SLASH FACTS- High Tension
It’s summer. And as it gets hotter, tensions grow higher. Luckily for horror freaks like us, we tend to stray away from the blazing sun. And for the real freaks out there that The Nightmare Shop loves so much, we know that this time of the year is really a trap! Open water, Black Lagoons, Crystal Lakes, and Swamp Things? Yeah right! I’d much rather stay inside and watch a few nice folks get shredded like cabbage. I give you my take on High Tension.
Released in US- June 10, 2005
Directed By- Alexandre Aja
Written By- Alexandre Aja & Gregory Levasseur
Run Time- 1 hour 31 minutes
Kill Count- 6
Killer- Marie a.k.a. The Killer
Number of Sequels- 0
Personal Rating- 8.5/10 Cement Saws
- Hendrix the Dog- As shitty as it is to see animals get killed on screen is, I think it can be just as powerful. Hendrix the Saint Bernard just tried to help out his family. And for his burst of courage, he got a broken neck. But Aja putting this as the first on screen kill that we see as an audience spoke huge volumes to what this film was going to be and what we were in for moving forward. This isn’t Beethoven. This is not a happy film. This is a fucking horror movie. Love it or leave it. And let’s not forget that just a few minutes before this mystery man came in uninvited, he was getting domed by a severed head. So, a dog was probably a no thought.
- Alex’s Father/ Andrei Finti- The fact that the killer went straight for the big bad dad’s face with that razor was so cool to me. Take out the father for a minute, dispose of the dog, go back to the dad. Then he drives his foot on the back of his helpless head through the banister. Not only did the killer decapitate him with brute force, but he fucked up all of their nick knacks in the process! What a struggle. Powerful scene. The father seemed to be taken out with ease while everyone slept peacefully. Except for Marie that is.
- Alex’s Mother/ Oana Pellea- This is one of the most underrated and underdiscussed kills in horror. It was like a twisted game of hide and seek if you think about it. The Mother was so close to getting help. She had the cordless phone in her hand! Then, the killer circles around like a lion on a gazelle and cuts her throat without hesitation. The best part is as she’s gasping for air, the open wound on her neck is retracting in and out while spraying blood with each breath. All of that while she looks through the slits of the closet door into the eyes of her true killer, Marie. It was so fucking cool. It made it very realistic and added to the gore on another level. It’s honestly some of the best effects I’ve seen to this day.
- Tommy/ Marco Claudiu Pascu- Poor Tommy boy. Once again, another awful thing to see on screen. And once again, a shout out to classic horror films like Children of the Corn. Only this time, the child does not get away. A brutal, yet quick and easy kill from the killer. There aren’t too many horror movie kills with guns. Maybe there was a sense of sympathy there. It’s not often you see a whole family taken out fast and early in a film.
- Jimmy/ Franck Khalfoun- Jimmy didn’t really deserve to die. But man, oh man was he in the wrong place at the wrong time. Granted, he was breaking the rules by selling booze that late. Peer pressure can be a bitch. The way that the killer grinded that ax into Jimmy’s chest after he hit him was pretty cool. And to step on Jimmy’s back when he fell just to drive that same ax in a little deeper was a nice touch.
- Car Driver/ Gabriel Spahiu- This may be the best kill of the film. It is so bloody and so in your face that I can’t contain my excitement every time I go back and watch High Tension. This is the crescendo kill of the film. Cover everyone in blood. Disembowel a random guy driving by to maybe help. Have your final girl, Alex, scream nonstop because that’s her only option at this point. Then reveal the twist. And I’ll be goddamned if it wasn’t one of the best twists in cinema. I never saw it coming. And best of all is that last shot of the movie. Marie in chains. Jumping at the sense of her beloved Alex. Perfect Ending.
Cecile de France as Marie
Maiwenn as Alex
Phillipe Nahon as Le tueur (The killer)
This movie deserves to be watched by horror fans everywhere. If you want to splash around in blood, be disturbed, or fall in love with a movie then give Alexandre Aja’s High Tension a watch. You owe it to yourself.
“I won’t let anyone come between us anymore.”