Final Prayer (The Borderlands) (2013) Horror Movie Review

 

“Final Prayer” (also known as “The Borderlands”) is a 2013 British found-footage horror film that has garnered attention for its unique approach to the genre. Directed by Elliot Goldner in his directorial debut, the film was premiered at the London FrightFest Film Festival and has since intrigued horror enthusiasts with its blend of realism and supernatural elements.

The story follows a team of Vatican investigators sent to a remote church in the English countryside to explore reports of miraculous occurrences. The team, composed of Deacon, a skeptical religious brother; Gray Parker, a tech-savvy layman; and Father Mark Amidon, a stringent priest, delve into the mysteries of the church with a mix of scientific and spiritual methods. The film’s atmosphere is one of its standout features, with a palpable tension that builds as the investigation unfolds.

One of the film’s strengths lies in its character development, particularly the dynamic between Deacon and Gray. Their chemistry and dialogue provide a solid foundation for the narrative, allowing viewers to engage with their journey on a deeper level. The subplot concerning Deacon’s past adds a layer of complexity to his character, enriching the story.

“Final Prayer” employs the found-footage style effectively, avoiding many of the clich├ęs that often plague this sub-genre. The use of fixed surveillance cameras and head cams adds to the authenticity of the experience, making the viewer feel like a part of the investigation. This approach also serves to heighten the suspense, especially as the film progresses towards its climax.

The ending of “Final Prayer” is particularly noteworthy. Without giving away any spoilers, it can be said that the film takes a bold turn in its final act, leaving a lasting impression on the audience. It’s a conclusion that has been both praised and critiqued for its originality and shock value, with some viewers finding it a fitting capstone to the eerie setup, while others may find it a departure from the established tone of the film.

Critics and audiences have noted that “Final Prayer” stands out among both found-footage films and British horror cinema. While it may not be universally appealing due to its intense and disturbing finale, it is undoubtedly a film that pushes the boundaries of its genre. It’s a must-watch for those who appreciate horror that challenges expectations and leaves viewers pondering long after the credits roll.

In the Nutshell

“Final Prayer” is a commendable entry in the horror film landscape, offering a gripping narrative, strong character interactions, and an ending that defies convention. It’s a film that demonstrates the potential of found-footage to deliver a compelling and unsettling experience, making it a notable film for horror aficionados. Whether you’re a fan of the genre or a newcomer, “Final Prayer” is a film that is sure to provoke thought and perhaps even a few nightmares. For its daring narrative and atmospheric execution, it earns a solid recommendation.  I give 4 out of 5 stars.

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Genre: Found-footage

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