Sub-Genre: Home Invasion, Serial Killer.
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 same kind of magic that Scream did. Again, it became stale. Run of the mill.
But then Alexandre Aja gave the world a trailer for his new movie, Haute Tension (or High Tension, Switchblade Romance, if you prefer) and it excited us; where the U.S. Horror market was bland and glossy, Haute Tension looked dark, nasty, and anything but pretty. We were intrigued. Insanely violent, visceral, gory, and disturbing, this gem of The New French Extremity re-invigorated our love of Horror in a completely new way, and pushed our focus to the darker side of fright flicks. The twisty storyline just worked on every level for us.
The ending may have left us a little bit pissed off at the time -I remember beating my kitten to death with the bag of marshmallows that I was snacking on (I miss you Meowna Lisa)- but it didn't detract too horribly from a flick that was nasty and ruthless, and came at us with absolutely no fear. We praised this one up and down, despite its faults, for finally giving us something to chew on as American Horror fans.
Haute Tension was basically our first foray into French Horror, and to this day, it remains one of our favorite movies of the New Millennium.
See you tomorrow with #8!