The Borderlands is from the found footage genre of horror film, and as always with these type of films they have some bullshit reason for how and where to put up the CCTV cameras (and we begin with putting cameras up in a cottage that has nothing to do with the investigation really but is purely for completeness). But as far as films in this style go, this is an ok one even if on reflection there are some plot holes that are bugging me.
Most are slow burning, watching a static camera shot for something to move or some sound to ring out and this in no different. Three Vatican investigators are called in to look into possible supernatural activity at a recently reopened church in Devon. Each of the main characters are equipped with a head-cam to go alongside the multiple CCTV cameras, which give it a nice extra angle to see things from and giving it a bit more of a cinematic feel, but then this distracts from the found footage authenticity a little.
With a good number of decent scares and a fraught final 10 minutes I have been pleasantly surprised by this one. Part Paranormal Activity but ending by feeling a bit like As Above, So Below it is well conceived and has everything in the right place. Pacing is good (as far as the slowly, slowly, oh shit form of found footage horror films go), keeping the information coming, developing the ideas, progressing the story and introducing scares appropriately as we build towards the inevitable ending.
Acing is good, Gordon Kennedy does well as Father Deacon the lead investigator. The IT Guy, Gray (Robin Hill), is a mouthy git but is genuine – I liked his no bullshit attitude and was pleasantly surprised that he made it to the films final act, and Father Mark (Aidan McArdle) was the stickler for the rules and a serial debunker of this type of event, ever the sceptical one.
There are some nice ideas about Pre-Christian worship and it’s relation to present day religion. Worth a watch if you are interested in found footage style films, well produced and pretty well executed.
Horror Rating: ★★ ½☆☆
Overall Rating: ★★ ½☆☆