Wednesday, October 12, 2016

31 Days of Horror: HIGH TENSION (2003)

Welcome horror fans to Day 13 of the 31 DAYS OF HORROR! We are back with another film in our lead up to Halloween, and today we will be reviewing Alexandre Aja's mind blowing 2003 French horror film HIGH TENSION. Enjoy!

I viewed this film for the first time in a college film class and loved it. After seeing this movie, I felt an intense awakening, as the lesbian scenes made me nervous at the time. All I can say is that not everything you see in this film is as it seems. Our minds and desires play tricks on us. When I first saw the film, I thought a serial killer was on the loose. I felt that Marie was a great friend to Alex at the beginning of the film. My initial thoughts were that she was trying to save her, but like I said, not everything is as it seems.

High Tension starts out with two college best friends, Alex and Marie, played by Maïwenn and Cécile de France, as they head to Alex's family farm to study for exams. Late in the night, a psychotic killer comes and slaughters Alex's family. Marie tries to save Alex from the killer while seeking the killer's identity.

I thought the performances of both Cécile de France and Maïwenn were fantastic. Marie comes off as very strong and almost heroic, as shown by her attempts to rescue Alex from the killer. Alex comes off as more the damsel in distress type as she seems to need rescuing. However, both actresses had great onscreen chemistry, as there is a definite sexual attraction between the two, from my point of view.

High Tension is an important film to me because it's unlike any other horror film I have ever seen. It's violent and gory, which is typical of most horror films, but the feelings Marie had for Alex was something new to me. I had never really been exposed to a lesbian in a film, particularly a horror film, until High Tension.

This film had mixed reviews to say the least, receiving a 41% rating on Rotten Tomatoes. Roger Ebert gave it 1/4 stars and called it poor and brutish.  I respect Ebert's opinion; but I still enjoyed the film. High Tension is definitely not a film for children due to its excessive violence. It definitely broadened my horizons and introduced me to new film subjects, so if you get a chance, check this one out.

Lisa's Score: 7/10

Be sure to stay tuned throughout the rest of the month! We're posting a new horror review every day all throughout October, both old and new! Check back to see what movie we'll have you covering your eyes from next!

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