In French with English & Chinese subtitles
Director: Alexandre Aja
Starring: Cecile De France, Maiwenn, Philippe
Nahon, Franck Khalfoun, Andrei Finti, Oana Pellea, Marco Claudiu
Pascu, Jean-Claude De Goros, Bogdan Uritescu
RunTime: 1 hr 25 mins
Released By: Festive Films & Cathay-Keris
Opening Day: 20 October 2005
Marie and Alexia are classmates and best friends. Hoping to
prepare for their college exams in peace and quiet, they decide
to spend a weekend in the country at Alexia’s parents’
secluded farmhouse. But in the dead of night, a stranger knocks
on the front door. And with the first swing of his knife,
the girls’ idyllic weekend turns into an endless night
to take a white-knuckle journey into the heart of terror with
HIGH TENSION, the nightmarish story of two girls’ battle
for survival at the hands of a sadistic psychopath. Marking
a return to the raw intensity of 1970s horror classics, director
Alexandre Aja reduces the genre to its bare essentials, building
a narrative of growing dread that culminates in a truly shocking
climax. Relentlessly tightening the screws of suspense, HIGH
TENSION will have you struggling to catch your breath…
Starting off a horror movie with a guy in a van getting head
by a severed body part will surely alarm all senses of mayhem
and macabre elements to come. Swinging you back to the old-school
hardcore horror-gore of the 70’s/80’s in likeness
of Halloween and Texas Chainsaw, this movie stands proudly
among the perpetual being of darkness.
plot is simplicity itself: the tragedy unfolds when two college
friends (Marie and Alex) head out to the rural countryside
to stay with Alex’s parents for a weekend of peaceful
studying. But only after a few hours, a strange man knocks
on the door marking the commencement of a night of brutal
violence of such horrible demise to the houses’ inhabitants.
Tension gets 70’s style serious with the horror genre
by punching your senses to the ground followed by a kick to
the face just to ensure you get the message. Its visual style
is rich with gore thanks to the work of veteran makeup artist
Giannetto de Rossi under the direction of Aja. Where many
lesser directors might pull away at it’s cut throat
scenes, Aja ensures that the shot lingers for an almost unbearable
length of time.
Maria and Alex are Cecile De France and Maiwenn Le Besco,
both of whom give very different yet very effective performances.
Kudos to Cecile who is a stunner as she goes through a range
of both delicate and extreme emotions and physical demands
with the ability of a master thespian.
end result is a flick that's hardly a classic, but one that
should absolutely have the Gorehounds squealing contentedly
with delight. A sinister, pitch-black masterpiece, as thematically
deep and suggestively powerful as it is unforgettably scary.
Those without strong stomachs and a small thresholds for the
most extreme of human behavior and capabilities will, no doubt,
be turned off within the first fifteen minutes.
the mayhem, there is a story awaiting to be sprung onto the
viewers when they least expect it and while the hacking and
slashing appears to be a shallow driving force behind the
film, there is a surprise waiting around the corner. Personally
the eventual plot twist wasn’t really necessary because
many will already be hooked on the premise that was carefully
sold during the preceding 80 minutes, but it’s there
and very unavoidable. It was a very clever idea that failed
to work purely from a logic point of view.
deficits are easy to overlook thanks to High Tension's knowing
performances and unnerving combination of ambient sound, fluidly
jittery cutting, and sly widescreen setups. It's enough to
give horror fans reason to anticipate Aja's next project -
remake of The Hills Have Eyes.
return of old-school gore horror that will hook you in the
gut with disturbing pleasure)
by Lokman B S