France’s Haute Tension or “High Tension” is a film that I knew about for many years only because I knew it had a twist ending. A make or break twist ending that changes everything you’ve just seen. It’s this ending that won the just as much applause as boos by viewing audiences. Sadly, I find myself in the latter category. Let’s try to find out why.
French college students, Marie (Cécile de France) and Alex (Maïwenn), travel to Alex’s family farmhouse to study for upcoming exams. What seems to be a quiet environment is quickly interrupted by a sadistic killer (Phillipe Nahon). When the killer binds and kidnaps Alex, Marie sets out to save her friend, resulting a violent game of cat and mouse. A fairly typical setup to a fairly typical slasher, until later.
[toggle title_open=”Major Spoiler!” title_closed=”Major Spoiler!” hide=”yes” border=”yes” style=”default” excerpt_length=”0″ read_more_text=”Read More” read_less_text=”Read Less” include_excerpt_html=”no”]So in the end it turns out that the killer is actually an alternate personality of Marie. This killer, who we see kidnapping Alex and murdering many people on the way is in fact the murderer. This makes no sense. Not only are the killer and Marie often seen in two different places at the same time, but we see the killer accomplish things that Marie never could. How is it that a 90lb girl with a Mia Farrow haircut is able to decapitate someone by ramming a bookcase into their head? I think someone needs to throw the book at this one. Eh?
It doesn’t get more cliche than High Tension. What’s weird is how much of a breakout hit it was for its director Alexander Aja. Since then, Aja has directed: The Hills Have Eyes, P2, Mirrors, Piranha 3D and the upcoming Horns, which I now believe will suck. Why do people keep giving this man work? Its not like he had any original ideas to begin with. High Tension may have its following but I’ll go my own way.