Although I must congratulate RalphyK for an excellent writeup, I couldn't really disagree with him more. I was not terribly impressed with this film, and I actually tend to like horror movies.

Wait, wait, wait. That's not all entirely accurate. This is one rare case in which I loved everything about the movie but the plot. Maybe it's because I like plot-driven films, or maybe it's just because I'm an English major. But generally it doesn't matter to me how cool the special effects are, how good the acting is, or how well a movie is shot if the plot is a disaster. And this one is.

The major problem with this film is one that occurs frequently when a writer/director aspires to raise a horror movie above the level of pure hack-and-slash gore: plot flaws. There are many in Switchblade Romance (which did call itself High Tension when I saw it), and they're big enough that any twelve year-old would catch them (please don't take this to mean that I would suggest showing this film to a twelve year-old). The most frustrating thing about the holes in this particular film are that they don't occur until the last twenty minutes or so of the movie. Aja includes a totally unnecessary Identity/Fight Club-esque twist ending that not only doesn't work, but takes the movie almost instantly from "excellent slasher film" to "crappy thriller film." The other problem is that the twist ending itself has been done in almost exactly the same way by several far superior movies, and in the moment before your brain begins rattling off reasons that the twist doesn't even make sense, you've already registered it as a ripoff.

Despite Ralphy's assertion that a second viewing will clear things up, I actually discovered more flaws the second time I watched it.

So, if it's the ride that matters most to you, and not where you're going, you may enjoy this film. The shooting is fantastic, and the acting really isn't half bad. The bad guy is really scary, and the gore is... really gory. Watch the first hour and scare your pants off. Watch the next half an hour and walk away with a bad taste in your mouth. Either way, watch it in the original French with subtitles. Dubbing in a horror movie is just silly and doesn't even make sense.