Monday, July 7, 2008
High Tension Review
High Tension is a balls to the wall horror film. This movie is insane on a lot of levels, and offers some great overall acting, scenarios, and horror. I don't fully understand some of the scenes in this film, and the twist ending isn't my favorite, but as a stand alone film, it is a knock out. I highly enjoyed High Tension on a lot of levels.
The plot revolves around a fat, creepy, dude. He is shown masturbating with a severed head, and that is the sickest introduction I've ever seen in a film. He then proceeds to murder a whole family, except for two young women. He takes one hostage and is unaware of the second, and as he puts one in his van tied up, the other one jumps in and hopes for a stop so that she can save her friend and bring justice.
We get to see this young lady in a lot of different scenarios. From her friendly introduction, driving to a new locale, to her more personal bedroom situation. She seems to be the main hero in the movie, and you really start to rally behind her as she goes through the slaughter, then tries to help her friend through various situations. High Tension was directed by Alexandre Aja, who went on to direct P2 and other films.
A specific stop is at a gas station, where she gets really close to calling the authorities before the clerk gets an axe to the chest. This prompts a really cool car chase scene with one of my favorite cars ever! You'll have to see the film to see this hot rod.
Just when you think you've got it all figured out, there is a big wrench thrown at you , and leaves you questioning the direction of this film. Some might be completely turned off by the "twist" of sorts, but others are ok with it, as it closes the film swiftly.
But before we talk about that, here is a trailer for the film High Tension:
What develops into a slasher film, really becomes an identity crisis film, and I know upon first viewing, I was definitely upset. However, after repeated watchings, I learned to enjoy this visual masterpiece and really loved seeing the development of what seems to be a one sided lover story.
Although, I felt that the duality scenario was just an easy way out for what was developing into a serious slasher franchise. It really relies on your willingness to just let logic go straight out the window, because if you're not that type of viewer, you're going to break your television with anger. The downfall of the whole film relies on the fact that the main character is the killer but not as you see him...or should I say her?
This film is a nice gorey thrill ride, and while I appreciated the effort, it just was one ending short of a full package. I liked it though, it was fun to watch, and really well edited, and cleverly shot. The musical choice of Muse also scored it some points too. Overall, not a bad import, and dubbed in an ok fashion. I recommend High Tension to anyone, but just warn you about the frivolous ending.
On a quick note, apparently the plot of this film is really close to the book by Dean Koontz entitled, "Intensity". I can not really confirm the similarities, as I haven't read the book, but maybe you want to look into that.
Other Foreign Film Recommendations:
Cache via Amazon.com
Irreversible via Amazon.com
Audition via Amazon.com
Three Extremes via Amazon.com
Also, check out "Intensity" by Dean Koontz via Amazon.com
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