Wednesday, August 3, 2016

British Paranormal Activity, or Thoughts on The Borderlands

 The Borderlands (2013), an impressive first movie debut from Writer and Director Elliot Goldner, is technically a found footage horror film, however there’s no explanation, nobody “found” all these memory cards and assembled them into a movie.  I’d rather call this a first person POV movie for the video game generation.  It’s an intriguing premise; Vatican ghostbusters travel the world debunking miracles and end up in a rural English church built over ancient Druid temple.  The investigators use headcams as part of their protocol (which supplies all those signature POV shots), and along with the CCTV cameras stuck in various corners, the collected footage blends seamlessly into a movie.
The church experiences some poltergeist activity (conveniently caught on home video during a christening) and is the center of a country village full of hostile locals by day and burning sheep lighting up by night.  There’s an inherent contradiction in the proposition of a skeptical priest, a sort of reverse cognitive dissonance in believing in a higher power while disproving any supernatural example of it.  Gordon Kennedy stars as Deacon, the hard-drinking ex-priest investigator, who you may remember as Little John from the BBC production of Robin Hood (2006).  Robin Hill is Gray, the agnostic, chain-smoking technical support, and together they supply the meat and bones of the film.  Their initial relationship of awkward new co-workers quickly evolves into a solid partnership as they experience firsthand the random baby cries in the empty church and the deeper mysteries below it.
A British Paranormal Activity (2007) without the inherent frustrations, (is there anybody who actually liked Micah), The Borderlands features sympathetic characters making intelligent decisions while also reacting naturally to terrifying situations.  The rural location and village conspiracy is reminiscent of TheWicker Man (1973), but there’s an inspired Lovecraftian twist ending that is barely explained and will not disappoint.



my first novel?  thanks for asking:)  it’s a the first book in a 4 volume supernatural martial arts series chock full of killer kung-fu witches, haunted carnivals, punk rock assassins, and a 24-hr diner with the best pie in town…