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High Tension (Unrated Widescreen Edition) (2005)

Art House & International movie directed by Alexandre Aja

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Aja gave us a graphic and brutal film without any remorse.

  • Aug 27, 2006
  • by
Rating:
+3
Alexandre Aja takes us to a roller-coaster of horror in a movie that lives up to its name. "Haute Tension" keeps the tension to the max as we see a return to the visceral gory violence without being vulgar or void exploitation. In fact, the film manages to hold a perfect equilibrium between the elegance and beauty of French film-making and brutal grim horror of movies like Hooper's "Texas Chainsaw Massacre".

Cécile De France plays Marie, who is visiting her college friend Alexia (Maïwenn Le Besco) in rural France. The day she arrives, a mysterious man appears on an old rusty truck and brutally begins to murder Alexia's family. Marie becomes the last hope for Alexia to survive the brutal killings. Great moments of suspense and tension are built, as the fantastic performance of Cécile grabs the attention of the public; she really owns the screen and is a perfect match for Philippe Nahon, as the ruthless killer.

The most recognizable thing about this movie is how strong the violence is. It is really a movie that will impress people with its graphic violence. The make-up and SFX are great and very realistic. While some killings are clichéd, others are very surprising. Nevertheless, even when it seems that is gory just for the sake of being gory, the camera-work gives images of complete beauty in the composition of the scene. The colors are so well handled that at times the movie gives the impression of being a horrifying canvas. There aren't that many killings in the film (only 5 and one isn't shown) but they are BLOODY!! Not just a little blood here and there...this film throws BUCKETS at the viewer. It's more than a little disturbing and this film has no humor in it. It has a grim, dark tone from the very beginning and never lets up.

The plot is quite simple, not everything is perfect, and I have to say again that the scrip is probably its big flaw. The glaring plot holes are big enough to keep you thinking about them, something writers should avoid like the plague. Nevertheless, Aja's execution will keep you on the edge of the seat and probably, asking for more. While many things have been written about the ending, I thought it was a fitting and (although unoriginal) ending to the brutal trip, since probably is not the ending what matters, but the way Aja takes us to it. In the end, a movie that stays true to the most brutal school of horror, and yet it still delivers more than the typical slasher. A must-see for horror fans, but be warned...this is some strong stuff.

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More High Tension (2005) reviews
review by . January 19, 2012
posted in Movie Hype
*** out of ****    Alexandre Aja's "High Tension" ("Haute Tension" in its native country of France) is the rare slasher flick that truly draws the line between the exploitation of violence and truly bloodcurdling suspense. Indeed, there is a high body count - and each and every one of those bodies is soaked in blood, mutilated, and perhaps even cut up a bit - but there is also the desire to make the audience wait for big events to unfold. That may seem like a bit of an uneven …
Quick Tip by . January 04, 2012
posted in Movie Hype
If you like your slasher movies not to make sense then this is THE movie for you. But make sure to watch it with the subtitles ON because if you don't speak French then you're going to try to make sense out of it. Better just read the nonsense and bathe in senseless sang du couchon or it could be real people blood, by the time you hit your blood limit you won't care.
review by . May 16, 2009
posted in Movie Hype
Horror Retention
Just when I thought the Horror industry was in dire need of some great assistance, Aja delivered the goods & saved the day. In fact, he delivered them so well the film garnered an NC-17 rating which is quite impressive. thankfully, we are able to get this unedited version on DVD. High Tension has all the great elements which make a perfect suspense thriller or even great pyshcological Horror masterpiece. There's gore, edgy terror-filled scenes, & even repressed sexuality which works …
review by . November 09, 2008
High Tension (Unrated Widescreen Edition)
High Tension is for horror aficionados only, great cinema it is not. At a horror event, I received some very cool promo material for this movie and couldn't wait for it to come out on DVD. After a sweet titillation near the beginning (head jokes will roll), the movie slows down. Keep watching...it gets better.     Marie (Cecile de France) is invited to visit the French countryside by classmate and pal Alexia (Maiwenn le Besco) and stay with her family at their old French manor …
review by . February 07, 2006
posted in Movie Hype
After seeing High Tension you start to think why people were making such a big deal about Hostel because this movie goes crazy with the gore. The film was going in a good direction until the amazing but horrible end. The ending is lazy and you'll see what I mean when you see it. Basically your being leaded to believe one thing and that belief is ripped right from under you when they switch everything up. They give the story away very obviously in the beginning and I think they thought nobody was …
review by . February 06, 2006
posted in Movie Hype
After seeing High Tension you start to think why people were making such a big deal about Hostel because this movie goes crazy with the gore. The film was going in a good direction until the amazing but horrible end. The ending is lazy and you'll see what I mean when you see it. Basically your being leaded to believe one thing and that belief is ripped right from under you when they switch everything up. They give the story away very obviously in the beginning and I think they thought nobody was …
review by . November 30, 2005
This is what psycho killer thrillers should be like! Actually INTENSITY, actual fear...actually making the viewer uncomfortable.    Marie and Alexa, two college roommates, are off to visit Alexa's parents in their new country home. Alexa is a bit boy-crazy, and Marie is obviously smitten with her friend. They arrive at the quaint home late at night, briefly meet the parents and little brother, and then go to bed. Suddenly, the peaceful, remote house is descended upon by a true …
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Wiki

Home to some of the world's best food and fashion, the French also have the wonderful habit of producing some of the world's best movies. WithHigh Tension, French director Alexandre Aja offers up a bloody buffet of terror; a violent concoction of style over substance, with a bloody French twist. Two college girlfriends, Maria and Alex, take a weekend to study at the secluded country home of Alex's parents. Shortly after their arrival, a mysterious killer appears, and things take a shockingly terrible turn for the worse. As the horror and body count rises, Maria and Alex find themselves fighting for their lives, and it's revealed that things are not exactly as they seem. Essentially a one-act cat-and-mouse affair,High Tensionis an explosive bloody thrill ride that rarely lets up. Oozing style in every color-saturated frame and boasting some intense performances, Aja mainly succeeds in sustaining an intense momentum throughout the film. The plot occasionally suffers from a thin, flimsy storyline, and the abundant graphic scenes of violence will either thrill and delight, or simply disgust. Nonetheless, this adrenalin-fueled addition to the genre gives the American slasher flick a real run for its money.High Tensionis high-art horror, and comes highly recommended.--Matt Wold
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Details

Director: Alexandre Aja
Genre: Foreign
DVD Release Date: October 11, 2005
Runtime: 91 minutes
Studio: Lions Gate Films Home Entertainment
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