Thursday, October 1, 2015

Horrors of October - High Tension

It has begun!

That's right, the return of Horrors of October, where I watch and review a horror-themed movie/other form of media each and every day up until All Hallows' Eve. On tap and in consideration for this year's edition include amazon and mountain cannibals, evil spirals, the girl-borg-next-door, mutated bears, mists, killer singing plants, Donald Duck-sounding serial killers, evil notebooks, Swedish vampires, haunted houses, Mexican ghost children, and the Reagans!

(If you can guess what titles correspond with those clues, you sir or madam are a bonafide horror hound.)

I'll also be paying tribute to the recently departed Wes Craven with several entries and hopefully run a franchise, such as Puppet Master, Saw, Feast, or Tremors. As I'm doing this, I'll also be posting reviews of 2015 horror movies, so make sure to check those out as well.

High Tension (2003)

We kick off this year's edition of Horrors of October with one of the landmark titles of the New French Extremity; Unfortunately, it does not live up to the hype at all. College girl Marie (Cécile de France in her breakout role) heads off with her friend Alex (Maïwenn) to the latter's birth home for a quick stay in the countryside, only to be suddenly terrorized by a cruel serial killer (Philippe Nahon) and his dilapidated truck. HIGH TENSION, alternatively known in some parts by its more foreshadowing title SWITCHBLADE ROMANCE, is frankly pretty boring to sit through, despite a clean 91 minute running time. The selective gore effects are stellar and the technical crew are able to craft some intriguing shots and sequences through the camera and editing respectively but the fact remains that there is no tension at all in a movie called HIGH TENSION. Some of you may think that this is because I, like many others, had the film's infamous twist spoiled beforehand, thanks to some loose-lipped friends, online articles, and a visiting professor that no sold the many groans of disappointment he was generating. Setting that aside and giving the film a fresh view, you'll notice that the film possesses a ton of stalking scenes that have been done to death, including such classics as "checking the bedroom" and "checking the bathroom stalls", and that old favorite "how did he get behind me?" Then you have the sexual scenes that are absolutely stupid and definitely not needed for inclusion, such as the notorious severed head blow-job scene or the part when Marie thinks it's the right time to masturbate in someone else's house. Once the twist is revealed, you will then be confused at what you have seen before and grow to hate the film exponentially. Though I like director Alexandre Aja and to a lesser extent his writing buddy Grégory Levasseur for their latter works, their grand introduction to the global horror stage is an annoying slog, barely livened up by some practical prowess.


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