BORDERLAND (2007) Reviews and overview

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Borderland is a 2007 American-Mexican crime horror film directed by Zev Berman from a screenplay co-written with Eric Poppen.

The movie stars Brian Presley, Rider Strong, Jake Muxworthy, Martha Higareda, Sean Astin, Beto Cuevas, Damián Alcázar and Marco Bacuzzi.


The film is very loosely based on the true story of Adolfo de Jesús Constanzo, the leader of a religious cult that practised human sacrifice. Costanzo and his followers kidnapped and murdered University of Texas student, Mark Kilroy, in the spring of 1989.



Three happy-go-lucky Texas University students, Ed (Brian Presley), Henry (Jake Muxworthy) and Phil (Rider Strong), are nearing the end of their studies, so decide to take a little R and R south of the border.

Setting up Phil for losing his virginity, the boys meet Valeria (Martha Higareda) and her cousin Lupe (Francesca Guillen), down some magic mushrooms and set off for the carnival. As the hallucinogens take hold, the boys get separated, and Phil, accepting a lift home, is abducted by his worst nightmare. A similar fate soon awaits his friends, as they become the sacrificial lambs, used by a religious cult of Mexican drug-runners to bestow mystical protection to their activities…

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“Loosely based on a haunting true story, the film features the standard ‘wrong place at the wrong time in a foreign country’ premise, but director Zev Berman does manage to squeeze quite a few thrills from the tired plot … Sure, the film is a tad light on “horror,” playing more like a gory crime thriller, but it’s one of the best films After Dark has produced regardless.” IGN

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“This is one seriously grim movie, made all the more so because it is based, rather faithfully, on actual events. If you’re looking for a good, old-fashioned scare-fest or a more contemporary gore-fest, look elsewhere. This is most definitely not a “feel-good” movie, and it’s too well-made to allow for any kind of comfortable detachment.” DVD Verdict

“While not for the faint of heart, Borderland has something many low-budget, gore-soaked horror films don’t have, actual characters who are well-rounded, have real personalities, motivations, and emotional arcs. Add that to a taut story and ample atmosphere, and you wind up with a surprisingly watchable movie.” Popmatters


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“At the base of it, Borderland is just another incarnation of Hostel. The storyline and characters being so similar, it’s uncanny. But to its credit, the action and horror kicks off as soon as the opening titles have rolled. Then It’s uncomfortably entertaining throughout, much like the Saw series that it is likened to. Gore, tension and lots of tequila.” Love Horror

“Genre labels aside, Borderland is thoroughly engrossing, building effectively toward a gruelling climax. The sense of growing dread is almost palpable. Although punctuated with visceral thrills, the real engine driving the film is fear of what will happen next, coupled with a sense of being helpless in the face of a seemingly all-powerful enemy.”  Cinefantastique


Borderland was released as one of the 8 Films to Die For at Horrorfest 2007.

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