Directed by: Alexandree Aja
Written by: Alexandre Aja
Genre: Horror, Drama, Art House
Runtime: 85 Minutes
Despite being badly dubbed, and having an unbelievable end twist, this French slasher film can ne brutishly entertaining. It has the spirit of its title with all of the tension in the film, and lays itself out nicely. Although quite gritty and disturbing to watch it is a film were you want to see certain characters get free, until the film’s climax turns everything around in an overwhelming plot twist that will affect how good or bad you think the film is.
Best friends Marie (Cécile De France) and Alex (Mawenn Le Besco) go out to the countryside to visit Alex's parents. However, a homicidal delivery man (played by Philippe Nahon) ends up at their house and starts killing everyone. Alex and Marie fight for their lives with help from several means of weaponry.
The film’s fatal flaw is actually the plot twist. As clever as it is it is very logic defying. It just confuses you in to thinking some things you seen did not actually happen. However, it played out as an interesting end twist that shows someone as a psycho who has lost his or her mind. The dubbing was silly and annoying but it is easy to look past that. The plot twist is interesting, but almost incomprehensible if you look back on previous scenes, but if you keep that out of your mind, you can continue to enjoy this film.
The film does not seem to be popular with critics along with mane of writer and director Alexandre Aja. This is the first film I have seen from him, but the others I have heard of. The film has been written fine and he has shown quite a bit of potential here, because I honestly feel that the films darkened and tense atmosphere was very captivating.
The film is very gritty and reality crashing with how it has this homicidal killer coming out of nowhere, who slashes throats, kills kids and other horrific actions that I remain nameless for the good of not spoiling the film. Then again, do many slasher movies have explanations of killers? (Excluding Scream) Therefore, with the film’s R-rated pushing NC-17 gore it is quite a spellbinding journey. You will also find with this story it touches on obsession and lesbianism, which is quite an interested idea that has not really been experimented with. Hope I didn't spoil much there.
The film kicks off with small character introductions, then for about 60 minutes, we get tension and suspense as of the final minutes of “Halloween”. There is a lot of suspense here, perhaps a little too much but it definitely had me on edge for a little while. Juggling gore and suspense, “High Tension” is something that can be enjoyed for a one-time viewing because of its chilling atmosphere and titular effect that will keep you enthralled.
My Rating: 7.5/10