High Tension (2003)
High Tension is a French foreign horror film. The movie was made in 2003, but released in the US in 2005. You can watch the film with subtitles or have the French dubbed over in English. Some people don’t like watching movies with subtitles. Others don’t like watching a movie that has been dubbed over in a different language because the lips don’t match up with the words. I have never had a problem with either format, but sometimes it is good to know what you are getting yourself into before watching a movie like that.
The movie is about two college girls, Marie (Cecile De France) and Alexa (Maiwenn), who vacation to Alexa’s family’s house in the country, way out in the middle of nowhere. The girls planned on getting a lot of studying done in the quiet remote home. What they didn’t plan on was getting a strange visitor in the middle of the night who turned out to be a murdering psychopath.
The first time that I watched this movie was in 2005. It was around the time that the movie Saw (2004) was popular. Horror movies had begun to master bloody brutality. Blood and guts seemed as real as they had ever been on screen and horror movies were celebrating this fact. High Tension joined the party of gruesome graphic violence.
It’s hard to enjoy a movie of this kind. However, the shock value throughout the film is highly prevalent. It’s disgusting and disturbing. It’s vile, but full of horror. The unspeakable acts of violence depicted in High Tension are grotesque, but the filmmaking is superb.
The soundtrack in the movie is spine-chilling and it only serves to magnify just how obscenely intense the film actually is. High Tension is the perfect title, because that is exactly what the movie is full of. The film may simply be a slasher strictly for the shock value, but it is one that will keep you on edge waiting for what will happen next. It’s like a horrific car wreck that is hard not to stare at. You don’t want to see it, but you cannot look away. The grisly images become a stain that you can’t seem to scrub from your mind.
The film is a bloodbath. It’s one of the bloodiest, most vicious movies that I have ever seen. If you couldn’t handle watching Saw, then High Tension is probably too much for you.
I don’t usually like this type of movie, and it is not one that I could watch often, but for its genre, the filmmakers did an excellent job. I know good filmmaking when I see it, and I’m not going to fault the film because of its genre. High Tension is the ultimate slasher with a twist.
I rate this movie an 8 on a scale of 1-10.
Buy, rent, or run? Buy.