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
Irreversible via
Audition via
Three Extremes via

Also, check out "Intensity" by Dean Koontz via

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  1. I don't really find torture porn that far from reality. I just find that they always like to use the same plot. Like Hostel in both films people were traveling and just happened to find the Hostel. I would like to see how else they could scam people into the hotels.

    B.T.W You have a cool site. I added you to my blog roll.

  2. The set ups are elaborate at times, but the sheer length of the "torture" sequences, is what people and critics alike seem to remember most.

    Thanks for the comment

  3. I saw this movie a little over a year ago. A group of us got together a lot and one night someone brought it with them. Insane is right! The beginning is a bit hard to follow at first but you really have to pay attention to the clues. I think it has a little something for every type of horror lover. Plenty of blood, mystery and a lot of psychological stuff going on. The men of course liked the girl on girl. I do not usually like the really bloody ones but the psychological stuff kept me interested. I agree about the ending. When it ended everyone just sat quiet for awhile with a WTF look.

  4. nice site. I will try to visit regularly. lots of good images and choice movie selections. too late to say much more, but i will return.


  5. this movie is hardcore & brutal. the torture scenes are intense and that's why I loved it! the ending does have that WTF factor, but I don't feel it was tacked on. you defiantly need to watch the original French version. the American dubbed and edited version just doesn't cut it!!!



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A writer first, cat lover second, and some other stuff too. Human, with lots of faults, and terrible communication.
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