I hope you like cheese. This book is full of it. In this edition of Trends of Terror, film critic Steve Hutchison reviews 150 horror and horror-adjacent movies so bad they’re good, sorted from best to worst. How many have you seen?
This is the kind of film that puts a lot of trust in its twist ending and relies heavily on it, which makes it worth revisiting at least once. The only problem is that the final reveal involves a gaping plot hole. Unless you decide to forgive the script for its flaws, the last act may rub you the wrong way. High Tension is otherwise quite shocking and terrifying.
This film is part of the New French Extremity trend, which refers to a collection of transgressive French films meant to disgust, upset, and, in some cases, traumatize. High Tension is extremely gory and unapologetic. There’s a sense of isolation and tension present from beginning to end. The victims are helpless, and the main protagonist, Marie, is underdeveloped.
There are very few actors in this film, and the exposition is limited. It’s neither a good nor a bad thing. Time is rather spent building a mystery and leveraging a cat and mouse game between a mass murderer and Marie, who isn’t having much success saving people’s lives. Her arc is a frustrating one. The writing, here, is only surpassed by the directing. Great film!