The Swedish fairy tale Border has the advantage of feeling like a singular work and offers some sights never before witnessed in movies, but the overall work is a difficult one to embrace.
Ali Abassi’s adaptation of the short story Gräns by novelist and co-writer John Ajvide Lindqvist (Let the Right One In) casts a near instant spell in following customs officer Tina (Eva Melander, in heavy, unflattering makeup), a lonely woman with the ability to smell fear — a valuable asset for identifying various contraband — and communicate with animals.
The air of mystery grows with the arrival of More (Eero Milonoff), a man who shares Tina’s unusual facial appearance as well as her strong aversion to lightning, and, through a quickly-established loving bond, gets her thinking that she may not have a chromosome flaw after all.
As their relationship develops and revelations arise, Abassi and his visually engrossing outsider leads craft moments of beauty among stunning natural vistas, but as the content turns darker and the mystery subsides, the initial appeals largely evaporate.
Grade: B-minus. Rated R. Now playing at the Fine Arts Theatre