Tuesday, January 03, 2006

High Tension (2003) * Hidden Gem * * Top Picks *

Um... is that not corldess?

Crime Horror Thriller (France)

Starring: Cécile de France (The Russian Dolls; Kaena: The Prophecy), Maïwenn Le Besco

Directed By: Alexandre Aja (The Hills Have Eyes)

Overview: When Marie and her friend Alex go to Alex's parents for a visit, they receive a surprise visitor. The serial killer stalks from room to room, with plans to take a souvenir.

Acting: Recently I thought that maybe I was marking people too hard in the acting category, that maybe a subtle display spoke more loudly that dramatic monologues, that direction was really as good as it could be for a given genre. Then I saw this, and it make me realize that when someone (the actor) is in a situation (the role), and we (the viewer) are invited to watch, the job of the actor is to deliver a truth (the character) so meaningful as we are to believe everything that's going on. I have not been marking too hard. See this and you'll know exactly what I mean. It's genius, no bull.
Rating: 10

Cinematography: The truck, reminiscent of the one in Jeepers Creepers, was very haunting indeed. The cornfield, the desolation, the silhouettes, the stunts, and most of all.. the gore. Holy Jesus in heaven. No it's not all art and colour schemes; it's real, all too real.
Rating: 9

Script: This, though not bad, could have been better. Oh, it excelled, and better than most, but the words were pretty much rote. The few conversations that the killer has, the droning madness at the beginning, all these things help raise it up to 'Great' levels. Either way you're not coming to hear them chat.
Rating: 8

Plot: This story is amazing. The slow and steady approach to every scene, the terror and the constant suspense takes us from scene to dark and foreboding scene. The story starts pretty quick, and then it's one hell of a trip. And what a climactic ending, all the way to the credits!
Rating: 9

Mood: Terror. Alone and against a superior foe, with so much riding on failure, this pulls absolutely no punches. You know in horror when you say, "No! Don't do that!" In this case, you're glad they did, and it's a smart approach, and the entire time, you wonder if / how / when she's (or her friend) is going to get it in the neck. The haunting conclusion adds such brilliance that I can't help but give it highest praise. On the edge of my seat the whole time, and totally creeped and grossed out.
Rating: 10

Oh, my god, the sale price on this Soy Sauce is to die for!

Overall Rating: 92% (Perfectly Appropriate Title!)

Aftertaste: The person who lent me this said, "Make SURE you watch the UNCUT French version (with subtitles if you want), because the U.S. edit is nowhere as graphic." Thank you very very much. I can't say how much this has moved me. Sadly, the bar has permanently been raised and intelligent horror is going to be hard pressed to find a peer in this film. MUST SEE!