Haute Tension tells the story of two female classmates, Alex and Marie. Wanting to get away from the distractions of the big city and study for their final exams, the two decide to drive out to a secluded farmhouse that Marie’s family lives in. Shortly after their arrival, a brutal killer forces his way into the house leaving much carnage and kidnapping Alex. After witnessing first hand that this psycho has no problem torturing his victims, Alex tries to figure out the best way to save her friend.
I was very worried for the first 15 minutes of the film, not much really happens. The story seemed to be a very uninteresting character piece. Just as I thought that the movie was going to be a big let down, something very rare happened. This movie grabbed a hold of me, and took me for quite a ride.
The Director, Alexandre Aja, did an amazing job of creating some “edge of your seat” suspense, but also includes some of the most beautifully lit scenes in modern film history.
This movie is not just about creating tension, like the title says (High Tension), but contains some of the most imaginative ways of killing people that I have seen from a mainstream film in a long time. All of the make up effects were top notch are done by long time Fulci favorite Giannetto Rossi.
Haute Tension does something that very few foreign Horror films have done; it includes many rich and vibrant tributes to the American Horror films that all of us have grown to love. I will not go into details, but the films referenced include everything from Texas Chain Saw to Jeepers Creepers. Not bad considering that the Director is just 24 years old.
Even with a slow start and a twist ending that comes out of nowhere, Haute Tension should still prove to be a film that satisfies fans of 'old school slasher ' horror. I praise Alexandre Aja for making one of the most beautifully shot films that has the balls to contain some great gore. Watch for some excellent 'tips of the hat' to the original masters of '70s Horror. Look for this film to be released sometime in Sept/Oct of 2004 in North America.
And just a quick note for those of you worried about having to read the subtitles: Do not fear my friends, there is not a lot of dialog after the first 15 mins. Highly Recommended!