High Tension (2003 – France) – With Guest Reviewer David Alabaugh 

Two girls, Marie & Alexia, travel out to the French countryside to spend the weekend at Alexia’s parent’s farmhouse.  That evening Marie is outside and notices Alexia taking a shower, and it obviously does something for her, because she proceeds to go up to her room and ‘double-click the mouse’ as it were.  After completing that act (which I’m sure made baby Jesus very sad), she hears a car pull up and looks out the window just in time to see a hulking man slash Alexia’s dad across the face with a straight razor. The brute come in and proceeds to kill every member of Alexia’s family while Marie hides under her bed.  The guy ties up Alexia and throws her into his van before going in the house to check and see if there are any more people to mutilate.  Marie hops in the van to save her, but gets locked in as the man speeds off.

They stop at a gas station where Marie escape and goes in to call for help, but she is interrupted as the killer comes in and axes the cashier a question.  The clerk kind of had it coming, what kind of gas station sells axes in the middle of the night anyway?  He takes off and Marie takes the clerk’s car and gun and chases after him.  From there you will see just how far Marie is willing to go to try to earn Alexia’s affection.

Alex’s Thoughts:  I have been hearing about this movie for years, and just never made myself watch it, but I’m glad I finally did.  This movies starts off as pretty standard fare for the most part, and about half way through I wonder what all the fuss was about, as I have seen movies exactly like this dozens of times. It wasn’t until the last twenty minutes or so that I was both scratching my head AND sitting on the edge of my seat.  Was I confused? Yes, sir or madam. Was I throughly entertained? Absolutely!  The twist at the end is so expected and so well executed it would have M. Knight Shyamalan saying “Oh, so that’s what a good plot twist looks like!”  There were a few moments that will make you jump, and overall the movie was great.  I can’t wait to watch it again, but there was only one thing I hated about it; and that was the dubbing.  I cannot stand that; you get zero emotion from the voice actors and I would much rather just read sub-titles… which I got to do as well, as this switches back and forth seemingly at random.  Alex Rates This Movie 9/10

Tim’s Thoughts: I had put off watching this for years, and Netflix had been trying like hell to get me to watch it. So I finally had to give in, and I wasn’t sorry I did. It does not always make sense, and maybe the cut I watched is different from other versions, but despite all of that I thought this was really good. Sometimes the dubbing in laughable, but the movie is jarring enough to pull you back in. I need to watch it at least 2 more times. So all in all some major flaws, (mostly concerning the crazy ending) horrible dubbing, but excellent acting and ambitious directing save it. Right now Tim Rates This Movie 8/10 but after another a look or 2 it could go up to a 9/10

David’s Thoughts: I can’t get enough of this movie, it sits high and proud on my movie rack. I found out about this movie because of my love for the first Hills Have Eyes remake by the same director, Alexandre Aja, who has gone on to make even more great horror movies. For his first horror movie, this one is amazing, but not perfect. The look of the film is great and the awesome music really sets the tone nicely. The gore effects are great, and the fact none of it is computer animated makes it so much better. The acting is great, and the dubbed version isn’t annoying like most foreign films. The added (previously cut) scenes in the Unrated version has the original French audio track, but it should take you out of the movie. High Tension has a few shocking moments that really made the movie for me, but some of them create huge plot-holes. If you can get passed those, it’s a great film with an awesome shocker, and I highly recommend it.  David Rates this Movie 9/10

“I won’t let anyone come between us any more.”

View the IMDB entry for this movie here or add it to your Netflix queue

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