My true introduction to the world of French Horror flicks came back in 2005, when a little flick called Haute Tension managed to get a limited theatrical release here in the U.S.
Horror pretty much became stale and uninspired for the most part in the 90's, and seemed like it was about to die off before Wes Craven came around with Scream, and made audiences remember how fun the genre was. After that we saw a glut of tween slasher flicks see release, all trying to capture the magic of Scream. Again, it became stale. Run of the mill.
|Hell of an opening scene.|
So when we saw the trailer for this crazy little french flick, it excited us. The U.S. horror market was bland and glossy, and Haute Tension looked nasty and anything but pretty. Aside from the twist ending that we could have done without, Haute Tension blew us away, and began our love affair with the new era of European Horror, particularly, French Horror.
Insanely violent, visceral, gory, and disturbing, Haute Tension re-invigorated our love of horror, and pushed our focus to the darker side of fright flicks. The twisty storyline worked on every level for us. We aren't fans of twist endings at all, especially those that negate everything that precedes them (that's a bit vague, but we're trying not to spoil it for people who haven't seen it yet), but this one didn't bother us too much. The whole package was that good.
|Never piss off a woman with a saw. Never!|
From there we moved on to other French flicks like Calvaire, Sheitan, Baby Blood, The Horde, Them, Frontiere(s) and Martyrs; all good flicks in their own right, but none of them affected us on the same level as Haute Tension did, until we got to Inside.
A L'interieur is a movie that was... really tough to sit through. The subject matter of a crazy woman who wants another woman's baby, and the lengths she goes to as she tries to take it away from her, was so gripping and tense, that we found ourselves holding our breaths at time during our initial viewing.
Did we mention that the baby is still inside of the mother (hence the title), when the crazy chick tries to take it? Yeah It was that kind of disturbing.
Every bit a s bloody and graphic as Haute Tension (maybe even more so), Inside had a few of us say "That was amazing, but I feel dirty now, and I don't think I'll ever watch it again." Some of us never have.
|That's got to smart.|
The lesson here is that during the mid to late 2000's, France was churning out genre defining horror flicks that went places and showed us things that U.S. Filmmakers weren't, or simply couldn't.
If you want some eff'd up movies to enjoy this Halloween, then start here. Just don't say we didn't warn you about the tough road ahead... this is the pulse pounding, watch from between your fingers type of stuff. In other words, it's the good stuff.
|Somewhere in this picture lies a joke about menstruation, but we digress. We do have class, after all.|