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High Tension (2003)
"Haute tension" (original title)

 -  Horror | Thriller  -  10 June 2005 (USA)
6.9
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Ratings: 6.9/10 from 45,314 users   Metascore: 42/100
Reviews: 525 user | 237 critic | 30 from Metacritic.com

Two college friends, Marie and Alexa, encounter loads of trouble (and blood) while on vacation at Alexa's parents' country home when a mysterious killer invades their quiet getaway.

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Title: High Tension (2003)

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Cast

Complete credited cast:
...
...
...
Le tueur
...
Jimmy
...
Père Alex
...
Mère Alex
Marco Claudiu Pascu ...
Tom
Jean-Claude de Goros ...
Capitaine Gendarmerie
Bogdan Uritescu ...
Gendarme
...
Homme voiture
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Storyline

Alexia travels with her friend Marie to spend a couple of days with her family in their farm in the country. They arrive late and they are welcomed by Alexia's father. Late in the night, a sadistic and sick killer breaks into the farmhouse, slaughters Alexia's family--including their dog--and kidnaps Alexia. Marie hides from the criminal and tries to help the hysterical and frightened Alexia, chase the maniac, and disclose his identity in the end. Written by Claudio Carvalho, Rio de Janeiro, Brazil

Plot Summary | Plot Synopsis

Plot Keywords:

friend | farmhouse | student | chase | maniac | See more »

Taglines:

Hearts will bleed.

Genres:

Horror | Thriller

Motion Picture Rating (MPAA)

Rated NC-17 for strong graphic violence | See all certifications »

Parents Guide:

 »
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Details

Country:

| |

Language:

| |

Release Date:

10 June 2005 (USA)  »

Also Known As:

High Tension  »

Filming Locations:

 »

Box Office

Budget:

€2,200,000 (estimated)

Opening Weekend:

$8,328 (Chile) (15 September 2006)

Gross:

$30,781 (Chile) (22 September 2006)
 »

Company Credits

Production Co:

,  »
Show detailed on  »

Technical Specs

Runtime:

| (DVD) | (re-cut) | (edited)

Sound Mix:

| (US version)| (US version)| (original version)

Color:

Aspect Ratio:

2.35 : 1
See  »
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Did You Know?

Trivia

The camera used during the car-attack scene got so much fake blood on it during shooting that when it was being used on another film later on fake blood oozed from it during the focusing of a shot. See more »

Goofs

The killer takes the ax out of the gas station clerk, so he had to have flipped him over to do so. So it makes sense why the clerk is on his back in a later scene. See more »

Quotes

[repeated line]
Marie: I won't let anyone come between us any more.
See more »

Connections

Referenced in Down by the Riverside (2007) See more »

Soundtracks

Pillow Talk
(Arch Bacon)
Ed. Koka Media / Match Music
See more »

Frequently Asked Questions

See more (Spoiler Alert!) »

User Reviews

 
Hearts will bleed...
22 June 2005 | by (United States) – See all my reviews

...and so will faces, slashed throats, dismembered hands, decapitated heads, backs, arms, feet, stomachs, chests... In fact, just about everything that can bleed does bleed in this movie, and does so copiously.

High Tension, aka Switchblade Romance (much better title) is the best horror movie I've seen come out in theaters in years. After so many times hearing "this is the movie horror fans have been waiting for" and then being horribly disappointed by Cabin Fever, The Ring, Malevolence, Darkness, The Grudge, and every single other one, I am throwing my full weight behind this one. Switchblade Romance is the movie real horror movie fans have been waiting for. It's a bloody, merciless, no-humor and no-holds-barred homage to the classic slasher pics of the 70s, and yet it surpasses almost every movie it draws its inspiration from. We get an unstoppable but definitely human killer, far more interesting than, say, Jason or what Michael Myers has now become because of his obviously being human and because he makes some undeniably smart decisions and operates in a continuously logical, inescapable way. The arsenal on display is impressive, as it should be in any decent slasher movie. We get the basic straight razor, the butcher knife, shotgun, axe, and, in an incredible and deliciously violent nod to Texas Chainsaw Massacre, the power buzzsaw.

Every aspect of this film is in place. The plot is simple and straightforward, the acting, even dubbed, is interesting (and despite complaints of why only parts of it were dubbed, if you watch closely and pay attention to who speaks French and who is dubbed, it actually makes perfect sense and fits with the movie), the cinematography is strangely artistic, almost gialli-like, the bloodletting stylish and gruesome, the sound design incredible, the tension almost unwavering. The initial horror set piece, the arrival of the killer and the slaughter in the house, is bound to become a well-remembered and oft referenced classic scene of horror. The sheer brutality and stark reality of it ranks it up there, in my mind, with the gut wrenching finale of "Odishon." A quick word on the performances. There's minimal dialogue, but what there is is at least two steps up from most horror films. Its meant to build character, whereas most slasher flick dialogue is there just to drive the plot. Here, we care about the characters, even those who don't get much of a chance to talk, because the situation is so much more real than your average flick and so is the acting. Cecile de France's physical performance is stunning, the fear on her face, the tension in every limb, the breath rate, the pain, everything, and the sheer madness that Maiwenn's character endures is perfectly conveyed by the utter despair she is able to convey even with a gag in her mouth most of the time.

An, of course, a quick word on the ending. Quit complaining! The ending of this movie is great, not only does it take an extremely well made but somewhat shallow gore pic to a whole new level with some interesting things to say about... well, I won't say on account of not spoiling it, but yes, it actually does make sense if you've watched the movie carefully and have enough intellect to think about it on your own rather than just taking at face value what you've seen. I halfway wonder if the twist wasn't in part a snobby French joke Aja decided to play to see if we lulled, summer blockbuster-fed Americans could figure it out and realize that everything works without being spoon-fed exactly how it works.

8 / 10 - which makes it twice as good as the next best horror movie to come out in theatres in a decade. The only thing that keeps it from attaining a perfect 10 is that, although the tension is cranked up high for most of it and the scares are a thing that will haunt you more after walking out of the movie than when you're watching, the suspense does kind of flag unexpectedly in a few key places. Still, given the other 80% of the movie is extremely suspenseful and effectively brutal, this is a small flaw. If you like horror movies, GO SEE IT.


90 of 132 people found this review helpful.  Was this review helpful to you?

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Does no one understand the twist? iNCRiMiNAT3
Are all of you on drugs?? HorrorMan9
what's up with the bad guy mastubating using decaptivated head shiva-maharjan
Why The Twist Is Not Stupid wwmcfar
ok, the plot holes/gas station scene/dad dying ryoki9-1
Plotholes explained... I dont think so cool_saham
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