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If you like your romances filtered through a Cronenberg lens and sprinkled with a dash of Scandi Noir, you are going to love Border.

Unsettling from the start, Border blends body horror with fantasy and good old-fashioned love themes for a unique experience.

Tina (Eva Melander) is a customs officer with an unusual talent. In the opening scenes we see her 'sniffing out' guilty passengers who pass her desk. She comes and goes between work and her remote woodland house, where she lives with her partner and his three dogs. Although her life seems quite normal on the surface, we see Tina is not particularly welcome in her own home as the dogs bark at her constantly and she sleeps in a single bed in a separate room to her partner. She spends a lot of her time walking barefoot in the woods, appearing to commune with the natural environment.

One day a passenger walks by her desk who confounds her senses. She knows he is hiding something, but crucially she is almost uncontrollably attracted to him. The arrival of this passenger, Vore (Eero Milonoff), confuses Tina's instincts and ultimately sets her life on a dramatic path of self-discovery.

Possibly the strangest love story I have ever seen, Border isn't afraid to throw out a few curve balls, stepping seamlessly from the incredibly tender to the shocking and sometimes the disturbing.

The makeup and prosthetics are stunning, rightly earning the artists an Oscar nomination, and the performances are outstanding. I was completely swept along with this bizarre, horrific but beautiful whirlwind romance. Understated and nuanced in her portrayal, Melander steals the film as a person living on the outside.

The entrancing, mesmeric soundtrack enhances without dominating this affecting and in many ways joyous film.

Next article in issue 133

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