Trying out some new image editing but can’t get rid of that rating twitching – I’m guessing it’s just shaking from fear or something.
For those who happen to stumble upon this blog because of this post, keep in mind, I’m definitely not a horror person. When I was a kid, I was terrified of The Mask and that shit was funny so you can just imagine what real horror might have done to me! So for the longest of times, I have thought that horror is not a genre I will ever watch or let alone like. After watching High Tension, a French horror movie, with the most minimal amount of eye-hiding I’ve ever done, I realized – horror is not that bad.
Firstly, I find it a bit ironic that my first ever modern horror review (I sort of count Psycho as a classic review for BOT and not specifically a horror review) is about a French movie! I don’t know if you guys have noticed but generally when I review a foreign film it is most likely a French one, actually, 5 out of the 6 I have reviewed have been in French. Yes, I think I’m obsessed with French but it’s a coincidence, I swear. Anyway, French or not, High Tension was a horror movie with a scary bad guy and lots of blood – and I kind of liked it. Now, my low rating is probably connected with the fact that I’m not accustomed with this genre. So when it was time to rate it I went with my honest opinion compared with my previous horror movie experiences, which I don’t have, and decided to set the bar low – Justin Case. Besides, when it comes to the plot twist in High Tension, it didn’t really make sense in terms of logic and it felt a bit odd.
The plot begins with two friends, Marie (Cécile De France) and Alexia (Maiwenn), who are driving to visit Alexia’s family in the country side. They arrive and then everything goes as it probably always goes in horror movies – bloody and scary. Marie shows some great skills of hiding from the big-bad-scary-guy and almost manages to save Alexia a couple of times. Still, the bad guy ends up taking them both from the house on to a little road trip. A lot of things happen between there and the place where the bad guy finally sees his end but I won’t start spoiling the bloody fun. I will say this though, I kind of expected something twisty in the end, and not just because somebody told me about it, but because it looked very suspicious at times. Then when the twist was revealed it became a bit funny instead of creepy, who knows why, maybe I was in one of those moods.
Eventually, when the movie was all about the twist I was slightly disappointed because I didn’t really understand how it was possible. There were moments that made sense, sure, it was kind of cool how they tried to twist it – I really can’t explain it better without spoiling it – but as far as logic goes, it had holes. Certainly one could overlook them but if I can’t even watch a romantic comedy without getting mad at the lack of logic, how would I ever look past a sophisticated attempt to twist a horror plot. I do applaud the idea though, with some more thought and logic it could have been good. What actually ended up being rather good was the horror aspect, at times, I was scared but like I said, I wasn’t hiding my eyes as often as I thought… so maybe it wasn’t that scary. The only scene that finally made me look away, I had that fear where something might jump out any minute, was in the toilets and well, after it was over I felt a bit disappointed.
What I did appreciate immensely in High Tension was the cinematography (Maxime Alexandre) and directing by Alexandre Aja. There were some great moments, one featured above with Marie’s face appearing from the dark and disappearing again. In terms of horror, I was surprised to see such elegant touches visually but then it got all bloody. Did I mind the blood? Well, I am not so against it nor do I enjoy it but the most disgusting scenes for me are the ones that have to do with pulling something out of somebody. When Alexia got a piece of glass stuck in her foot she of course had to pull it out, because that will stop the bleeding for sure, and that freaked me out more than a cupboard crushing somebody’s head. But then again, nothing will ever freak me out more than the paper-cutting in the Jackass movie – can we just take a moment and … nope, I can’t, just thinking about that white piece of paper cutting into the skin freaks me out.
Therefore, as I tried and failed to sound all posh and aware of the topic, I end my first modern foreign horror review on a more positive note: I will be watching more horror. Yes, there, I said it, and now I can’t take it back! With that promise I have most likely made my life even more difficult, because I do have BOT and my endless list of movies that I need to watch, but who cares, right!? I still have two solid months before my internship starts and that’s plenty of time to catch up with… everything.