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High Tension

High Tension

4.0 6
Director: Alexandre Aja,

Cast: Alexandre Aja, Cécile De France, Maïwenn Le Besco, Philippe Nahon


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French filmmaker Alexandre Aja writes and directs the slasher film Haute Tension, given the English title Switchblade Romance. Best friends Marie (Cécile De France) and Alex (Maïwenn Le Besco) go out to the countryside to visit Alex's parents. However, a homicidal delivery man (played by Philippe Nahon from Gaspar Noé's brutal movies) ends up at their


French filmmaker Alexandre Aja writes and directs the slasher film Haute Tension, given the English title Switchblade Romance. Best friends Marie (Cécile De France) and Alex (Maïwenn Le Besco) go out to the countryside to visit Alex's parents. However, a homicidal delivery man (played by Philippe Nahon from Gaspar Noé's brutal movies) ends up at their house and starts killing everyone. Alex and Marie fight for their lives with help from several means of weaponry. Switchblade Romance was shown at the 2003 Toronto Film Festival as part of the Midnight program. The film was aquired by US distributor Lions Gate Films in 2004 and quickly put into turnaround as an NC-17 release, though plans for that were scrapped due to a lack of theater support of the controversial rating. Retitled High Tension, the R-rated version is missing one minute of grisly gore and features a redubbed audio track by star Cécile De France.

Editorial Reviews

All Movie Guide - Jason Buchanan
A relentless, stalk-and-slash fright-fest with a heart-pounding pace as brutal as its husky, truck-driving killer, French director Alexandre Aja's gory sophomore feature will no doubt please fear junkies in search of a truly visceral horror experience. Aja keeps thinks viciously organic by eschewing the current CG-obsession by employing the brutally realistic effects of makeup-effects artist Giannetto De Rossi (a favorite of late gore meister Lucio Fulci) -- an asset that makes the violence all the more disturbing and realistic. Of course, with a film that moves as fast as Haute Tension, there's little time for such distractions as character development or dialogue, but -- as is rarely the case in many similar films -- viewers will never doubt the actions taken by the killer's tough-as-nails prey. Much has been said regarding Haute Tension's love-it-or-hate-it "surprise" twist, and while it seems as if Aja and co-screenwriter Gregory Levasseur at least attempt to remain faithful to the revelation, even dropping an occasional hint for the savvy viewer, the awkward revelation may ultimately derail the entire endeavor for less forgiving viewers. There may be little new here for those who follow the genre, but by keeping the pacing tight and the squirm factor high, Aja has crafted a lean, mean, and unrelentingly tense film that quickly grabs the viewer by the throat and doesn't loosen its grip until the credits scroll.

Product Details

Release Date:
Original Release:
Lions Gate
Region Code:
[Wide Screen]
Sales rank:

Special Features

Director and writer commentary; Director and lead actress select scene commentary; Music montage; High Tension making of featurette; Building Tension featurette; Make-Up FX featurette; Trailers; 5.1 and 2.0 Dolby Digital; English and Spanish subtitles

Cast & Crew

Performance Credits
Cécile De France Marie
Maïwenn Le Besco Alex
Philippe Nahon Actor
Franck Khalfoun Actor
Andrei Finti Actor
Oana Pellea Actor
Marco Claudia Pascu Actor
Jean-Claude de Goros Actor

Technical Credits
Alexandre Aja Director,Screenwriter
Maxime Alexandre Cinematographer
Pierre Andre Sound/Sound Designer
Alexandre Arcady Producer
Emmanuel Augeard Sound/Sound Designer
Baxter Editor
Robert Benmussa Producer
Giannetto De Rossi Makeup Special Effects
Francois Eudes Score Composer
Gregory Levasseur Production Designer,Screenwriter
Didier Lozahic Sound/Sound Designer
Theodor Halacu Nicon Asst. Director

Scene Index

Disc #1 -- High Tension
1. Opening Titles/Dream Sequence [:52]
2. Road Trip [2:49]
3. Waiting for Alex [2:30]
4. Cornfields [1:26]
5. Arriving Home [1:21]
6. Saying Good Night [1:44]
7. Nighttime Cigarette [4:09]
8. Unwanted Company [1:50]
9. No Phone [6:21]
10. Trophy [:28]
11. Gas Station [10:43]
12. Closed [3:56]
13. Calling for Help [2:14]
14. Determined [7:51]
15. Wireckage [5:26]
16. Attack [:12]
17. Surveillance Camera [5:03]
18. Help [:08]
19. Safe [1:19]
20. End Titles [3:10]

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High Tension 4 out of 5 based on 0 ratings. 6 reviews.
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
Ruebels More than 1 year ago
This movie is a blatant rip off of Dean R. Koontz superior work Intensity (both book and tv movie). Without that knowledge, it is good for what it intends to be. I just think the makers of this movie should ackowledge from whom they stole.
Guest More than 1 year ago
I absolutely loved this movie. It had everything a horror movie needs: lots of blood, lots of suspense, someone going around killing people, and an awesome ending. This may be in my list of top 3 favorite horror movies!
Guest More than 1 year ago
Best friends Marie and Alex, decide to venture off to Alex's parent's farm to take some time off from college and study. Unknown to them, another visitor has decided to drop by, a visitor equipped with all sorts of sharp tools, and murder on their mind. But nothing can come between Marie and Alex's friendship, as the night wears on and the blood flows, not even death.
Suesie More than 1 year ago
I thought the movie was good, i was dissapointed at the end tho, found it a little hard to believe but whatever, it was good as far as gore goes, it was wicked. Im sure the un cut version is way better.
Book_Reader_222 More than 1 year ago
(Originally written April 17, 2006) I do not normally review movies. Books are usually my thing. And I know that this has been discussed in other reviews. But after seeing "High Tension," I just HAVE to agree and throw in my two cents. The only reason this film is getting 3 stars from me is because the acting was pretty good, and the film makers certainly knew how to build visual tension. I hereby acknowledge their skill in those departments. Now, having said that ... this movie is such a BLATANT rip off of Dean R. Koontz's novel, "Intensity," it is not even funny. Other people have commented that Koontz should sue for plagiarism, but I am sincerely baffled that he has not already done so! The first three fourths (maybe a little more) of the movie are point for point, step by step directly the same as Koontz's novel. Oh, the fine details were different, but no more so than ANY novel adapted into a movie. If you were to write a simple synopsis of the plot of the majority of this movie, you could easily pass it off as a book report on "Intensity." The movie follows the book (with ironic loyalty) until the final act, or what would have been roughly half way through the novel. Then, the movie takes a left turn that is INTENDED to mimic the twists of such films as "The Sixth Sense" or "The Usual Suspects" or "Fight Club." Sadly, it was nowhere near as successfully executed as any of those films. They were so desperate to create a twist that no one could out guess that it simply made no logical sense at all. The truly sad thing is ... Hollywood now cannot make an adaptation of the great novel "Intensity." Because those viewers not in the know would (oh IRONY!) think that such a film was a "rip off" of "High Tension." Sad ... very sad.