With October now upon us, Over/Under Movies is getting in the Halloween spirit with an appropriately scary/violent/gross/fun series of episodes. I decided to double down on some New French Extremity and explore perhaps the two most notorious and beloved titles from that brief mid-2000s wave. For the overrated category, I went with “High Tension” and the under is “Inside.” I’m joined on this episode by co-host Oktay Ege Kozak.
“High Tension” is considered by many horror aficionados to be the ne plus ultra of the NFE, as well as the film that kickstarted the career of director Alexandre Aja, who has mostly gone onto direct a host of horror remakes, some solid and stupid fun (“The Hill Have Eyes,” “Piranha 3D“) and others… just stupid (“Mirrors“). ‘Tension’ is a hybrid between home invasion and slasher movies, and it’s effective until a big twist is revealed that pretty much ruins all the goodwill that had been earned before it.
“Inside” was once a real favorite of mine, especially as an example of how to mix artful filmmaking with brutal shocks. It’s easily one of the most intensely violent films ever made, also centering around a home invasion plot. This one features a pregnant protagonist, a day away from being induced, who is visited at her home by a nefarious woman (a magnificently crazy Beatrice Dalle) hellbent on getting in the house and taking the baby for herself. It’s a simple story, executed with precision for at least the first half. Things get messy and incredibly dumb as they go on, and I personally came away this time with far less appreciation for the film overall.
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