31 Days of Horror: Haute Tension

Haute Tension (2003) is more commonly known as High Tension here in North America. It's also known as Switchblade Romance in the UK. I've always known it as Haute Tension because that's what I first heard the movie called and I ended up buying the Region 2 French DVD when it was first released in 2004. A year later it came State side as High Tension - from Lions Gate - complete with crappy dubbing and cut down for it's theatrical release. Sure Lions Gate released it uncut on DVD but I don't think it really needed the censoring or the dubbing.

This French thriller comes from director Alexandre Aja (The Hills Have Eyes, Mirrors). It starts off as a standard slasher flic in the vein of the countless Friday the 13th movies. Two French girls (Cécile de France, Maïwenn Le Besco) are visiting Le Besco's parents - who live on a farm in the country. Meanwhile there is a frightening looking man in a van stalking the country side doing nasty things with severed heads.

The movie is a little gory. But I don't think it was ever really NC-17 material despite what the M.P.A.A. thought. It's a hard R-rating for sure but I've seen far gorier movies. The story is tightly paced and moves at a fast clip. Boom. Girls arrive at farm. Boom. Killer attacks. Boom. Chase begins. The film does become a completely different movie in the third act though. Some people love the twist - others just hate it. I happen to love it - it adds a completely different layer to the standard slasher flic, not that there's anything wrong with the standard slasher flic but it does become dull quickly. And love it or hate it this movie is anything but dull.

1 comment:

Illuminations said...

Holy shit, that's the King of Regina.