Bringing paranormal activity to the West Country, writer/director Elliot Goldner’s attempt at the supernatural is surprisingly effective, despite its low-budget feel.
Found-footage films certainly offer a uniquely distinct fear factor, and The Borderlands is no exception. Set in a sleepy rural village with “Medieval” characteristics – such as no Wi-Fi – The Borderlands endeavours to lull its audience into a sense of falsely comic security.
Main character Gray (Robin Hill) is the techie guy, sent to assist Deacon (Gordon Kennedy) and Mark (Aidan McArdle) in the uncovering of bizarre happenings in the local church. Since conducting a Christening in the church, Father Crellick (Luke Neal) is convinced much greater powers are at work within the holy walls. However, sceptical duo Gray and Deacon need convincing.
Plagued by local delinquent youths, the ghost-busting protagonists struggle to take Father Crellick’s evidence seriously, instead choosing to believe it is nothing more than a prank. The overwhelming frustration of Crellick soon becomes too much and local fear builds to extreme.
Having been rigged up to head-cams by the resident tech expert Gray, the film is shot through fairly good amateur cameras. This style of filming does heighten intensity and suspense, but it can also leave the audience feeling a little sea-sick.
Unlike the supernatural franchise Paranormal Activity, Goldner’s The Borderlands is actually better scripted with a more convincing storyline, and believable plot. The adrenaline-boosting frights are totally palatable, and even more exceptional is the acting delivered by the fairly unknown cast. Kennedy and Hill in particular make The Borderlands very enjoyable to watch: as long as you don’t mind the intermittent spooks!
Overall this widely unknown film seems to have slipped beneath the radar which, given its likeability factor, is hugely unjust. The unpredictable storyline and the stoic British humour have earned this film its three strong stars.
The Borderlands is released nationwide on 4th April 2014.
Watch the trailer for The Borderlands here: