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High Tension (2003)

Haute tension (original title)
R | | Horror | 10 June 2005 (USA)
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Best friends Marie and Alexia decide to spend a quiet weekend at Alexia's parents' secluded farmhouse. But on the night of their arrival, the girls' idyllic getaway turns into an endless night of horror.

Director:

Alexandre Aja
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4,778 ( 28)
6 wins & 7 nominations. See more awards »

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Cast

Complete credited cast:
Cécile de France ... Marie (as Cécile De France)
Maïwenn ... Alexia
Philippe Nahon ... Le tueur
Franck Khalfoun ... Jimmy
Andrei Finti ... Père Alex
Oana Pellea ... Mère Alex
Marco Claudiu Pascu Marco Claudiu Pascu ... Tom
Jean-Claude de Goros Jean-Claude de Goros ... Capitaine Gendarmerie
Bogdan Uritescu Bogdan Uritescu ... Gendarme
Gabriel Spahiu ... 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

Taglines:

Hearts will bleed.

Genres:

Horror

Motion Picture Rating (MPAA)

Rated R for graphic bloody killings, terror, sexual content and language. | See all certifications »

Parents Guide:

View content advisory »
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Details

Country:

France | Italy | Romania

Language:

French | English | Italian

Release Date:

10 June 2005 (USA) See more »

Also Known As:

High Tension See more »

Filming Locations:

Romania See more »

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Box Office

Budget:

€2,200,000 (estimated)

Opening Weekend:

$246,140 (Italy), 10 June 2005

Opening Weekend USA:

$1,897,705, 12 June 2005, Wide Release

Gross USA:

$3,681,066
See more on IMDbPro »

Company Credits

Production Co:

Alexandre Films,EuropaCorp See more »
Show more on IMDbPro »

Technical Specs

Runtime:

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

Sound Mix:

DTS | SDDS (US version)| Dolby Digital (US version)| Dolby Digital EX (original version)

Color:

Color

Aspect Ratio:

2.35 : 1
See full technical specs »
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Did You Know?

Trivia

Cécile de France trained with a Thai boxer to get in shape for her physically demanding role. See more »

Goofs

The interior light of the yellow Ford during the car chase See more »

Quotes

Le tueur: You can't escape from me, bitch!
See more »

Alternate Versions

The South Korean theatrical re-release and DVD release has cuts totaling under a minute to all the murders. Also a brief shot of a severed hand next to a phone is missing. These cuts were finally restored for the special edition DVD in 2005. See more »

Connections

Referenced in The Cinema Snob: Windows (2015) See more »

Soundtracks

A2
excerpt from Celebration
Composed by François-Eudes Chanfrault
Recorded, performed and mixed by François-Eudes Chanfrault
(P) 2002 MK2 Music
Editions: 2002 Ciné Nada Music
See more »

Frequently Asked Questions

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User Reviews

 
A rush of adrenaline
7 February 2005 | by The_VoidSee all my reviews

The title of this marvellous French horror thriller translates directly into English as 'High Tension', and as anyone who's seen it will tell you; it's an apt title. Simply put, Switchblade Romance (to give it English release, and better, title) is a pure adrenaline rush throughout. The film forsakes substance in favour of masses of tension and the result is a film that is guaranteed to get your heart racing. The fact that the film features numerous sequences of extreme gore doesn't exactly hinder it either. There has been a surge of good, inventive horror coming from overseas and independent studios recently; the likes of May, Dog Soldiers and Sleepless being among the best of them, and Switchblade Romance sits nicely alongside the cream of the recent crop. This film follows two friends, Alex and Marie who go to stay with Alex's parents in their country home. However, things go awry when a man breaks into the home and brutally murders the family. We then follow Alex and Marie through a roller coaster ride of tension and suspense as they try their best not get sliced and diced!

The film is very stylishly shot, and this has lead many to label it a 'Giallo'. This is most certainly not true, and there isn't much other than the style of the movie to suggest this. Switchblade Romance is more of a Texas Chainsaw Massacre style horror driven slasher than a Giallo; the film clearly knows this also, with a direct homage to the seventies classic towards it's climax. The amount of gore on display is impressive, and several scenes are certainly not for the feint-hearted. There's quite an array of weaponry in the film also, from the plain and simple switchblade, to much more exciting weapons like barbed wire, various guns, an axe and, my personal favourite, the chainsaw! In fact, I am pleased to report that Switchblade Romance features what is maybe the most brutal chainsaw scene ever! Aside from the weapons and gore, this film is also of note for it's music. The original score sets just the right tone for the goings on - it's atmospheric, but steady and almost like a lullaby, which fits with the film's style nicely. Switchblade Romance also features one of the best uses of original music of recent years, with a great scene that incorporates Muse's "New Born".

Switchblade Romance is pure style, and a complete adrenaline rush. Tension isn't in the film, it IS the film. In spite of it's lack of substance, this movie will have you on the edge of your seat and begging for more. Add that to some lovely music, classy acting and enough gore to fill an abattoir - and what you've got is the makings of a cult classic!


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