing ways.

    Jan 16, 2011 | Rating: 7/10 | Full Review…
  • ...one can't help but admire any film that features a villain with a penchant for saying things like "I'll decorate my bedroom wall with your skin"...

    Sep 3, 2008 | Rating: 2.5/4 | Full Review…
  • Borderland takes this libertarian view of paradise (no law, no government, just rich people doing what they want) and turns it on its head in a particularly brutal and ugly way, without expressing a political point of view in a heavy-handed way.

    Jul 9, 2008 | Full Review…
  • An unnerving, ruthless, borderline-mesmerizing thriller.

    Nov 10, 2007 | Rating: 3/4 | Full Review…
  • Every once in awhile, a film can defy expectations, and Lionsgate's Borderland is one such case.

    Jun 25, 2007 | Rating: 3/5 | Full Review…

Audience Reviews for Borderland

  • Feb 05, 2017
    This is one of those types of movies where a quarter rating system would work. Because while this movie is better, to me, than just average, it's also not good enough to get the 3 stars. It's a solid movie and it falls somewhere in the middle between 2.5 and 3 stars. 2.75 would have been a perfect rating, but I understand the reasoning behind keeping it half stars. I don't actually know what the reasoning is, to be frank, but I'm sure it's about keeping the Flixster/Rotten Tomatoes as user-friendly as possible. Quarter ratings aren't necessary, they'd just be for dorks like me who actually take this seriously. Well, I mean, it is one of my hobbies and I do enjoy it very much, but I wouldn't say that I take this seriously. I used to, some of my earlier reviews were so fucking pretentious, as if I was actually getting paid. They sucked back then. They still suck now, but at least now I'm far more aloof and my "style", if it can even be called that, is more conversational than anything else. This is how I would talk to my friends if they asked for my thoughts on a particular movie. Perhaps I'd be a little more eloquent, because sometimes I don't even know what I write or how I write it. I bet I have the writing level of a sixth-grader. But I digress, this movie is fairly solid all things considered. It reminds me, somewhat, of the Owen Wilson movie No Escape. The movie was a bit of a mixed bag for me, but I felt that the movie played into that white fear of going to visit a country, whose citizens may be colored (oh my goodness), and then that entire trip going to hell due to violence, kidnapping, murder, rapes, etc, etc. No Escape was a movie made for the Fox News audience. This movie has some of that, for sure, the fact that the movie takes place in Mexico and makes the entire country, for the most part, look third world, its people are either cannon fodder, romantic interests or trying to kill the heroes. You know all of the stereotypes. But I get it, I mean, I get it. Every great country has its uglier elements and those elements should be portrayed as well or you're not providing an accurate portrayal of what that particularly country might be like. Otherwise every movie that took place in a foreign country would look like a tourism ad. But the problems with movies like this is that people are still very naive. And this is more relevant with a film like No Escape, which more people watched when compared to this one. People take a film like No Escape and they see its evil foreigners or its uglier elements and assume that that's what the country must be like. It's absurd. I don't have any actual data to back this up, but I'm certain there's a good percentage of people out there that, subconsciously or not, react this way. This movie isn't much of a problem, since this is a smaller 'horror' movie. And I use quotation marks because this really isn't even a horror movie, even though this was a part of After Dark's 8 Films to Die For. I mean it is in the sense that what happens to Ed, Henry, Phil and Valeria is horrifying, at least from Phil's point of view, he was the one who was kidnapped to be sacrificed by this cult to gain the power of Nganga, who's some kind of spiritual healer according to Wikipedia. It doesn't really make sense, since why would you want to be a spiritual healer? I mean there's nothing wrong with that, but I think the villain needed more, you know, malevolent reasons to be doing what he's doing. But that's neither here nor there. The fact that this movie is inspired by an actual cult is what gives it its horror and not the fact that it has scares or anything of the sort. Well, I mean it does have gore, but this isn't a movie that's overloaded with them. Like I said, I felt the movie was actually pretty solid all things considered. The acting is considerably better than I could have possibly thought, the movie is decently written and I was kinda compelled to see where the story went. I will say that there's no reason this movie should've been longer than 90 minutes, but it was. I think, for pacing's sake, some trimming would have made the movie a little better, at least to me. It's well-shot, at least for 2007, I think horror movies are a little more sophisticated on the technical aspects, at least the really high quality independent horror flicks. This doesn't compare to that, of course, but it's well-shot. Cinematography's got that grimy, dirty look, but it works given the setting. It helps add to the mood. The climax itself may have been a little too violent, given its inspired by real events (I know creative liberties were taken here), for my tastes. But it is what it is. The third act felt a little out of place, even though the movie did have its share of gore leading to it, but it's not bad. I can't say much else about this movie honestly. This is a fairly solid movie, but one that I'm not likely to remember by this time next week. It's on Amazon Prime, if you'd like to watch it.
    Jesse O Super Reviewer
  • Dec 23, 2011
    *1/2 out of **** "Borderland" is the kind of horror film that most genre fans will right up. One minute, it's an easy-going dramedy about three friends chasing beaver, and in another; it's a violent, loud, unnecessary thrill-ride limited to screams of bloody murder and torture chambers. One cannot help but be reminded of "Hostel"; which also contained most of what "Borderland" does, although with much more gratuitous amounts of blood and boobs. There was nothing particularly wrong with that film; just that, in my honest opinion, there was nothing really right about it either, save for some aspects that worked in spite of my general aversion to graphic violence and gore. If only this film worked in the same ways. It's about a trio of young men (played by Brian Presley, Jake Muxworthy, and Rider Strong; respectively) who decide to make a trip to Mexico for one reason only: the strip clubs, thus, the women. Each one of them gets lucky, more or less, and they have a pretty good first night during their stay. Little do they know, however, that there are more sinister forces at work. Zev Berman, the writer and director of the film, makes one crucial mistake early on: he opens "Borderland" with a scene that reveals the horror behind this story. In this case, the horror comes in the form of a sacrificial cult somewhere in Mexico. The opening reveals not only their existence, but also that the law cannot interfere with their practices; adding a problem to what was assumed to be one of the many advantages of making the trip to Mexico in the first place, which was the lack of law enforcement itself. The boys take hallucinogenic drugs, wake up in the morning, and discover that one of them is not there. We know where he went; but they're (almost) clueless. In an attempt to make these stupid kids look smart, Berman has them thinking right off the bat about a possible kidnapping, because stereotyping all Mexicans to be violent capers is just, I don't know, easier? Eventually, they're all kidnapped and brought to the cult; one of the members being a guy named Randall (played by Sean Astin), who initially seems like a decent guy, but develops into no more than another cult member lacking in his sanity or his humanity. Astin plays the role unevenly; I just couldn't take him seriously as a villain character, especially having seen him in the "Lord of the Rings" films, where he is so much better. The film consistently attempts to blend philosophy on religion with gory special effects; and for some, it's a formula that will work. A lot of horror fans seem to appreciate this one; they would even go as far as to call it "crafty". Me, I think it's vile, mindless, and uninteresting. It tries to be an intellectual's horror movie, but it fails so miserably; sometimes to the point where it's an almost unbearable example of failure. Does it have good cinematography and promising direction? Yeah, sure it does. But as a storyteller, Berman displays little talent or creativity, and most of the time, he relies shock value through the bloodshed, which is ironically never too shocking to begin with. He could have made this idea really work if he possessed the proper tools to execute a horror movie the way that true genre aficionados would prefer; but instead of nail-biting suspense or edge-of-your-seat thrills, Berman would rather show people getting their heads and hair cut off, which will either get old or under your skin; take your pick. The film was distributed by the boys (and girls) who run the After Dark Horror Fest. This one was released through their "8 Films to Die For" label; in the year of 2007. Let me just say that, in the case of the film, after dark certainly isn't late enough for me.
    Ryan M Super Reviewer
  • Dec 05, 2010
    One of the better 8 Films to Die For. Loosely based on a real cult murder, Borderland is a solid thriller (if you don't mind graphic violence or what is today called torture porn). I'd put it amongst the ranks of films like Hostel and Saw, although this one leans more towards action-oriented thrills by the end. If you don't mind a bit of gross-out horror, Borderland honestly succeeds at delivering an "it could happen to you" sort of scare-fest.
    Cynthia S Super Reviewer
  • Jun 08, 2010
    Three college students (Ed, Phil and Henry) decide to make a last minute trip down to Mexico to enjoy themselves with drugs, wine, woman and song before starting their master programs. Unfortunately while partying Phil is targeted for sacrifice by some insane Satan-worshiping sadistic cultists who believe that voodoo and human sacrifice would give the cult leader and his followers' special powers. Not only does he believe that this will make him more powerful but that his drug trade will also continue to prosper. In a city where the police turn a blind eye to the injustice which has lead to a multitude of sacrifices it's up to the friends to rescue Phil. They enlist the help of a broken detective, who watched as his partner was butchered by two of these vicious cult members. (The bald-headed cultist, Marco Bacuzzi is easily one of the scariest and most downright creepy villains I've ever seen and just exudes a scary aura.) Torture porn fans have a lot to like in this film where there is mind numbing blood and gore that includes amputations, hatchet's slicing up of the head, face, legs, back and a brutal eyeball-removal scene from its horrific opening to the finale. Supposedly based on true events! Nasty little film-if you like that sort of thing.
    Deb S Super Reviewer

Borderland Quotes

There are no approved quotes yet for this movie.

News & Features