Friday 5 April 2024

The Borderlands (2013)

"First Class Found Footage Classic"

Producer Jennifer Handorf's 2013 found footage horror that premiered at Frightfest that year gets a deserved special edition Blu-ray release from Second Sight.

There's been an alleged miracle at a tiny Catholic church deep in the UK's West Country (actually West Ogwell in Devon). A team has been despatched from the Vatican to either verify or, more likely, disprove what has happened. The team consists of Deacon (Gordon Kennedy) and Mark (Aidan McArdle) assisted by tech guy Gray (Robin Hill) who is there to ensure round the clock filming of their investigations by the numerous cameras he sets up, and which the team have with them at all times.

At first it looks like the local vicar had been faking everything, but as events progress it turns out that there really might be something supernatural going on in, or rather under, the church, something far more horrible than any of them might have been expecting.

Eleven years after its hugely well received premiere, if anything THE BORDERLANDS has improved with time. It's essentially a slow buildup to a brilliantly unpleasant conclusion, with ideas and hints of what's actually going on dropped in along the way such that the film rewards repeat viewings.

Second Sight's disc offers a greatly improved transfer over the previous DVD release, plus a host of new extras. These include a 30 minute interview with producer Handorf and another of similar length with Kennedy and Hill. Both interviews go into good detail about the filming and how, after reshoots and what sounds like multiple edits, the film ended up in its current version.

Special effects man Dan Martin gives a tutorial on movie slimes (more interesting that you might think!) as well as talking about the picture in a 15 minute interview, and all four of the above are together for the commentary track, which goes over some of the above but has extra material as well. Finally, the archival making of featurette has been ported over, and the limited edition comes with art cards, a 70-page book and a slipcase to keep everything in.

THE BORDERLANDS had a terrific reception at its premiere. It's good to see that its reputation has endured, and if you've never seen it before Second Sight's edition of what is already something of a classic is the one to get.

THE BORDERLANDS is out from Second Sight on Blu-ray in both standard and limited editions on a new release date of Monday 15th April 2024

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