Territories is a 2010 Franco-Canadian horror film co-written and directed by Olivier Abbou and starring Roc LaFortune, Michael Mando and Cristina Rosato.
Five friends returning from a marriage in Canada return home to the United States. Not far from the border, two customs officers stop them to check their identity.
Suspicious, they take their time, especially with Jalil, a man of Arab origin. The situation worsens when a customs officer finds a small bag of marijuana in the luggage. Then things degenerate rapidly: a customs officer grabs the little dog that’s part of the group and slits open its belly to be sure it’s not a mule. When Gab makes a move, he’s shot. The customs officer orders the surviving friends to undress and put on orange coveralls.
Gradually, it dawns on the four tourists that they are in the hands of former torturers from Guantanamo…
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“Territories isn’t as violent as you might expect, and it even manages to throw in some unsettlingly cruel humour, but it is a deeply upsetting experience … as well as predictable politicized posturing. A difficult watch but a worthwhile one.” Eye For Film
“Horror fans will delight in a handful of impressive gore scenes by make-up artist C.J. Goldman (Orphan), captured with handheld verve by cinematographer Karim Hussain (Hobo with a Shotgun). But Territories is ultimately less about the bloodletting than about revealing torture to be a by-product of Bush-era extremism – an idea that seems worn out following Hostel and its many rehashes.” Hollywood Reporter
“The film is beautifully shot and the acting is fantastic all around. A creepy tension slowly builds and once it has taken hold it doesn’t let go. I found the final act of the film unrelenting and at times surreal. This is a film that stands very clear of others and will grip you to the very end. It will also leave you with something to think about for a long time afterwards.” Screen Jabber
“The story does not show any compassion for its victims, paying more attention to the torturers, but the anguish onscreen is strong and the performances are uniformly excellent, conveying believable emotional states throughout the movie. Territories is a difficult watch at times but a worthwhile one. It’s no masterpiece but it may have you thinking about its message.” Wicked Horror