High Tension (Haute Tension for you Frenchies) is written and directed by Alexandre Aja and is one of the best things to come out of France since the baguette.
The movie opens with one of the most unnerving scenes I’ve ever seen. It involves a darkened road, a beaten up pickup truck, a decapitated head and a man just looking for some “alone” time. Once you get past that, it would appear that this horror movie is just your standard fare. Two female college friends, Marie and Alexia, drive out to Alexia’s parents’ farmhouse for some quiet time to study for their finals. And, as luck would have it, that house is located in the middle of nowhere. All pretty typical right? Well it keeps going that way with everyone going to bed, an obligatory masturbation scene and the bad guy showing up to kill everyone in the house… now at this point you may say to yourself “why is this movie special?” The answer is, it isn’t… at least not yet anyway.
Marie is our eyes through this whole encounter. She watches from an upstairs window as the truck driver enters the house and quickly and gruesomely dispatches the parents. She escapes the house only to be chased for the rest of the film by the mysterious Truck Driver.
Now, for those that have seen this film you know I’m not doing it justice. But in my defense, the one amazing thing that happens in this movie that puts it above all others I can’t say for fear of the internet exploding at me with hatred for the dreaded SPOILER. I can say this, It’s got gore (but not too much) it’s got jump scares (in all the right places) and one of the best twist endings ever (it would make M. Night jealous). It seems the French do horror just as well and they do baked goods.
Here’s some free advice; watch this movie twice. Once to get that amazing feeling that you get from a twist that you didn’t see coming and then again to see that it really all made sense in the end. Because come on, once we know that Bruce Willis is dead it’s obvious throughout the whole movie…Right?
Evan Goldstein is one of the founders of Geekade. He is the host of our television podcast “This Week’s Episode” and cast member of the Paper Cuts Comic Book Podcast.