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High Tension (2003)

Cast: Cécile De France, Cécile De France, Maïwenn Le Besco, more...
Director: Alexandre Aja, Alexandre Aja
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Rating: Not Rated
Studio: Lions Gate
Genre: Foreign, Horror, Slashers, France
Running Time: 95 min.
Languages: English, French
Subtitles: English, Spanish
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French filmmaker Alexandre Aja writes and directs the slasher film Haute Tension, given the English title Switchblade Romance. Best friends Marie (Cécile De France) and Alex (Maïwenn Le Besco) go out to the countryside to visit Alex's parents. However, a homicidal delivery man (played by Philippe Nahon from Gaspar Noé's brutal movies) ends up at their house and starts killing everyone. Alex and Marie fight for their lives with help from several means of weaponry. Switchblade Romance was shown at the 2003 Toronto Film Festival as part of the Midnight program. The film was aquired by US distributor Lions Gate Films in 2004 and quickly put into turnaround as an NC-17 release, though plans for that were scrapped due to a lack of theater support of the controversial rating. Retitled High Tension, the R-rated version is missing one minute of grisly gore and features a redubbed audio track by star Cécile De France. ~ Andrea LeVasseur, All Movie Guide

GreenCine Member Reviews

Fall Flat on Its Face by zeroplusone October 14, 2006 - 5:26 PM PDT
1 out of 2 members found this review helpful
As the previous reviewer mentioned, "High Tension" gets off to a great start. You'll say to yourself "Wow, this film lives up to its title. I'll have to recommend this to all of my friends who also enjoy this genre." You may guess the end early on as I did, but still you might then say to yourself, "No, maybe that won't happen, that's to predictable; and the director has done such an amazing job expertly creating such an intense atmosphere of suspense, I find hard to believe that it would be sullied by such a trite cop-out of an ending." Sadly though, you're in for a real disapointment. This film is all build-up but the climax seems like an after-thought that pays no regard to continuity.

It Doesn't Compute (but I suppose computation isn't what we all want from a slasher movie) by talltale October 3, 2005 - 6:24 AM PDT
5 out of 6 members found this review helpful
The French slasher/basher HIGH TENSION offers a number of scenes and moments of that titular quality, but the holes in the plot, coupled with poor (or poorly-subtitled) dialog are of the "truck driving thru a large swiss cheese" variety. I had the end figured out midway, but it didn't quite compute. When it turned out exactly as I'd expected (and still didn't compute), I turned off to the film pretty totally. The exceedingly grizzly gore was no help, either. I may be (finally) getting too old for this genre. Still, "High Tension" is one ugly movie. If you want a much better example of the lady-in-distress/slasher film, try Anthony Waller's "Mute Witness," a winner in every regard, and one that still manages to be tight, scarey, dark, ugly--and funny.

GreenCine Member Rating

(Average 6.25)
118 Votes
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New French Extremity
Predominately films that would be classified as 'horror' with a few notable exceptions. Many films get lumped into this catagory because the director has made films considered "transgressive".
101 Horror Movies You Must See Before You Die
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