By Owen Gleiberman
Updated March 17, 2020 at 02:47 AM EDT
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High Tension: Toni Balabasev

High Tension

C-
type
  • Movie

To steal a bit from Real Time With Bill Maher, here’s a New Rule: No more Chainsaw rip-offs. Enough already — we get it. If you’re a sexed-up young thing taking a road trip into the country, beware of the creepy backwoods farm guy! He’s going to bind you in a room or stow you in his decrepit old rustmobile and attack you with an appliance. And don’t even think of asking the convenience-store clerk for help — he’ll turn out to be buddies with the backwoods creep. The Texas Chainsaw Massacre, while a great horror film, has spawned an entire genre of slice-and-dice redneck Guignol that no longer holds a whisper of dread or surprise. In the French thriller High Tension, which is the latest reshuffling of Chainsaw tropes, the victims are two young women stuck in a country house with a big, fat, grunting brute who’s got a thing for decapitation. (The one scary moment: A barely attached head talks.) There’s a laughable cheat of a Big Twist, in which the sicko and the girl who looks like Lori Petty turn out to be closer than you thought, but even a blood feast this squalid can’t get away with chain-sawing all logic.

Episode Recaps

High Tension

type
  • Movie
genre
mpaa
  • R
runtime
  • 85 minutes
director
  • Alexandre Aja

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