DARKMATTERS - The Mind of Matt

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Friday, April 15, 2005

Film Review: Haute Tension / Switchblade Romance

"careful love - those blades look nasty"

Haute Tension / Switchblade Romance
Dir. Alexandre Aja

Reviewed by Matt Adcock

“High Tension” by name (unless of course you live in the UK where it’s Switchblade Romance) and hardcore off the scale tension by nature…

This film is a relentless, demented, blood soaked roller coaster ride that will shred your nerves and decimate your finger nails – and it’s French.

I’d heard that this film didn’t hold back on the gore and was brutal in the extreme but I was still amazed by the images presented – there are some things that you just can’t “un-see”. Coming on like a French update of Funny Games – this begins as a home invasion massacre and then drops into a cat and mouse chase thriller (with plenty of inventive violence courtesy of axes, crowbars and a portable circular saw that would give any chainsaw a run for its money).

It is incredibly grim – but then it’s meant to be – this is a blood lust overdose, stylishly handled and a “cut” above any horror film I’ve seen for years... The killer (Philippe Nahon) is an iconic piece of redneck callousness – the very last person you’ll ever want to meet… Cécile De France is superb as the girl who has to take the fight to the monster and try to save her friend (Maïwenn Le Besco). Plus there’s the twist(ed) ending… This is a film to make you doubt your friends and not answer the door after dark!!

Aja is certainly a director to watch.

Darkmatt Rating: öööö (gruesome excitement for sickos everywhere)

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