Haute (High) Tension: Where do you stand?

Discussion in 'Reader Polls' started by Hellbilly, Jan 19, 2005.

?

Vote

  1. Great film!

    55.6%
  2. This movie sucks!

    3.2%
  3. I hated the ending

    20.6%
  4. I haven't watched it yet but will (soon)

    19.8%
  5. I will never watch this

    0.8%
  1. Agent Z

    Agent Z "Get to the river...

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    Wow! Diabolik doesn't mess around, as my copy of Switchblade Romance is already here! :banana:

    I can't wait to watch this later tonight!

    Maybe I should just quit my job so I can watch it now? :confused:


    Hmmmmm. Ok, ok.....I'll play nice and work for the Man, for now. :p

    But tonight, it's on! :glasses:

    Thanks guys for all your help! :)
     
  2. Agent Z

    Agent Z "Get to the river...

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    Alright, I'm a few hours removed from my first viewing of Switchblade Romance. Some initial thoughts:

    This is easily one of the most atmospheric and stylish slashers that I have ever seen. Every frame is filled with stark, unrelenting imagery. I loved the
    unforgiving nature of the film: it never compromised its nightmarish vision with cheap "jump" shocks or needless humor for relief. I appreciated the filmmakers for staying with the dark nature of the material and for not flinching through it all.

    I think that a major source of the "High Tension" that this film could potentially provide will depend upon the viewer not catching on to the true identity of the killer until the reveal.

    Unfortunately, for me, I was able to clue into the identity of the killer after about 15 minutes into the film thanks to:

    Marie on a swing set acting all creepy, peeping tom-like, staring at Alex showering through the open bathroom window....

    +

    Marie's earlier conversations where she makes it a point that she really doesn't care for the men in Alex's life...

    +

    the title of the film, Switchblade Romance


    = Marie has a thing for Alex and will be her "savior", one way or another.

    And as the film progressed, there were nice details along the way that just kept reinforcing my hunch, like:

    The mother asking "Why?".

    Marie never being able to find a working phone in the house. Nor was she willing to do the most logical step while at the gas station and step outside to get the name of the gas station for the police. All of these lapses in logic pointed to Marie wanting to keep the "rescue" alive at all costs.

    Alex continuing to scream in the back of the truck, even when Marie was with her and trying to rescue her.

    The clincher was when the filmmakers made a point of stressing that the killer was being videotaped while killing the gas station clerk. I immediately thought of Blair Witch 2 using the same technique for a later reveal.

    Again, the film is less effective if one guesses the killer and their motives early on since it is fairly assured that Marie will not kill herself, nor will she allow Alex to die. The only real suspense for me at that point was when the actual reveal was going to take place. Again, I guessed the surveillance video would be the big reveal, and sure enough.

    Still, despite untwisting the twist way ahead of schedule, there were still many elements that I enjoyed. I loved that the film totally played-up the sexual conflict throughout. We had the twisted internal battle residing with Marie who, was a sweet "virginal" lesbian on a mission to "save" Alex from the slimy, violent heterosexual male killer.

    The film even borrows a cue from The Texas Chain Saw Massacre 2 at the end when the approaching killer has the power saw weapon hoisted forward from the pelvis in an obvious phallic symbol. And once Marie resumes her female personality to save and comfort Alex, the saw weapon is placed to the side. Holy Freud!

    I also have to give major props to the soundtrack. Great score. Very tense and memorable!

    Gorehounds will no doubt have a field day with HT. The finale involving an unsuspecting motorist and a power saw will probably go down as one of the greatest scenes in the history of splatter.

    Oh, and the VERY final shot made me jump. That creeped me out something serious now!

    Overall, I thought Switchblade Romance was a very well done slasher flick, easily one of the best that I have ever seen. Perhaps if I hadn't guessed the killer so early on in the film, then maybe I would have felt more of the tension in the later proceedings, as they were intended. Still, twist or no twist, this was one hell of a nightmarish ride that is worth taking. Recommended.
     
    Last edited: May 2, 2005
  3. onebyone

    onebyone Guest

    *Breathes sigh of relief*

    I was worried about whether you would like this or not last night, because well, I am a tremendously geeky person. It is nice to hear your review.
    I cued in on who the killer was going to be right away, and am not sure it cut my enjoyment of this at all. Hard to tell though. Could I have liked it even more? I was so into the story that the killer's real identity was practically irrelevant. Hell, I was worried in scenes that killer was going to get Marie, which makes no sense at all for me to worry about, but there you have it. Hook, line, and sinker they had me.
     
  4. Agent Z

    Agent Z "Get to the river...

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    Thanks for the kind words onebyone.....and for hooking me up with the link to finally get this long-overdue addition to my collection. :)

    You know, since I had a few days to mull the film over and bounce some of its ideas around, I have really grown to love this slasher even more. I've gone back and checked out some of the 237 threads devoted to it here and, besides the plagiarism angle (which I'm not going to have an opinion on until I've read the book in question), critics of the film's ending
    argue in some cases that the earlier parts of the film don't support the twist..or that the twist is a way for the filmmakers to find an easy way out.

    I couldn't disagree more. Not only is the twist fully-explainable (including the infamous "head" scene in the beginning), but after going back and checking out certain parts of the film, I was surprised by how much the film went out of its way to drop hints...some VERY obvious hints (like the surprising shot of Marie's hand dropping the bullets during the vehicle chase).

    Then are subtle film techniques done in certain scenes that I took as clues also.

    Example: There is a shot of Marie in the gas station bathroom hunched down in front of a large mirror to get a drink of water. The camera follows her down and the veteran horror viewer is preparing for a sudden shock-reveal of the killer standing behind her in the mirror when she straightens back-up and the camera follows her.

    She straightens back-up AND the music score throws a stinger at us as though the killer IS there, even though the reveal shows that the killer isn't present. Of course, using the musical stinger in this fashion can still be true since Marie IS actually revealing the killer just by looking back up in the mirror.

    There are many subtle touches like this throughout that show the filmmakers being on their game. I'm looking forward to diving back into this film some more and discovering them.
     
    Last edited: May 3, 2005
  5. Ash28M

    Ash28M Active Member

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    Just watched this gem again last night. I think I have grown love it more now then ever. I initially thought that the ending may cause subsequent viewing to be as enjoyable. This hasn't been the case, The more I read into the ending the more I love it and wouldn't change a thing. Great film and IMO the best of the decade so far and I might even go as far as saying 2nd to Blair Witch as the best horror film since the mid 80's.
     
  6. wizzer

    wizzer get outta here ewe

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    i also watched this stinker again last night in hopes i would find something redeeming about it. no such luck. i did manage to comment on the film the whole way through a la MST3000 though.

    how many fucking times did she need to hide from herself? how did she drive 2 cars? oh wait this is just a dream. anything can happen right? oh wait. it wasn't a dream, she really murdered the family were they in the rental the whole time? after we are shown that the big dirty man and marie are the same ahy does she still change from man to girl at the end scene with the tile saw? also, did the gas station attendant have mental problems as well? what the hell actually happened there?

    again, what a big suck suck. rewatching it was even more difficult. how about that stupid foreign tune that they totaly jam to while they are going down the hiway-- :rolleyes:

    i watched alice in wonderland yesterday too and they used the
    it was all just a dream trick and i worked way better for that film
     
  7. Ash28M

    Ash28M Active Member

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    Last edited: May 10, 2005
  8. wizzer

    wizzer get outta here ewe

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    pffft. whatever. and whats your excuse for the song being played during the drive?
     
  9. Ash28M

    Ash28M Active Member

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    My buddy who's Italian said the song was Italian. So that would represent Marie's....... How the fuck do I know. It's just a song :)
     
    Last edited: May 10, 2005
  10. wizzer

    wizzer get outta here ewe

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    yea, a crappy one!! it's representative of the whole movie to come really. :)
     
  11. Tawny

    Tawny You guys got sour balls?

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    Yeah but that song by Muse at the end credits is fantastic!
     
  12. Hellbilly

    Hellbilly Active Member

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    Hey now! :p
    That song is by Ricchi E Poveri (sp?) if I'm not mistaken. This was a HUGE hit in Europe back in the 80's. For me it was nice to hear that song again after all those years. It's a bit cheesy but still catchy :D
     
  13. Mok

    Mok Family is Forever

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    I call complete and total bullshit on anyone who could supposedly identify the killer up until the very end. How-in-THE-FUCK does she have her abduction van parked outside(or near by for that matter) when the two girls just arrived the same night from a long road trip? Not to mention the fact that she doesn't know where her friends house is. I will however grant some of you, who claim they saw it coming, that you may have considered that she might be the one (as I did at one point). But the filmmakers did everything in their power to prove otherwise and then at the end revealed that you're all suckers for believing what you were shown. Fuck that's so lame. There are far too many instances where the lines of reality have been crossed to claim that somehow everything can fit a different way. It's complete disrespect to the audience.
     
    Last edited: May 26, 2005
  14. Ash28M

    Ash28M Active Member

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    You might need to watch it again. my comments below.

     
  15. KR~!

    KR~! The Apocalyptic Kid

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    Which is the best DVD to get?
    If you want to know, here are they all compared to each other:

    Daum Media (Korea) - Region 3- NTSCL "Haute Tension" vs. EuropaCorp - Region 2 - PAL vs. Optimum - Region 2- PAL vs. Thai Release - Region 0 - PAL

    http://www.dvdbeaver.com/film/DVDCompare7/hautetension.htm

    Or you can wait to the badly dubbed and edited US release ;)
     
  16. mutleyhyde

    mutleyhyde Fuck it.

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    Saw an advance preview last night and thought it was great. Very rough movie. I didn't overanalyze it, and the end makes fine sense to me. Sure, you could try and pick it apart all you want, but once you give over to the idea that

    it was all in her head, or a lot of it anyway,

    it's really very believable.

    So, about the US version; I don't know if I saw the finished product (I assume so being so close to the opening date), but it was an odd mix of dubbed and subbed. It started out being mostly dubbed with one or two lines in french and subbed. Then, when the movie gets going, after the girls arrive at the house, a lot is in french and subbed, and by the time
    they're back on the road,
    it's mostly all in french and subbed. Very odd. I appreciated the eventual subbing, but I wish it had all been subbed.

    Anyway, back to the merits of the movie. It was gritty, rough, unsettling, and well filmed. Seeing this only ten days after seeing Devil's Rejects gives me a renewed hope for horror film. If these movies are any indicator, things are headed back in the right direction.
     
  17. Mok

    Mok Family is Forever

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    Guys: I'm not cool with the whole "It was all in her head" thing because I felt that I had been lied to about everything that had happened throughout the whole film. Now if they had done things in such a way where you could have explained how things could have still happened without resorting to: "It was all in her head" I would have been fine with that. It is a very well executed slasher film, but the ending was too much of a cop-out for me.
     
  18. onebyone

    onebyone Guest

    Thanks for the early review of the US version Hyde. I have the DVD, but may go see the US version in the theater just to see it on the big screen, no matter how odd the dub/sub sounds. It should still be a good experience, provided they didn't go completely cut happy.

    Oh, and there were were many, many clues
    that the evil killer was all in her head. Mission outlined but a few of them earlier in a long post in this thread. That was a good post. If some think it is a cop out, that is fine, but that doesn't take away from the fact that others found it all to be rather obvious.
     
    Last edited by a moderator: May 27, 2005
  19. Mok

    Mok Family is Forever

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    You know what the police do with clues when they find an air-tight alibi? They dismiss you as a suspect. We were clearely shown things to dismiss any suspiciouns that she could have been the killer. They cheated. Not cool for me. Still like the move though.
     
  20. mutleyhyde

    mutleyhyde Fuck it.

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    You're welcome, 1x1. Regardless the dub/sub hybrid, I did enjoy it immensely. Having not seen the uncut version, I of course have no idea how much was cut in the US version, so I wasn't too affected by that. One thing for sure, it really is heartwarming to be able to see a real slasher larger than life and with a crowd. People with children left. People without children left. You know it's a good movie when stuff like that happens. ;)

    I also think I went in with the proper amount of expectations; I expected it to all be dubbed, so I was happily surprised. I also expected it to be cut to hell, and I was also surprised here because there was more than enough gore to lend the story credibility. Remember though, this was a free screening, so I was out no cash, and also, being a screener, I'm not sure whether this was the final US version.

    I do look forward to someday checking out a fully subbed uncut version, but for now, I'm happy with what I saw.
     

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