High Tension (2003)

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Delving back into my collection now everyone. Firstly, my humblest apologies for my inactivity of late. Life happens, and sometimes you just don’t feel it. This was GOING to be a review of the movie Resurrection starring Christopher Lambert, but honestly, I couldn’t get through it. SO, the random-movie-picker I have set up to pick my through my collection has chosen this one for me instead.

It’s the over-the-top French slasher ‘High Tension’ (aka Switchblade Romance, for you UK people, says Wikipedia)

Anyways, the plot according to IMDB is as follows :

Two college friends, Marie and Alexa, encounter loads of trouble (and blood) while on vacation at Alexa’s parents’ country home when a mysterious killer invades their quiet getaway.

Pretty straight forward.

Now, this is one of those movies that I found knowing the twist did have an impact on my second viewing. SO, please be aware that I WILL BE TALKING ABOUT THE TWIST in this review, and if you’re someone who thinks spoilers are just the worst thing ever, stop reading now, watch the movie, and then come back and we can compare notes. Deal?

Deal.

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Alright, so this is,underneath all of the hype surrounding the movie, a pretty straight forward ‘slasher with a twist’ movie. The major difference between this and a more mainstream slasher, is that this one takes risks and is insanely violent. Which is, I think, the reason that so many people just love this movie. I will say this about the French, with movies like this,  Martyrs, Inside and Frontier(s), they have shown us their penchant for relentlessly violent horror…in various degrees of quality.

This movie isn’t the strongest entry in this wave of french super-gore movies, but it is very enjoyable. The actors in the movie deliver pretty solid performances all around, and the gore effects are pretty well put together. There is some controversy about this movie, and there are certainly scenes that have earned it its reputation as a ‘disturbing movie’.

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The movie does effectively build tension, and over all it does achieve what you want out of a slasher movie. That being said, I do have a couple of problems with it.

Mostly, and almost exclusively, it’s the twist of the film. Now, I’m not someone who doesn’t like movie twists. Quite the contrary, I LOVE a good twist. Key word here being..a good twist. Through the course of the movie we have seen the two main characters at the hands of a murderous psychopath, and a very strong effort is made to make you think that is exactly what is happening. Normally, I would say “Fair enough, you had to miss direct the audience”. The problem though, is that they go to almost too much an extreme, so that when it is revealed one of the main characters is the killer… it doesn’t really make sense.

It just seemed almost like the twist was a little bit … “OH MAN LOOK HOW CRAZY AND MIND BLOWING THIS ISSSSSS” just for the sake of doing it, instead of because it best served the story.

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That’s not to say the movie is bad, I would just argue that maybe the twist isn’t as MIND BENDING AND INCREDIBLE as everyone seems to think it is. I do think this is one of those movies that gets just a little bit more credit because it’s subtitled.

It’s fun, its gory, it’s a very watchable movie.

It’s just not THE GREATEST HORROR MOVIE EVER MADE.

Give it a watch.

 

FINAL GRADE : C+

 

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