High Tension

Rated R 2005

About a year ago, buzz started building about a French slasher movie in which two girls (Cecile de France and Maïwenn) are terrorized by a maniac in workman's coveralls (Philippe Nahon). But High Tension is not quite the same film that you've heard the raves about. First, there were a few trims made for an R rating. Second, it's been dubbed -- but only partially, as three of the characters are now American, one bilingual, and the rest speak only French. This is as resoundingly stupid as it sounds, and serves only to distance the viewer with unintentional campiness rather than make things more accessible. On the plus side, the gore effects by veteran Giannetto De Rossi are intense. High Tension often feels like a '70s exploitation movie in the best sense; unfortunately, the ending is so bad that it mars everything that comes before. Seek out the import DVD rather than send Lions Gate the message that atrocious dub jobs are acceptable.

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