High Tension (Uncut) (FR)

Who would have thought that the savior of the slasher sub-genre

would be coming out of France? I don’t remember the last time I

saw a French horror film unless you want to count Irreversible.

Switchblade Romance is the single most exciting slasher film to

come out in a very long time.

The premise consists of a woman named Marie who accompanies her

friend, Alex to her family’s isolated house somewhere in the

countryside. But by nightfall, Alex and the family are

terrorized by a mysterious delivery man. This unforgettable

nightmare begins and never lets the viewer go right up to the

final frame.

Switchblade Romance is a hardcore slasher flick. It’s

uncomproming and unrelenting. The film goes where no modern

American horror film dares to go. It’s never once politically

correct, and it’s proud of it. The film falls under the

traditions of such classics like Maniac and The Texas Chainsaw

Massacre. It’s refreshing to see violence get under an

audience’s skin in the way that Switchblade Romance does with no

difficulty. Make no mistake, this film is very violent. It is

not for the faint of heart. I haven’t seen a film in recent

memory with the power to shock and disturb like this. Gore fans

will be happy to know that this film is bloody as hell, and the

violence is quite inventive and refreshingly vicious. If you

thought that the outcome from the opening death in Jeepers

Creepers 2 bothered you than you haven’t seen anything


Another rare bonus is how smart and methodical the

protagonist actually is. Just when you think you know where

it’s going to go, the killer comes up with a clever trick up his

sleeve. Actor Philippe Nahon delivers the most memorable

murderer performance in years. He is sadistic but adds some

great nuances that make him unique from the rest. The heroines

played by Cécile de France and Maïwenn are also very impressive.

They are not like your average one-dimensional horror victim.

These ladies contain a surprising amount of depth. Overall, all

the performances feel believable.

The film also contains the most brilliant score I’ve

heard in a long time. It is in the tradition of the 70’s horror

classics with a touch of Goblin from Argento’s work. The sound

effects and music are combined to create a very intense and

creepy experience. The look of the film has a stylish but raw

70’s feel, with the camera work being terrific at all


Director Alexandre Aja’s first entry into the genre is a highly

accomplished piece of work. Right from the film’s commanding

opening title sequence, you know you’re in the hands of a

master. Aja handles the suspense with remarkable confidence but

at the same time he never lets up the film’s locomotive pace.

Every set piece raises the bar another notch. They are

intelligently mounted and the way that the atmosphere is created

is delivered with a great amount of detail. The horror genre’s

use of a buzz saw will never be the same again. You’ll


At a time when American horror cinema is nothing more

than forgettable, safe entertainment, Switchblade Romance

re-energizes the genre. It takes the viewer back to a time

where it wasn’t about special effects, easy answers, or PG-13

ratings. Alexandre Aja has given us the most visceral, primal

and brutal piece of cinema in ages. It will keep you on the

edge of your seat from its start right up to its shocking

revelation. Hopefully North American audiences will get the

chance to witness it first hand instead of yet another watered

down Hollywood remake.

Official Score