Switchblade Romance (18)

Film

Thrillers

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<strong>Rating: </strong><span class='lf-avgRating'>5</span>/5
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Time Out says

The good old bad old days are back again with this heavy-duty psycho flick in which 26-year-old French director Aja, who’s obviously mis-spent his youth on a steady diet of video nasties, delivers full-on no-nonsense carnage redolent of late-’70s/early-’80s slasher ‘classics’. A bracing antidote to much of today’s mainstream horror output, where mayhem’s played for laughs for the delectation of mall-rat teens, this puts holidaying students Cécile De France and Maïwenn Le Besco at the mercy of the truly, madly, scary Philippe Nahon (of ‘Seul Contre Tous’ notoriety), who breaks into the latter’s parents’ house in the remote French countryside, and leaves a trail of broken bodies in his wake. De France evades his sadistic attentions, but her friend is now a hostage in the back of the killer’s van, so she gives chase without quite realising what she (or we) are in for.

With its superb sickly hued widescreen camerawork and brilliantly unsettling sound mix, you could argue that Aja’s film is rather more technically accomplished than the cheaply made shockers to which it’s paying tribute. The murders in the opening reel are crunchingly horrible, the stalk and chase sequences which follow extremely effective, the action culminating in a set-to with a chainsaw of white-knuckle ferocity, intensified by De France’s total emotional commitment to a gruelling role. And then, with utterly Gallic perversity, Aja throws in a twist, staggering for both its preposterousness and offensiveness, which undermines just about everything that’s gone before. Sexual politics are obviously not its maker’s home terrain, but, misgivings aside, this lives up to its original French title ‘Haute Tension’ and then some.
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Release details

Rated:

18

UK release:

Fri Sep 24, 2004

Duration:

85 mins

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<strong>Rating: </strong><span class='lf-avgRating'>0</span>/5

Average User Rating

5 / 5

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Aaron

I think you should amend the title of this one, for greater accuracy and international understanding. Reason being, this film was ONLY (to the best of my knowledge) released under this name in the UK. It is a french film, originally titled "Haute Tension" which translates to english as "High Tension," which is the name it was released under in the USA.... and, I would guess, everywhere else. I really hate when they re-title films, which already have perfectly good english titles. It can make them harder to find. For example, if someone reading this article wanted to find the film online. Google the title and see what you come up with. Fortunately, google will give you the proper title. But this is a fairly popular film. Anyway, aside from all that "Switchblade Romance" (the title) is hopelessly campy, and a less adequate description of the film, than the original-- "High Tension." And IMO is nearly a spoiler. Really poor choice. That being said, yes-- this review is dead on. In fact, I'd probably place this higher on the list. One of my favorite horror films. Ever. It absolutely delivers. Also, worth noting-- there is both a subbed AND a dubbed version out there, if you'd rather not have to read the film while you watch it.

Aaron

I think you should amend the title of this one, for greater accuracy and international understanding. Reason being, this film was ONLY (to the best of my knowledge) released under this name in the UK. It is a french film, originally titled "Haute Tension" which translates to english as "High Tension," which is the name it was released under in the USA.... and, I would guess, everywhere else. I really hate when they re-title films, which already have perfectly good english titles. It can make them harder to find. For example, if someone reading this article wanted to find the film online. Google the title and see what you come up with. Fortunately, google will give you the proper title. But this is a fairly popular film. Anyway, aside from all that "Switchblade Romance" (the title) is hopelessly campy, and a less adequate description of the film, than the original-- "High Tension." And IMO is nearly a spoiler. Really poor choice. That being said, yes-- this review is dead on. In fact, I'd probably place this higher on the list. One of my favorite horror films. Ever. It absolutely delivers. Also, worth noting-- there is both a subbed AND a dubbed version out there, if you'd rather not have to read the film while you watch it.

Thomas Noctor

At last we see the best in horror movies! I really hope the Americans dont remake it. This film will mess with you for a long time after you watch it. Killing scenes are sickening and hold no mercy. Unpredictable and a well made film. If you dont mind subtitles and a horror fan with half a brain you will really enjoy this!

Thomas Noctor

At last we see the best in horror movies! I really hope the Americans dont remake it. This film will mess with you for a long time after you watch it. Killing scenes are sickening and hold no mercy. Unpredictable and a well made film. If you dont mind subtitles and a horror fan with half a brain you will really enjoy this!