9. The Chainsaw Assault in High Tension (2003)
Special Makeup Effects Artist: Giannetto De Rossi
There’s no shortage of choice gore moments in Alexandre Aja’s wonderfully hardcore High Tension. On any given day, the scene where the father’s cranium gets lopped off by a dresser could make this list, as could the one in which mommy’s throat is sliced open and blood sprays onto the closet door with a sprinkler’s force. But we already have a couple of unforgettable head shots on this here countdown, and, frankly, High Tension’s third act money-shot is the one that really makes us cringe.
It’s also the main reason why we’re able to forgive Aja and co-writer Gregory Levasseur for the script’s clichéd and totally ludicrous plot twist that immediately precedes the chainsaw sequence. Just when we think High Tension has officially jumped the shark and crapped on everything it’d previously done so greatly, this scene’s unbelievably raw nature leaves us stunned.
In it, the killer (whose identity we won’t divulge here, in light of spoilers) jumps onto the hood of a car, cuts through the windshield with his trusty chainsaw, and slices into the driver’s chest and neck, and the blood covers the damsel-in-distress seated in the backseat (which you can see above). Without High Tension’s revolting power, we wouldn’t have the tits and guts of Piranha 3D (also directed by Aja) to love, so be thankful.