FINAL GIRL explores the slasher flicks of the '70s and '80s...and all the other horror movies I feel like talking about, too. This is life on the EDGE, so beware yon spoilers!

Mar 20, 2006

love is ugly

Hi! My name is Stacie, and I'm the last horror movie fan on the planet to see High Tension! It's quite possible that I'm also the only person on the planet who liked the 'twist' ending. I really liked the 'twist' ending, a reaction I wasn't expecting to have. I knew all about it before I popped the DVD in (it's difficult to avoid information like that for years), and most every review I read went along the lines of "this kicked ass...until...The Ending" or "I loved this movie so much I wanted to touch myself ...until...The Ending". Because of the court of public opinion, I'd put off watching High Tension as long as I could. It arrived via Netflix - good lord, I just checked the date- in January and I only watched it this weekend, I was so loathe to check it out. Like I said, though- the ending worked for me in a big way. It just goes to show ya...something something twist ending something.

Here's the plot, all short-n-sweet style for anyone who doesn't know it...and yeah, I'll be giving it all away here. Avert ye eyes, if'n ye be a-feared of yon blackest spoilers.

Alex (Maiwenn) and Marie (Cecile de France) are college friends who drive to Alex's family's house in the French countryside for a weekend of relaxation and study. The night they arrive, a mysterious man in mysterious overalls (Philippe Nahon) arrives in a mysterious truck and systematically slaughters Alex's family. Marie, however, manages to stay hidden during the carnage. When the mysterious man hogties Alex and drives away with her in the back of his mysterious truck, Marie pursues, determined to rescue her friend. Eventually Marie and the mysterious man go mano a mano...and then in a sucker punch, director Alexandre Aja reveals that there is no mysterious man. Marie herself is the kidnapper and executioner.

Sounds ludicrous, right? Well, yeah, it might be. For 80 minutes or so, Aja leads us down a vicious, nihilistic path of random violence. The audience knows nothing about the mysterious man- he quite literally appears from nowhere, driving his truck down the long, lonely, all-but-hidden dirt road leading to Alex's family's farm. Without a word he kills Alex's parents. He hunts down her young brother in a cornfield and shoots him in the back. All this time, Marie is avoiding capture, trying to contact the authorities, and figuring out a way to free Alex from the mysterious man's clutches before he kills her...or worse. In the film's final moments, we discover (via a petrol station surveillance tape) that Marie is really the killer. Viewers feel cheated, let down, and angry by this seemingly superfluous 'twist' ending. While it certainly strains credibility at times, ultimately the choice to make Marie the killer made sense to me, left me with more questions than answers (in a good way, though, not in a "But that's just not possible!" way), and, most importantly, it made me think- which, quite frankly, was refreshing in a horror film. It's been a long time since I've seen a horror film that led to lengthy discussion and analysis- Leprechaun 4: In Space aside, of course. One could write thesis atop thesis on that tome.

So how does this ending work in the grand scheme of things? Does it make any sense? Sure, but then my interpretation is simple: Marie spends the length of the film waging a mental war with herself, until one side emerges victorious.

High Tension opens with a lengthy sequence in the car while Marie and Alex are driving to the family home. During this time, Marie teases Alex about her cavorting with boys. She berates Alex's decisions, calling her a slut, an idiot, a fool. It's obvious that the name-calling goes beyond playful banter; Marie isn't smiling, and her taunts are bordering on cruel. What gives? Is Marie interested in the men Alex is chasing? It's clear that's not the case- rather, Marie is interested in Alex. Marie is in love with her friend, a friend that doesn't share her sexual orientation. How frustrating for Marie.

Here Aja introduces the audience to the mysterious man in his truck, using a woman's severed head to give himself a blowjob.

Later that night, after there have been introductions and the family has gone to bed, Marie goes outside for a smoke. Glancing up, she can see Alex in the bathroom, taking a shower. Aroused, Marie goes back inside, heads upstairs to the guest room, and masturbates- giving herself over to her physical desire for her friend.

Marie has crossed a line and admitted her feelings, if only to herself. At this moment, the mysterious man arrives at the house and almost immediately decapitates Alex's father. He cuts Alex's mother's throat, then dispatches her little brother before absconding with Alex herself as a trophy. Marie, then, has destroyed what she feels she can never share with the object of her affection: a family.

This interpretation of the film, honestly, made me extremely uncomfortable. Aja comes dangerously close to homophobia with this work, and seems to be reciting the party line of the Conservative Right: homosexuality destroys families.

Then again, Marie is crazy.

Marie is also, most likely, a self-loathing lesbian. She sees her homosexual side- her "deviant" side (please, notice the quotes there and save the hate mail)- as repulsive. She sees herself as a vile, disgusting man, giving in to the basest desires in the most psychotic way possible (see: fellatio by severed head), and she spends the rest of the film battling her urges. Is Aja bluntly equating homosexuality with baseness, with psychosis and homicidal tendencies? I don't think so. Believe it or not, not every gay person bursts out of the closet the first time he or she feels desire for a member of the same sex. People live in denial, people live in hiding. People can be confused, and while falling in love with your best friend doesn't (always, I suppose) lead to homicidal tendencies, there are gay people who, sadly, hate themselves for being gay. In real life, one hopes people find counseling, find friends, find a path to self-acceptance...and in a sense, Marie does find some sort of acceptance for herself at the film's end. Her 'female' subconscious has defeated her 'male' subconscious, and this means that Marie and Alex can finally be together. Marie no longer hides her feelings; she's ready to spend her life with Alex, and "no one will keep them apart" any more. Again, Aja skirts the line: does homosexuality pervert everything, as the Conservatives would have you believe? Are gays simply out to convert straight people to their "despicable" way of life?

I'd like to ask Aja about his intent with this film, what kind of message it is he's trying to get across, if any- let's not forget, though, that this is a movie. High Tension is a horror movie, and Marie is crazy. Maybe Aja just wanted a wacky twist ending.

Alright, then, so how does High Tension stack up as a horror movie? I'll say this much: the film's title couldn't be more appropriate. Once the action starts, this flick has tension by the bucketful. Aja shows a great deal of promise here and a true understanding of terror. The film is beautifully shot, from the colors to the camera angles. He also utilizes sound to maximize the tension, a technique most other directors fail at miserably. Once mysterious man arrives at the house, the dialogue stops- in fact, there's precious little dialogue throughout the entire film. There's the crunchy squeak of the mysterious man's boots, there's the sounds of off-screen atrocities, there's the whiny fuzz of static that seems to symbolize Marie losing touch with reality- all used sparingly enough to leave your stomach in knots. There's no pounding heavy metal accompanying the action here. It seems that Aja learned a thing or two from early John Carpenter films: less is more, at least as far as sound is concerned. Gore is quite another issue.

This is where Aja lost me a bit: this movie is exceedingly bloody, and the amount shown onscreen only grows until, by the film's end, both Marie and Alex are completely covered in red. No, death isn't pretty. In real life, a throat slashing doesn't result in a tiny red line drawn across the neck: it's brutal and it's messy...and Aja doesn't pull any punches with the violence here. There's blood sprayed everywhere, in just-short-of-campy-over-the-top amounts. For me, though, less is more in the gore department. Anything shown onscreen that makes me close my eyes or turn away in disgust just pulls me out of the moment. Here, during the final siege, I found myself thinking "Alright, enough already!". I wish Aja had utilized the more subtle, spare hand he used to such great effect in the audio and visual aspects throughout the entire film. I guess he just wants to hit you over the head with the brutality of death- it might be more "honest" and realistic than a bloodless film like Halloween, but I don't need so much on-screen viscera in my horror movies. I know there's horror fans out there who eat that shit up, though, so take my opinion for what you will.

Love it or hate it, you can't deny High Tension's originality, which is sorely lacking in this current spate of remakes churning out of Hollywood (and yes, I realize that after this work Aja went on to direct a remake of The Hills Have Eyes- sad thing, that). I think I loved it, but it makes me feel naughty to say that. That's good. I'm anxious to see what Aja comes up with next.

25 comments:

Stacie Ponder said...

Wow, hat's a long post. Anyone make it all the way through? :P

B.A. Slattery said...

I did, and loved every second of it.

High Tension, indeed, is a queer studies film. It uses the genre of filmmaking that is generally drenched in sex to show the dangerous appetites lurking behind awkward fumblings in the woods. That said, it also shows, however inadvertently, that homosexuality is the "killer of families," so, like you, I'd truly like to know what Aja's intentions were with this film, as it comes across as homophobic.

My problem with the twist ending wasn't that Marie was the killer -- no, that's perfectly fine by me. My problem was that, given its status as a queer studies film (or else a hopelessly naive film that looks a lot like a queer studies film), the killer stopped being scary. He's a figment of the maniac's imagination -- there's no longer anything to fear. Even though we understand Marie is the killer, Aja still uses Big Drunk Whiskey-Slurpin' Irish to off the dude in the car. If instead we saw Marie doing it, it'd have a lot more impact.

It just seems as if Aja built up tons of tension with great style and aplomb and then, at the last minute, trashed it all by re-using an image we no longer associate with terror.

Sidenote: his remake is The Hills Have Eyes is far superior than the original. I couldn't even watch the first hour of Wes Craven's original ... it was that fucking bad. The remake, however, uses the same tricks from High Tension --as well as some from The Texas Chainsaw Massacre -- to build disturbing images and great amounts of suspense and terror.

The 2006 version gives me hopes in seemingly "retarded" Hollywood remakes. Maybe keep 'em away from Hollywood; give 'em to the French.

Stacie Ponder said...

Hmm. I see what you're saying about Aja reverting to the use of the 'male' to wield the saw. While, yeah, he's no longer really scary given that we know who he is (or isn't, I guess), I think it still makes sense given the context of the film. Marie sees herself as a heroine, right up until the end- she's rescuing Alex from the 'bad man'. She doesn't want to hurt Alex, but when she wants to kill what she can't have (she killed the 'normal' family, and here she must kill the woman who rejects her), she removes herself from the equation entirely. She becomes 'the other', the disgusting man, to perpetrate the evil. If Marie was trying to kill Alex as 'Marie', it would've muddied the logic of the twist even further. In the final moments of the film, Marie reaches out to Alex, not to kill her, but to embrace her. If her rage should build again, though, it'd be 'the man' reaching out with intent to harm.

It does take away from the faceless terror established in the first 2/3 of the film, though, I totally agree. It becomes a different kind of horror. While the gore increases, it becomes more of a psychological thriller than a straight-up horror movie. I think they mesh well enough here, but I see your point- and it may not mesh for everyone.

I gotta track down some interviews with this dude.

Anonymous said...

Don't fret! You're not the last horror movie fan to see it. I bought it awhile ago and still haven't gotten around to watching it. I think I will like it too. I love endings that aren't a neat and clean.

Joel

B.A. Slattery said...

Joel, you're in for a disappointment, then. High Tension's ending is neat and clean. If it weren't, there'd still be Stinky McWhiskey Breath running around with a huge saw, kidnapping young girls and decapitating them for a blowjob on the quick.

Better if they'd left the horror unsaid, unexplained, like the original Halloween (barring the unnecessary sequels, of course).

And Stacie, you're right about the context of the film not allowing for Marie's total domination at the end as the killer. Still, the context should've been changed, or there should've been quick intercuts of Marie weilding the chainsaw, or something....

It's a difficult movie to take apart because it's so well put together, but so flawed at its center.

Have you seen his remake of The Hills Have Eyes? It's really quite incredible. You wouldn't know it from my review, but given the time that's passed since I've seen it, I think it's truly an accomplishment for modern horror. A remake that's actually good, if not better than the original film.

Des said...

I too liked the ending Stacie!

I would have preferred if the North American release kept the much cooler British title of the film rather than the exact translation of the French: Switchblade Romance.

dreamrot said...

In the end, I felt there were still a lot of whys and hows left, but the ending never turned me off. It's still one of my favorite more reason movies to come out lately. I saw it about a year ago and never felt let down by it. I keep meaning to watch it again (knowing the ending I like to look for the clues).

lostphrack said...

I really dug this movie and your review of it.

I rented it and was a little edgey at first about whether I'd like it or not. I had heard some good things about it, but like you I heard a lot of smack talked about the ending.

That being said, I was on the edge of my seat through the whole thing. Great movie and a great review of it too.

Ooohhhh... one sad note though, since no one else has mentioned it yet. Apparently, aside from the twist ending, a good chunk of the movie is a lift from a Koontz novel. I've never read it, but I heard that Aja finally fessed up to reading a novel by Koontz that's fairly similiar, minus the twist ending, at some film festival.

Still! Good movie!

Joshua said...

You know, I once wrote a meandering, wordy and barely coherent diatribe on the ways horror films position queers as destroyers of the family. But, while my queer-political concerns are admittedly radical, I was never exactly concerned about the premise that queers pose a threat to the family. I was much more troubled by the fact that these films always affirm the stability of oppressive family orders against radical-revolutionary sexuality. I'm sounding pretentious -- but my point is that I don't necessarily think Aja's film is homophobic. It is misogynistic, but so is every other horror film I've seen, so that's hardly worth mentioning. One thing I find interesting about this queer killer is that she's the undisputed hero of the story. After spending ninety minutes rooting for her, it's hard to turn on her, even at the end. And in her pyschological state (which you deal with brilliantly) she configures the visceral, violent threat as heterosexual. It's Alex's sluttiness that makes her a victim and "the killer" is a straight man who wants sluts. Marie herself, the lesbian, is trying to save Alex from the horrors of heterosexuality. And unlike most similar films, she succeeds in tearing apart the fammily by killing both parents and the male child -- only the daughter survives, serving as a violation/repudiation of the patriarchal power. See, I'm being pretentious again.

Now, don't get me wrong, I suspect Aja is, at best, mocking the notions I've laid out above -- his film could be read as a critique of man-hating, anti-sex wave of feminism (and three cheers for that!), but the fact is there is no real moral weight on the side of the "The Family." All our interest is invested in Marie, who is our lesbian killer. Therefore, I don't believe the film is homophboic.

But I still don't like the ending. The film succeeds largely by building, well, tension. It's a relentless and terrifying film, so why do we need the postmodern pyrotechnics at the end? Homophobic or not, who cares? And isn't "the killer" much less scary when he-she morphs into a cackling clown in the final chase scene? I want to see Marie do some killing, if she's gonna be the killer! She's hot and bloody and totally killertastic so why do I have to see some fat old man impersonating IT?

As I told Brennon after I saw the movie, I'd have ended it with Marie killing the guy and then going to save Alex, only she's become psychotically detached and kills Marie, having transferred all her rage onto the woman she (secretly) loves. It would be a perfectly horrific ending to this wonderfully terrorizing gem.

Sorry this was so long. I'm shutting up now.

Joshua said...

I wrote all that crazy shit and then realized that all I really meant to say was: while Leprechaun 4: In Space is certainly a major film, you can't possibly think it's more vital to world cinema than Leprechaun In The Hood where the leprechaun kills rappers. Ice-T stars.

The Retropolitan said...

Actually, I'm the last horror fan on the planet to see it, and I skipped everything but the first few lines of the post because I didn't want to know the ending WHICH I HAVEN'T HEARD. But now that I know you liked it, I kinda want to see it.

Steve said...

I still think we were cheated. Queer studies film or not, parts just don't add up. Like the yellow car chase scenes.

I thought was a brilliant movie up until the ending and I think if all he wanted was a unique ending to set himself apart from other horror movies than he had several options he could have gone with during the final fight scene in the woods.

And if you go by the original title, which I never thought about before, it clearly does seem to be more about the queer studies.

Stacie Ponder said...

Brennon- No, I've yet to see Hills. It's on the short list, though- I'd like to see it while it's hot and JOIN IN the conversation for once, rather than writing about it 5 years from now. I have vague memories of seeing the original- or maybe Part II?- at the drive-in, but it's been so long I may be making that up. I'd like to do a compare and contrast thing.

Lostphrack- Yeah, I've read about the Intensity influence, though I've never read that book. Actually, I've somehow managed to avoid (for lack of a better word) Koontz forever- I've never read a single book of his. I may have to check it out, though.

Josh- Thanks for chiming in here. You've raised alot of interesting points and sort of helped to settle my head a bit. It's a fine line here, I think, open to equal views on both sides. I, too, thought of the 'lesbian as heroine saving Alex from the evils of heterosexuality' angle, which can really be interpreted to serve either side of the line: either gays are evil and out to destroy the family, or heterosexuality, for women, can be oppressive and women need to be liberated. Heh- like a recruitment video! The only downside to that is, well, Marie is a homicidal nutcase.

It's odd, but I can't seem to find an interview with Aja anywhere in which the reporter asks questions about the film's messages and Aja's intent. Nor can I find an instance where Aja broaches the subject himself. It CAN'T be unintentional, though- the messages are just too blatant. Aja always says (paraphrasing here) it's just a classic type of horror movie, a throwback...very simple in it's layout: 2 girls, 1 house, 1 killer.

The re-transformation into cuckoo gross man at the end didn't really bother me, although I'd much rather watch Cecile de France on screen than cuckoo gross man. I could buy Alex killing Marie, though, for sure. Although maybe they should've just held hands at the end and gone off to an Indigo Girls concert. :P

Oh, and while, Leprechaun in the Hood DOES feature Ice-T, it DOESN'T feature an oversized, disembodied Leprechaun hand floating around in space, flipping the bird. That's the clincher for me!

Steve- Yeah, it's a little clunky in parts, like the car chase. I interpreted those scenes as taking place pretty much exclusively in Marie's mind. In the scenes where she's hiding from the man (like in the gas station restroom), I figure only one body or the other exists in the physical plane- sometimes it's Marie as male, sometimes it's Marie as female. When she's hiding in the upstairs bedroom, for example, I believe the 'female' Marie is the one that exists- when the man gets closer, Marie is fighting her homicidal urges. Same deal in the gas station, except the 'male' Marie is the one in existence, as we witness on the surveillance tape. Therefore (going back to your point), there would have been no actual car chase: Marie is battling herself mentally, building up to the final stand against her murderous inclinations. I don't even know if the TRUCK exists- once it arrives at the house, I don't think we see Alex's car again. Marie could have kidnapped Alex in her own car.

I wonder how I would've felt about this if I'd known NOTHING about the ending going into it. As it was, I watched it with a little "OK, how the hell is he gonna pull this off?" track running through my mind the entire time.

erinc said...

I haven't seen the movie - looks too bloody for my taste - but I've seen previews and the murder scenes at the beginning of the movie are loosely based - it seems to me - on Dean Koontz's novel 'Intensity' - which kicks major butt. I definitely recommend it for light night time reading ;)

Stacie Ponder said...

OK, I gotta check out this book! And Erin- this movie is very very bloody. Good but pretty gory!

Anonymous said...

You guys are too smart for me.

I liked the movie, hated the ending... I'm sorry that little blonde thing COULD NOT move that cabinet and decapitate that man.

I got stuck on all the details because it just seemed so contrived. I'm sick of twists They usually end up feeling like someone put all these potential endings in a paper bag and shook it hard. Identity is another film that suffers this pitfall.

However Stacie, that review was aces. I totally see your point and there is NOTHING cooler than seeing a movie through someone else's eyes. That's a tough feat and you are aces.

Amanda By Night

cattleworks said...

Wow!
That was a lot of great reading, post and comments alike.
I actually like this movie alot IN SPITE of being driven CRAZY by the seeming carelessness with which Aja "explains" the twist (in the film)-- if I remember correctly, the explanation we get is mostly Marie's motivation, her feelings for Alex.
But, aside from that, I almost get the feeling he could care less about the physical logic required to explain what we've seen so far (the car chase, etc.).
I also, seriously, don't think he would classify this as a queer studies type of film, although, after the film has been made, it makes sense that others would categorize it as such.
I take him at his word if he simply had an idea for "2 girls, 1 house, 1 killer." I think it's purely a horror film for him.
Which is also why I don't think it's a homophobic film, either. This is gonna sound stupid, but i don't think his attitude toward marie is as her being a lesbian, his focus is Marie's strong, unrequited desire for Alex: purely motivation.
Which brings me to something Stacie pointed out, the immediate scene following the opening car scene which established the tensions between Marie and Alex, is the blow-job scene/intro of "the killer."
One of my complaints about the film is why would Marie imagine this AND at this point, technically way before they've even arrived at Alex's house, because she would have to, wouldn't she, if the killer is in her mind? But on the other hand, if this is the sort of thing that fills her mind when she's upset emotionally when she thinks about Alex and the men Alex sleeps with, this scene suddenly reads very differently to me: if Marie imagines, jealously, Alex having oral sex with her boyfriends, which just enrages her more, as a petulant child perhaps she imagines this: "what if you had to blow THIS man, you like it so much!" and, to compound things, Marie imagines it as so vile, cheap and unromantic, in a filthy truck, etc. And THEN what if she were so angry, Marie THEN imagined Alex dead as well? I wonder if the decapitated head is not some generic brunette/victim, but actually represents Alex?
Yeah, I'm pretty much making this up as I go along here, but, emotionally, this makes some sense to me. Whenever i get upset about something (specific), I have this childish image in my head of just throwing everything out in my workroom, my comics, my dvds, everything, a very "cut my nose to spite my face" scenario, but it's a very strong image and it reappears with some regularity (like, once a year-- okay i have room cleaning issues, there! I've said it! Shut up!). My point is, this particular scene suddenly makes some more sense to me viewed from this emotional perspective, rather than from a linear plot perspective. And I've indulgently taken all this space up to share with you, thanks. I feel better now!
But, from a logical, physical explanation, the twist ending is still total bullshit.

And finally, Stacie, while reading your comments to Steve re: your take on explaining the dubious physical requirements for parts of the film via Marie's mental state, I suddenly, free-associatively, imagined your words spoken by... Simon Oakland a la the end of PSYCHO. Also imagine us sitting around you/Simon in the police station listening to this, various blank or quizzical expressions all around.

Well, it cracked ME up...

dave s said...

i love 'high tension' and i think that the ending adds to the film's impact.
i'm gay, but don't find the ending homophobic at all. i think the point is that it was marie's repressed homosexuality that made her a danger. if she had been able to be open about her lesbianism to herself and others she would've been okay. it was her repression that made her wacko.

melizer said...

I'm the latest last person to see this, and I'm so glad I didn't know a thing about it (besides seeing a trailer on another horror DVD) and I really enjoyed it. I'm not sure why some feel there's nothing to be afraid of after the reveal, I think it's even more horrifying. Especially the very last scene!

RATSAWGOD said...

I know I'm jumping in on a conversation that's almost two years old, but here's my basic two cents.

I've not seen this movie. And now I'm not going to. Why? We've just had way too many fucking movies where the gay character is disturbed. Or the killer. Why? IN most cases the point is "gays are, you know, SICK."

I just sick of it. Yes, I know psychotic comes in all colors and genders and shapes and orientations, but I'm just sick of the gays always being the crazies. I also don't care what the directors intention was or not. We need to give the gays a break in this department, for a least a few decades or so, you know?

thomwade said...

I think this is one of the few films I cannot agree upon with you...the twist flat out does not work storywise. Why?

"Here Aja introduces the audience to the mysterious man in his truck, using a woman's severed head to give himself a blowjob."

Along with the car chase and the sequence where she watches the little brother get killed from the upstairs bedroom? The narrative fails, because she interacts with people. If she is really in the field killing the little brother, then she should have been in the field as well, but she would think she is running after the brother to save him.

A great twist makes sense. Fight Club. The Sixth Sense. You look back and scenes and wonder how the hell you missed it. It seems so obvious. High Tension, after the reveal? Doesn't fall into "OH SHIT?! How did I not see that coming??!!" Because the movie clearly establishes the burly man as a separate being. There should never have been any scene where the audience saw him without Marie in the room, hiding or whatever. Because then it is unknown. The audience would still perceive Marie as the heroine, but when it is revealed that the killer exists only in her mind? Suddenly it would make sense.

But I confess, i have found every French horror film I have seen a bitter disappointment of unrealized potential. High Tension could have been a great flick with a terrific twist.

Tony said...

I've seen this film, and though I didn't think it was bad, I certainly wouldn't call it original.

Did you ever get around to reading "Intensity," Stacy? If you do, you'll see that, up until the scene where Marie runs her car off the road and ends up being chased by the "killer" through the woods, the film is in fact a nearly blow by blow reenactment of the first hundred pages or so of Koontz's novel. I think he would seriously have grounds for a copyright infringement suit.

Stacie Ponder said...

I haven't yet. I got through about 10 minutes of the audiobook and ditched it- I just thought it was awful. Everyone who's familiar with both makes the comparison, though, so there must be something to it.

Tony said...

The relationship between the girls is different (totally platonic), and there's a lot more backstory (Chyna- Marie's counterpart in the book- had a crazy mama), but it basically follows the same outline.

The girls go to visit the friend's parents at their farmhouse.. the killer shows up in the dead of night and takes everybody out while Chyna's asleep.. Chyna ends up inadvertently stowing away in the back of the killer's RV while trying to rescue her friend.. the killer stops off at a gas station off the highway and plays a psychological cat and mouse game with the clerks before killing them (while Chyna watches from the back of one of the aisles).. the killer leaves, and Chyna steals the gas station attendant's car in order to follow him.

(In the book, she does this because she's learned- from the killer's conversation with the gas station clerks- that he has a young girl imprisoned in his home, and is planning to rape and murder her on her 16th birthday).

From there the plots diverge completely. The book does have a "twist" of sorts, but nothing on the level of what we have in the film.

Kaijinu said...

no worries, mate. I like the twist too. It's a lot better than what Suicide Girls Must Die did.

Least this movie got a decent use ofr its gore.