Sunday, October 10, 2010

High Tension (2003)

High Tension (France, 2003) - Color, Director(s): Alexandre Aja
MPAA Rating: NC-17 (edited for an R rating)
[UK: 18]
Approx. 91 min. (89 min edited)

Z-rating: 8.5 out of 10 stars

Originally released as Haute Tension, also known as Switchblade Romance in the UK and High Tension here in the US, this French suspense/slasher features some of the best gore and special effects to come out at the dawn of the new millennium. All of the effects were done by a man known for his horror make-up and effects, Giannetto De Rossi. (Supposedly a favorite of iconic Italian filmmaker, aptly named the "Grandfather of Gore", Lucio Fulci) Not to mention that he's collaborating with yet another gore meister director in Aja, a member of the notorious Splat Pack, who's known for his ultra-violent style of filmmaking. This movie was no different, as it combines a little suspense with a ton of violence for a potent cocktail of gore and terror.

The movie starts out with two friends driving home to stay with the parents of one of the girls. As they drive by, a truck is seen parked off to the side of the road. The mysterious man inside the car appears to be receiving a blowjob but then we see him discard a severed head. (He was literally getting "head") After they get to the house, the family is introduced and a tour of the house is given. After dinner, Marie retires to the guestroom and begins jilling off. (Yeah, I said jilling off... you know, practicing the old disappearing finger trick. Spearing the bearded clam, slapping the meat curtains, scraping the cheese off the taco, greasin' the gash, sending muffin morse code, flickin' the bean, tickle her taco. I think you know what I'm getting at.) Suddenly the doorbell rings and the mysterious man from the field is at the door. Chaos ensues as the brutish heavyset serial killer makes his way through the house, stalking from room to room, murdering each of the family. Without giving away too much of the movie, let's say that the two girls are left trying desperately to escape from the killer. The suspense builds up as the girls are stalked by this slow, brutish killer and ultimately culminates in a nice little plot twist. One of my favorites in the slasher genre.

Nudity: None that I can remember.

Gore: 5 out of 5!! This movie was so violent that some scenes had to be edited in order to receive an R rating from the MPAA. If at all possible, try to get the Unrated version of this film because the violence and gore are really worth savoring in this film.

Awesome: Very. Always a pleasure to watch Aja's work, his movies are filled with the type of graphic violence that I like in my movies. This movie comes highly recommended if you haven't seen it yet. I will admit that there are some obvious plot holes in this film but in a genre where it's typical to find seemingly invulnerable madmen (often times who have also returned from the dead) slowly stalking victims that are running for their lives without ever losing them, any plot holes can be overlooked due to the nature of this genre.


  1. Nudity: None that I can remember.

    If I recall correctly, Alexis has a brief topless scene. Three or four seconds, max. Blink and you miss it.

  2. Ooo, nice catch there. I wrote this review from memory and couldn't remember if there was any nudity in it for the life of me. Thanks for the comment!!!