A movie for those who like gore, "High Tension" is a slick little import from France that manages to build some tension, throw in a twist here and there and splash the screen with more blood than found in "Kill Bill."
Starring Cécile De France, the hot number from "Swimming Pool," "High Tension" follows college pals Marie and Alexia as they go to stay at Alexia's parent's house. Though they are just friends, Marie is attracted to Alexia, and when a madman shows up at the house, kills the parents and then takes Alexia away in his truck to do all kinds of ungodly things to her, Marie breaks out into high pursuit to save her friend and stop the psychopathic killer.
The great thing about "High Tension" is that it is simple and to-the-point. A madman shows up, kills people, and the plot revolves around trying to rescue his final victim. It is easy to enjoy and does manage a decent degree of suspense, though "high tension" may be overstating things just a little. Beyond the obvious suspense, however, director Alexandre Aja has dropped in subtle undertones to the film, such as love, lust and a willingness to do just about anything to protect those you care for. You don't need to see this film at that degree to like it, however, but it adds an intelligence rarely found in horror flicks these days.
At the very least, if you're one of those people like me who are sadistic enough to like a movie just because it's full of blood and gore, "High Tension" should do the trick. The movie is full of nasty and disgusting deaths, so if you have a weak stomach - well, hopefully you stopped reading after the first sentence.
"High Tension" is a fun little film that, if given the appropriate marketing, could be more entertaining and scary than the typical fare this Halloween. Smart, somewhat suspenseful and immensely gory, "High Tension" does the trick.
Review by Erik Samdahl unless otherwise indicated.
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