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3.4 out of 5 stars139
3.4 out of 5 stars
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This low-budget found-footage British horror film definitely has the feel of the original Wicker Man as we follow two sceptics sent by the Vatican to investigate strange happenings in the old church of a small rural parish in the West Country. One is a world weary seasoned veteran of religious paranormal hoaxes and the other a non-religious recording technician who only took the job because the money was good and was able to con the interview panel that he was a believer. Through mundane tasks and interactions between the two main characters we are drawn in to their investigation and as the tension slowly builds a sense of dread gradually takes over. The film is surprisingly funny and creepy and in my opinion, genuinely horrifying.
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on 8 April 2016
This film is great. I even knew what the ending was having read a spoiler (Wikipedia) like an idiot and I still enjoyed it. I thought Rob Hill's acting was a little off (kind of overly chipper and chatty nerdgasming over his gear like a You Tube plumber) but Gordon Kennedy was fantastic and the back and forth between the too was good, developing into a genuine unlikely friendship in the face of something something truly dark and inexplicable. What I liked was how Gray, the unbeliever is initially more credulous than the priests who've been trained to be highly sceptical despite what some would argue are their irrational beliefs. There are some good conversations in the film around these ideas. Certain elements of the film, unfriendly locals; bumping around in the dark; protagonists freaking out but not just running away, well, you've seen in countless horror films and the found footage conceit was rather stretched. Why exactly did they have to wear their head cams ALL the time, and why was their accomodation all camered up? I guess the idea was the "miracles" they were investigating might follow them home. Or maybe it was to ensure they weren't complicit in a hoax. This film wasn't super original but it got some key things really right, mainly that central relationship and in my opinion and absolutely corking ending.
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on 9 April 2014
This is the business. At last a superior found footage film that really works well.The camera wobble is kept to a minimum and unlike Paranormal Inactivity and Devil's Due it doesn't leave you with a migraine. I found it funny and above all really frightening, please do yourself a favour and watch it with the lights out. If you fancy a traditional British Ghost story then this creeping tale of terror is for you.
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on 26 April 2014
To quote another reviewer: 'It will seriously creep you out, if you have an IQ over 100.' Quite agree - I lost patience with people who insisted the Blair Witch Project wasn't scary. How could it not be a scary film? If you don't find this film scary you are either unable to grasp what it is doing, not concentrating, or simply don't like horror films in general. For reviewers to say they switched it off after 30 minutes because it was boring is just crazy.

Anyway. . . I found this to be an effectively creepy and original horror. I thought the dialogue was good, genuinely funny in places and well-delivered. Gordon Kennedy in particular is very good. Considering they obviously didn't have a big budget I think they were especially clever in the way they made this. The ending (no spoilers). . . Wow. Honestly don't know what to say about that (in a good way). Chilling. Like The Blair Witch Project the ending only disappointed because it meant there was no more film. It could have gone on much longer as far as I'm concerned.

I hope the filmmakers stick to this genre.
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on 14 July 2014
A lot of people dont like found footage movies,but when they are as good as this i dont see why.I think (if done right)found footage is made for horror.
This british entry has a great cast,good story and the setting is perfect.If you like found footage then this is for you.
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TOP 500 REVIEWERon 30 April 2014
As soon as I found out that I had paid good money for yet another so-called 'thriller' using found-footage, my initial reaction was: 'oh no, not again'. However, 'The Borderlands' is in a higher class to the others I've seen.

Long-term Ben Wheatley collaborator Robin Hill is hilarious as Gray, a non believing man, hired only to deal with the recording equipment, who teams up with Deacon, Gordon Kennedy's investigator character, who is a believer, but also has a drink problem, and from there a great double act is formed. The pair are sent by the Vatican to check out a claim by a local priest of a possession taking place in an old village church, via a very fuzzy video where we see crosses and candles moving fleetingly across a table. The priest himself is a rather strange man, whose actions seem to defy logic.

The team originally doubt the so called paranormal activity, until events start to take a darker turn, and it seems that something rather sinister has been awakened. Despite a very witty script, there are some genuinely eerie moments, but nothing in it is what I would personally consider to be particularly heart pounding scary, despite several reviews.

For such a small budget, I think that 'The Borderlands' is something quite good, and has a good balance of comedy and thrills. I liked it, I laughed a lot, and would happily watch it again.
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on 20 January 2016
Thoroughly enjoyable found footage horror film, with a lot of decent scares. I've seen it 2 times since getting it the other day. The performances were excellent and the scenery and location of the film and how it was shot really impressed me. It's like a remake of the Blair Witch with an actual script and fleshed out plot.

The big problem I had with it is the high amount of unanswered questions in the film. Even the dvd packaging has a picture on it that leaves me wondering whether it's supposed to be a comment on one of the characters in the film. The idea that these mysterious "why the hell did that character do that" moments are up to the interpretation of the viewer are not properly earned by the filmakers in my opinion.

Still it's a fairly small criticism on an otherwise great and frightening horror film.
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on 23 April 2014
Another found footage movie gets released, and seeing as this was released on DVD literally a week after its cinema release, with the cover bearing quotes like 'best British horror released in a long time', alarm bells did begin to ring.

But Mark Kermode, one of the most prolific British film critics recommended it, and if you know his work, you will know that this would make the film seem very intriguing.

It starts off like any other found footage film. Cameras are set up, and we have the believer, and the non believer, who work together as there has been a disturbance at a village church.

Gray is there to set up all the audio and cameras (after all, it's the main focus point of the narrative), and Deacon is the man who does this for a living, much like Karras in The Exorcist, but this is played by Gordon Kennedy, who you may remember from the little seen sitcom Absolutely in the early nineties.

The film then follows the rules of the found footage film down to a tee. It's all pretty familiar to begin with, we have the two bonding and drinking etc. and then it fades to the church, where sinister things are afoot at night.

As always, there is a scene where you, the viewer says ''I'd leave by that point', and then the locals start to be funny with them.

All sounds a little samey doesn't it?

But then it just goes down the straight horror route, and believe me, the final ten minutes are almost unbearable to watch, not because its scary, the film isn't necessarily scary at all, it's just very tense, and the word despair comes into mind.

The two leads are wonderful, one annoying, and the other calm, to begin with. And then the tables turn, Deacon begins to doubt, and Gray the opposite.

It's been almost a week since I've seen it, but that very last scene, is still playing on my mind, not because it's anything groundbreaking, it truly isn't, it's just the air of desperation and despair that surrounds it, a film that will definitely stay with you.

It's haunting and eerie, and thank heavens it doesn't go for the loud noises jump scares that infect all horror movies now.

Really worth seeking out.
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on 9 April 2014
Some excellent camera work, editing, and acting, especially the footage filmed in the Mysterious pagan tunnels / secret passages, my only criticism is i think at times some of the scenes dragged at the start (even if they were possibly to make the setting/story seem more realistic) and would be better with editing some out.
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on 26 November 2015
It's not the worst thing I've ever seen but the story/concept is entirely unoriginal (many films have done the same sort of thing much, much better), the production is quite amateurish and not much really happens... the odd thing moves here and there and there's a creaking noise. The two main actors seem to carry off what they're given to work with to the best of their ability but how on earth anyone thinks this is scary or worth four or five stars is beyond me.
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