Tuesday, June 19, 2012

Jason reviews High Tension

The last of three movies I watched while holed up alone at a cabin in the woods, but certainly not the least. I hadn't screened High Tension, AKA Haute Tension to my Francophone friends, in about seven years, so it was nice hitting it from an almost fresh perspective.

Two college friends, Marie and Alexa, encounter loads of trouble while on vacation at Alexa's parents' country home when a mysterious, and brutally effective, killer knocks on the front door. 

Or at least that's the official synopsis as there's one fuck of a twist that would make M. Night Shyamalan jealous he hadn't thought of it first.

First off, this movie's still got it, and by got it I mean blood, gore and suspense. This is a throwback to the grindhouse horror movies of the 70s: grim, gory and downright nasty at times. The flick doesn't compromise in its razor-straight simplicity. But that's also what makes it so effective.

And, for reasons I'm still not sure of, it's fun. Not ha-ha fun, but a good time nonetheless. I can't say the same about Saw, Hostel or all those other torture porn movies, but I had a blast with High Tension, and could watch it multiple times without hesitation. 

As for the twist, some people will get it, some will be pissed right the fuck off. I got it, and enjoyed picking up all the tells with this second viewing. Maybe that's part of why I like it so much. Kudos to writer/director Alexandre Aja for crafting such an effective little horror thriller. 

This rates a Good, in case you hadn't guessed that by now.

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