High Tension review
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Plot:Two female students, Marie and Alex, set off to Alex's parent's secluded homestead in the country to relax and study. Come nightfall, Hell pulls up at the front door. Alex is now bound and gagged, taken off, with Marie eluding the intruder. Can she save her friend's life in time?
Cécile De France,
Maïwenn Le Besco,
Marco Claudiu Pascu.
My thoughts:Didn't have the twist ending I guessed beforehand. But I think it would have been better off using that ending instead.
Review:"High Tension" for the last year has been one of the most hyped foreign horror films to come out of a foreign land other than japan. It's been called everything from scary as hell, to one frightening ride, etc. So was I impressed? Well, I was...up until things unfolded at the end. The film revolves around two college friends, Marie and Alex, who are roadtripping to
Alexes parents house in the remote countryside to get some studying done in a peaceful, quiet environment. The film wastes no time in letting the audience know that yes, some bad shyt will go down, relatively speaking when we get a shot of the killer *pleasuring* himself in his truck. Thats all I'm going to mention about that part, but it's definitely not what it sounds like. This scene,along with the opening montauge of a blood-soaked girl running through the woods sets the sick twisted tone for the film right off the bat. The unique and cool thing about "High Tension" is that it wastes not time in taking us into those really dark places from a horror movie fans point of view. Once Marie and Alex arrive at the house, it's only a matter of time before bloodshed and chaos ensues. These scenes are where the killer makes his presence felt in the film and are some of the most graphic scenes I've seen on-screen in ages. The impact they carry will definitely be felt by even hardcore horror film fans. The reason why the death scenes at the house are so effective is because they happen to an entire family of nice,harmless folk. Director Alex Aja does a good job of getting the audience to actually feel the impact these acts of violence have on the family as well as the characters in the film who hide in the shadows while witnessing them.
As opposed to in most horror films where tremendous acts of violence are committed against the local asshole or slutty school girl, thus our pity for them is minimal at best. The problem with these scenes is that they kick the film into major high gear early, and everything after that fails to reach the suspense level of the early massacre scenes, but those later scenes do come very close to doing so, which balances out the film very well. The film shifts gears from slasher, to road/horror film once Alex is snatched up and dumped into the killers truck, and her friend Marie becomes her only hope for survival. The killers truck is very reminiscent of the Creepers truck from "Jeepers Creepers". It's small, rusty, and houses a mini storage compartment in the back for food or human bodies. The only thing it's missing, is the shrill truck horn the creepers truck sported. The movie also tosses in a cat and mouse aspect during all of these vents taking place. Marie has many close encounters with the mysterious killer while trying to rescue her friend Alex. These make for some very suspenseful scenes throughout the film. I have to admit one of the most well done scenes that I've seen in awhile from a theatrical release horror film. were the gas station scenes involving Marie and the killer. So where does this movie go wrong? Well it seemed like it never could go wrong, and I was very much looking forward to the clash at the end that was being set up throughout the movie, but it's in the ending where things go horribly wrong. With everything. Granted I was informed of a big twist being present at the end of the film. But I did my best to not spoil it for myself by reading anything on the IMDB or various other messageboards about the twist ending. So going into and watching the film, all I knew was...at the end BIG TWIST. Yes there is a big twist, but it really falls along the lines of a huge cop out. Even bigger than the cop out ending of "Hide and Seek", but yet not as well done as the semi-cop out ending from "Ripper:Letter From Hell". I was way off on the twist I had imagined in my head that would take place. and Frankly, I would have preferred that ending. While one scene that takes place after the slaughter at Alexes house does play a key factor into making the films ending make sense to the audience, still I didn't like it at all. Granted the ending does prove that this killer is way more screwed in the head than at first realized, but it takes away from what started out as a flawless horror film. Many people called this ending predictable. I personally saw it as lame and disappointing, as opposed to predictable. Because I didn't have one inkling that things would climax the way that they did. Was this ending enough to ruin the entire movie for me? Surprisingly...no. While I didn't care for the ending at all, 95% of "High Tension" still succeeds at being a blood-soaked,brutal,vicious, entertaining, tense,and suspenseful horror movie. It's just that last 5% 9the ending) I wish I could stop from ever having happened.
Pros:Suspenseful in many scenes, very bloody, does a good job of making you feel bad for the family during the massacre scene.
Cons:What else?...The ending.
Overall: 95% every horror film fans dream, 5% an ending that mostly every horror fan hates on some level. Definitely worth seeing in theaters, and who knows, some may even like the ending. I however didn't.
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