Border (Gräns) (2018)


Critic Consensus: Thrilling, unpredictable, and brilliantly acted, Border (Gräns) offers a singular treat to genre fans looking for something different.


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Movie Info

Customs officer Tina is known for her extraordinary sense of smell. It's almost as if she can sniff out the guilt on anyone hiding something. But when Vore, a suspicious-looking man, walks past her, her abilities are challenged for the first time ever. Tina can sense Vore is hiding something she can't identify. Even worse, she feels a strange attraction to him. As Tina develops a special bond with Vore and discovers his true identity, she also realizes the truth about herself. Tina, like Vore, does not belong to this world. Her entire existence has been one big lie and now she has to choose: keep living the lie or embrace Vore's terrifying revelations.


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Critic Reviews for Border (Gräns)

All Critics (86) | Top Critics (17)

Maybe best to think of it as a chilly Scandinavian bedtime tale, the type to unsettle bothersome children and leave them identifying with the ogre.

Jan 3, 2019 | Rating: 3/4 | Full Review…
Boston Globe
Top Critic

"Border" brings to horror-fantasy the same Swedish sensibility that "The Girl With the Dragon Tattoo" brought to crime thrillers. Welcome to the land of eternal night.

Dec 5, 2018 | Rating: 3.5/5 | Full Review…

Don't read another word about it: just go.

Nov 25, 2018 | Full Review…

It... gnaws at the brain for its subliminal messages about how we treat the people in our midst who don't fit whatever definition of "normal" we're carrying around with us.

Nov 23, 2018 | Rating: 3/4 | Full Review…

Director and co-writer Ali Abbasi's film is a murky, unsettling watch - but however unsettling, it remains gripping and affecting, its viscerality covering for its occasional elisions.

Nov 16, 2018 | Rating: 3/5 | Full Review…

Even the most open-minded viewers may have difficulty relating to the two lead protagonists in Border, a cynical Swedish romantic-fantasy.

Oct 26, 2018 | Rating: 2/4 | Full Review…

Audience Reviews for Border (Gräns)


Border is a hard movie to describe without giving away key parts of its plot. Ostensibly this Swedish film is about Tina, a customs agent with a genetic deformity who can literally smell fear. She's bedeviled by another man, Vore, who looks to have the same genetic deformity she has, which unleashes a flurry of gnawing questions over whether the two have some deeper connection, who might be her real family, and whether this genetic deformity is really what she's been lead to believe. The movie is from the writer of Let the Right One In and takes a very macabre and understated look into a fairy tale realm bleeding into our own world. The movie is mostly grounded and benefits greatly from its lead actress, Eva Melander, who gives a rousing, nuanced performance under heavy prosthetic makeup. Tonally, it feels like the darker impulses, which can get extremely disturbing, are at odds with some of the other competing storylines, like her gradual self-awakening and the potential romance with Vore. Nothing will prepare you for how weird things will get including an awkward sex scene that defies belief. Border holds out a bit too long with its pertinent information, delaying the mystery without enough clues to tease things out in a satisfying manner. Afterwards, the remaining reveals reflect more on the cruel depths of Vore and less with Tina's response. It makes an uncomfortable direction feel like it's meant more as provocation. Ultimately I think I needed more from the story and characters to better meet out the aims of its genre-defying vision. It's definitely a different movie and will register for those looking for dark, adult fairy tales. Nate's Grade: B-

Nate Zoebl
Nate Zoebl

Super Reviewer

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