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MARIE & ALEXIA ARE CLASSMATES & BEST FRIENDS. TO PREPARE FOR COLLEGE EXAMS IN PEACE & QUIET, THEY DECIDE TO SPEND A WEEKEND AT ALEXIA'S PARENTS' SECLUDED FARMHOUSE. IN THE DEAD OF NIGHT, A STRANGER KNOCKS ON THE DOOR. WITH THE 1ST SWING OF HIS KNIFE, THE GIRLS' IDYLLIC WEEKEND TURNS INTO AN ENDLESS NIGHT OF HORROR
Home to some of the world's best food and fashion, the French also have the wonderful habit of producing some of the world's best movies. With High Tension, French director Alexandre Aja offers up a bloody buffet of terror; a violent concoction of style over substance, with a bloody French twist. Two college girlfriends, Maria and Alex, take a weekend to study at the secluded country home of Alex's parents. Shortly after their arrival, a mysterious killer appears, and things take a shockingly terrible turn for the worse. As the horror and body count rises, Maria and Alex find themselves fighting for their lives, and it's revealed that things are not exactly as they seem. Essentially a one-act cat-and-mouse affair, High Tension is an explosive bloody thrill ride that rarely lets up. Oozing style in every color-saturated frame and boasting some intense performances, Aja mainly succeeds in sustaining an intense momentum throughout the film. The plot occasionally suffers from a thin, flimsy storyline, and the abundant graphic scenes of violence will either thrill and delight, or simply disgust. Nonetheless, this adrenalin-fueled addition to the genre gives the American slasher flick a real run for its money. High Tension is high-art horror, and comes highly recommended. --Matt Wold
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The acting is superb, the story is great, and the horror is the real deal... not some crappy teen slasher nonsense. The true beauty of the movie is the how with almost no dialogue you can be terrified. Without the use of over the top characters you can be completely intrigued by the good guys and the bad. The movie is by no means a "gore-fest" but has some gore to it which is done excellently and is in no way an emphasis or driving gimmick to make up for other areas of the movie.
Of all the French horror movies that came out in the mid 2000's this one is my favorite and is the best in my opinion. It by far beats Inside, Frontiers (which sucked), Them (ils), and Martyrs (which I like a lot but is way hardcore), and others I can't think of.
Finally, the best way to watch this film is to watch it in French with US subtitles. The English voice over isn't too bad but the dialogue isn't as good in the English voice over as it is in the English subtitles.
So in all, this is my favorite modern horror film and is not for the faint of heart. If you want to be truly terrified and to have a good horror watching experience this is your film, if not then stick to junk like Return to Sleep Away Camp.
The guy who plays the killer is a great actor. He is very psychotic and really makes you think he is very capable of committing these crimes. The French have some pretty bizarre stuff out there. I have seen plenty of the "serial killer, torture movies", but I have yet to see a French ghost story.
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