High Tension movie review, Alexandre Aja, Cecile de France, Maiwenn Le Besco, Philippe Nahon. Review by Jeffrey M. Anderson
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"High Tension"
2 stars
(In subtitled French)
91 minutes | Rated: R
LIMITED: Friday, June 10, 2005
Directed by Alexandre Aja

Starring Cecile de France, Maiwenn Le Besco, Philippe Nahon, Frank Khalfoun, Andrei Finti, Oana Pellea, Jean-Claude de Goros, Bogdan Uritescu, Marco Claudiu Pascu, Gabriel Spahiu

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Tiresome, unoriginal blood and guts are just as bad in French 'High Tension'

 by Jeffrey M. Anderson (Combustible Celluloid)

This French-produced horror film has enjoyed a decent bit of internet buzz, and now opens in the United States, albeit in a strange partially-dubbed, partially-subtitled version that runs about a minute shy of the original to qualify for an "R" rating. Ultimately, none of that really matters as "High Tension" proves to be a dud of a horror film, using every conceivable jump/shock technique in the book, as well as a twist ending that doesn't work and betrays everything that came before it.

A French hottie, Marie (Cecile de France) with Jean Seberg hair, joins her best friend Alex (Maiwenn) for a weekend at Alex's secluded family farm house. Out of nowhere, a creepy, mouth-breathing redneck (Philippe Nahon) in Michael Meyers-like overalls shows up and begins to systematically slaughter everyone in the house. He kidnaps Alex, but Marie manages to follow undetected.

Most of the horror depends on the almost supernatural survival skills of both killer and huntress, and it's hard to swallow. Director Alexandre Aja does manage to generate a certain amount of suspense, but almost always fails to control or sustain it. Sadly, the twenty-something Aja will next remake Wes Craven's "The Hills Have Eyes."

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