This is the first of two female centric, French horror films that I plan on watching this month (I couldn’t let the opportunity to rewatch Raw pass!) but how did it fare?
Haute Tension (Or Switchblade Romance as it was renamed for the UK) is my favourite film I’ve seen this month in my MonthOfSpooks viewings. It is genuinely shocking at times, with gore galore and, I thought, a really great twist.
We follow friends Marie and Alex as they are travelling to Alex’s families house for the weekend to study. Once arrived and settled in and everyone else in bed, Marie goes outside to have a smoke. On returning to the house Marie watches as an intruder breaks in and starts killing family members with some prejudice.
As the title suggests, there is a large amount of tension as Marie attempts to evade capture and ultimately tries to free Alex from the dire situation that she finds herself in, especially when the desperation begins to ramp up. I realised that at one point there hadn’t been any dialogue for quite a while but it didn’t need it. I was transfixed on the screen, watching the events unfold dramatically.
In the telling of this story there is some great camera work, keeping things interesting, the plot is small but the pacing is good, the acting particularly from Cécile de France as Marie is superb. The soundtrack/score is minimal but the one real tune that they use is massive and works so well to get the heart rate going, to get the feeling that things are ramping up. I really, really enjoyed this one and it also managed elicit some effect on my horror sensibilities (after a fairly benign month so far).
Horror Rating: ★★★ ½☆
Overall Rating: ★★★ ½☆