Haute Tension is the tale of two college friends, Alex and Marie, as they take a break to have some fun and study at Alex's family's secluded, isolated home in the country. Before long, a maniac pulls up to the house, and when he gets inside, nobody is safe. He takes Alex hostage, and Marie, who escaped his notice, has to try and come through for her friend while keeping herself alive in the process. Haute Tension is a spectacular gem that, unlike some other films that have been called such, truly is a throwback to the 70s. The film is relentless in its pacing, and we are almost immediately thrust into the nightmare at the film's core. Every single frame of this film is so well done, and the cinematography is jawdropping. Seriously, this film is a technical marvel. There is a decapitation so breathtraking, so perfectly executed, you'll have a hard time believing it isn't real. Gianetto de Rossi's gore effects are some of the best I've ever seen. The gore is also quite nasty, and really gives the film a lot of its 70s style mood. Don't get things wrong though, Haute Tension is much more than just a mere slasher/gore extravaganza. It is a film that demands attention, and one that people need to have patience with. If not, there are several little things that you will miss, believe me. These little things are so well sprinkled throughout the film, its truly a joy to keep an eye out for them. The film is also extremely suspenseful. It had my heart racing at times, and I was glued to the screen completely enthralled by the thought of what might happen next. The actors in the film all did magnificent jobs, and their characters are a huge part of what makes the film the gem it is. Cecile de France's Marie comes across as a soft, yet strong willed girl who experiences a newfound bravery when all hell breaks loose. The fact that her friend is in dire trouble only enhances her feelings on the need for her frightened, yet ultimately couragous actions. Philippe Nahon is very menacing as the maniac. He looks downright evil, and his hulking presence is beyond intimidating. He plays the part very well too, coming off as a truly psychotic sadist. Maiwenn Le Besco is fine as the tortured Alex. You can really see the sheer terror in her eyes, and she plays the victim so well, so convincingly. The ending is very overwhelming, not to mention bizarre. It really makes you think, and in my opinion, that's a great thing. The ending doesn't seem to fit at first, but I found myself thinking back to earlier instances in the film, and I finally realized that the ending makes perfect sense. I think it was a wonderful and fitting ending to an outstanding work of horrific art. You do have to think though, not everything is spelled out for the audience like so many American films feel the need to do. As I said, this film requires your full attention. Quite frankly, this is is a spectacular little film that really blew me away. Not only was it executed so well on every level, but it was also a tense, edge-of-your-seat film full of kinetic energy and gruesome imagery, all topped off with a true feel of intelligence behind the script. Great film, highly recommended!