Friday, June 10, 2005

Haute Tension

Those who were planning on seeing High Tension when it hits theaters this summer would probably do well to stay the hell away. Although come to think of it, those who were really looking forward to High Tension probably will not be deterred by the problems I had with it.

It's just yet another entry in that new streak of horror movies (such as the recent remake of Texas Chainsaw Massacre or House of 1000 Corpses) where there is never one moment of actual fright, but many moments that are just thorougly, thoroughly unpleasant. It's not actually SCARY to watch someone's throat get slit and to see how they try to breath despite the massive gash in their neck. It's just GROSS. The actually scary part should be everything leading up to the throat slitting, but High Tension bypasses that entirely. It does manage some suspenseful moments in its second act, as our heroine makes every effort not to reveal herself to the killer, but once he does notice her, the movie goes right back to "I'm totally killing this guy with a bandsaw! Isn't that SCARY?" No. No it's not. It just makes me feel bad about the human race. I mean, say what you will about the recent J-horror phenomenon, but at least those movies try to evoke a MOOD. The little girl crawling out of the television in The Ring is more terrifying that all 90 minutes of High Tension times a thousand.

The "twist" makes no narrative sense, and on a second viewing I imagine it completely destroys what little suspense the film can muster. This is not a movie I imagine anyone will want to see over and over. I will say this about the twist: it makes the movie really easy to make fun of. I don't want to reveal it, in case you're psyched about the movie, but it turns the movie into a joke.

UPDATE: Roger Ebert agrees with me. But he had to see the dubbed version. Poor Roger.


Blogger Alan said...

Man, this movie is almost so good. Then it totally urinates all over itself and it's mother and turns to complete and utter garbage. It's really infuriating.

11:51 AM  
Blogger Jeff said...

Okay, I'm going to go ahead and RUIN THE ENDING



I mean, the best stuff is the movie is when she has to hide from the guy. Except she IS the guy, so instantly all those scenes become utterly pointless and a huge cheat.

How do you have a car chase with YOURSELF? And how do you crash an IMAGINARY CAR yet give yourself ACTUAL INJURIES?

This movie is the movie that Charlie Kauffman's brother pitches in "Adaptation." Dammit, France! That was a joke!

The lesson of the movie, as I saw it, was this: We've gotta keep those lesbos locked UP.

1:21 PM  
Anonymous prhead said...

Cecile de France is, like, illegally hot. I will see this movie if she marries me at the end.

1:25 PM  
Blogger Jeff said...

She is indeed really hot. No doubt about that.

1:27 PM  
Blogger -Laurel- said...

I heard it has a shitty ending, so I went ahead and read that spoiler. But see, I kinda figured that would be the twist by the movie's description, etc. It's funny when a twist becomes predictable and cliche.

On a related note, someone accidently spoiled Identity for me, which I've never seen, but intended to someday. They were referring to it but couldn't remember the name. They were like- 'Oh, you know that John cusack movie where all the characters are his split personality.' And unfortunately I knew they meant that movie. Oh well. That's probably why I figured out what the twist in this film would be.


1:22 PM  
Blogger Jeff said...

"Identity" is also really bad. And equally dumb, twist-wise.

4:57 PM  

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