Caught the somewhat inappropriately titled Switchblade Romance this afternoon; inappropriate since there are numerous weapons in this French thriller-horror movie, but I don’t recall seeing a switchblade, so why the English title was given thus from the French Haute Tension I don’t know. This was a European horror which rumour has it even gave some of the seasoned gore hounds at this year’s annual (and rather good) Dead by Dawn horror film festival at the Edinburgh Film Filmhouse. Speaking as a seasoned horror fiend myself I have to say it was pretty damned good. There were elements obvious from other horror flicks, such as Children of the Corn, Hitcher, Halloween and, worryingly, the dreadfully dire Jeepers Creepers (one of the few films I have walked out of it was so bad). Two female students head into the countryside of France to stay at the isolated rural home of one of them. Hmmmm, very isolated rural location, surrounded by cornfields – don’t city people know never to go to these places???

A shocking and seemingly motiveless series of atrocities is visited upon the peaceful scene, resulting in a prolonged game of cat and mouse. The tension is almost unbearable at some points, often by substituting the terrified reaction of one character to the dreadful sounds coming from the next room rather than witnessing the deeds, although there are also plenty of wonderful gore-filled scenes and even a few humorous ones thrown in, such as the inventive spin on the idea of ‘getting head’ early on. Damned good nasty horror although the ‘twist’ was rather predictable, at least to me, but that may be because I’m pretty fluent in the language of gory horror flicks. It’s still one of the better horror films I’ve seen for a long time.