For all of the abuse that Alexandre Aja’s High Tension receives over its unimaginative twist ending, it’s still tough to deny the film greatness, at least in the realm of horror cinema. Of the last decade, specifically. The 20-or-so minute stretch in the house once the killer drops by is intense enough to treat your eyes like our favorite droog Alex in his A Clockwork Orange experimental treatment. And even after that aforementioned twist, Aja totally redeems himself with the most insane and blood-drenched chainsaw massacre of our time.
So cut the film some slack, would you?
Also worth acclaim in the respect of High Tension is lead actress Cecile de France. The Belgian actress owns the picture, with her subtle sexiness, hard edge and wonderful facial reactions. I’ve been hoping to see her in more films after the fact, but, sadly, that hasn’t happened. There was that dreadful Jackie Chan flick Around the World in 80 Days (2004), but all signs are pointing me having never seen that one by my dying day. de France’s next role, however, is one I’ll totally rush to—–she’s just signed on for a lead role in Clint Eastwood‘s Hereafter, a “what happens after death?” multiple character study that’s to be anchored by Matt Damon’s “psychic”; de France will play a French journalist who has a near-death go-round.
Eastwood’s films always garner heaps of attention, and deservedly so; and then you have Damon, one of my favorite actors, and a guy who knows quality screenplays like 50 Cent knows great production. As a fan of Cecile de France based solely off of High Tension, this is great news. Her second chance to show us what she’s got on a large scale is long overdue.
Now, how about casting Inside‘s gorgeous and equally talented Alysson Paradis in a Hollywood prestige flick? She’s Johnny Depp’s sister-in-law, for hell’s sake. Surely we can make this one happen, as well.
UPDATE: How did I not catch this earlier? After reading this Cecile de France news on a different website just now, I’ve noticed that Eastwood has also cast Mylene Jampanoi, one of the two dynamite leads in Pascal Laugier’s Martyrs. The leads from both High Tension and Martyrs?! Let me find out that Clint Eastwood is up on the best of modern-day French horror cinema. This is all coincidental, of course (a result of these ladies’ agents being on their grind), but it’s cool to envision Dirty Harry rewinding scenes from Inside, a la yours truly.
Cecile de France news spotted over at: Variety