Friday, March 25, 2011

High Tension (2003)

*1/2 (out of four stars)

Marie and Alexia plan to spend the weekend at Alexia's parents house to study for some upcoming exams. All goes well, until the door bell rings in the middle of the night. What transpires next is a brutal blood soaked frenzy by an intruder who kills everyone in the house, (except Maria) then kidnaps Alexia. With everyone else dead, Marie follows the mad man in attempt to save her friend.

First of all let me say this. The movie had some really brutal moments. It had the blood, gore and suspense that many horror films lack. The killer maims the entire family, including the little boy. Some of the kills are really adequate for a film like this. I mean the blood just sprays all over the place. The killer even uses a dresser to decapitate the head of one of his victims. That's right. A fucking dresser. There's actually a lot going for this film. Until....

Yep, you've probably heard it from a dozen horror fans. The ending sucks. And although there are two crucial clues within the first five minutes of the film that gives the ending right to you, you'll want to turn it off at the very moment it's revealed. I'm really trying hard not to bash this film for many reasons. First, the acting is great and the characters are very believable. The intruder, (Philippe Nahon) is an awesome choice as the killer and does a great job with his efforts.

Second, the suspense is great! This movie really has you pulled in and does a great job of keeping you seated. The score that goes along with the film is impressive as well. It sets a mood that very few horror movies these days do. In other words there are some nail biting moments. That's why my nails are torn to shit right now.

But, it does fail in the end. It almost feels like you've been played for a fool the whole time. Quite frankly put, and I hate saying this, it makes you want to go to the filmmaker's house and demand your hour and a half back. Followed by a please don't make another film card, that you can throw in the M. Night Shyamalan category.

To end this on a good note, like I said, there is alot that this movie had going for it. Good kills, good thrills, but it just blew its load too early and without conviction. Some of the best tension sequences were thrown into this movie. It's gripping, it really is. With that said, it just feels like all of the scares were wasted. The climax doesn't pay off. In other words, a cheap ending.

Cast: Cecile De France, Maiween Le Besco and Philippe Nahon

Directed by: Alexandre Aja


Running time: 91 mins


  1. This move is awesome, my wife can't even stand to watch it. Cheaply made, lots of good gore near the end.

  2. DEZ is a chicken shit. But I still love her.