Haute Tension.... my review

Discussion in 'Reader Reviews' started by Cujo108, Feb 21, 2004.

  1. Nonhosonno

    Nonhosonno Guest

    Saw the trailer for 'high tension' before Saw, it looks pretty damn good. Hopefully it will get a decent (and uncut) R1 release.
     
  2. MrVess

    MrVess Guest

    Is most of the plot stolen from Koontz, as many have alleged elsewhere, or does it "only" apply to the opening?
     
  3. Paff

    Paff Super Moderator

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    I'd say about the first 2/3 of the film could almost be called a direct version of Intensity. The Convenience Store scene (I only saw the film version of Intensity, never read the book) is almost an exact copy.
    It's the last 1/3 of the film, the "twist" that so many people despise, that it finally breaks out in it's own direction.
     
  4. Ash28M

    Ash28M Active Member

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    Actually, even though i could care less how much it resembled Intensity. Possibly the release of this film could generate a DVD release of Intensity, I would love to see it.
     
  5. dwatts

    dwatts New Member

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    Well, there are quite a few threads on this one, and I had to post my comments somewhere :)

    First off, I was watching the German release which goes by the title "High Tension". It offers up a German track, a French track, and a dubbed English track. No subs other than German.

    The quality of the transfer is stunning. One of those "one of a kind" releases, imo. It's a very dark and colorful film that could easily have fallen to pieces on DVD - but here it's so pristine it makes the hairs on the back of your neck stand up. Amazing.

    The film itself? Very very good, imo. Lots of tension, lots of the red stuff, and good performances. I can't believe anyone on this site wouldn't enjoy the film - other than a couple of controversies.

    Controversy one: The book angle. I don't know the book, never read it, and never seen a film version of it. To be honest though, the story here isn't exactly mind-blowing. While I don't know the book in question, the storyline as filmed in High Tension is pretty cliche ridden for the genre (which is not to say it isn't good, because it is) and it's just not something I can find myself getting too worked up about. Curious on the plagarism then, but it's not a killer for me.

    Controversy two: The ending. Damn, I don't know what people are complaining about. As a fan of giallos, I found the ending very satisfying to be honest. Anything goes, and goes it does. How many slasher movies do we have with non-sensical endings? How many times do we have to put up with tosh like Jeepers Creepers where we have killers who kill because, you know, they're like.... EVIL and shit.... Nah, the ending was perfect for the film, imo. Loved it.

    Controversy three: Dub verses subtitled. This film was good enough that I'd certainly like an english suib-titled version. The version I have has French, but no subs. Or it has the dubbed version. The dubbed version is quite good, imo. It did not in any way distract from the film for me. You know, I have a boatload of Italian flicks, as many people on this site do, and a lot of them are dubbed. Sometimes it is better than others, and this time it's pretty good. I don't understand the beef to be honest. Original langauge is best of course, but really, the dubbing here is very good.

    All in all, this is an amazing little film, imo. The cinematography and DVD release (at least the German release) is shocklingly superb. If anyone has not seen this yet, don't wait any longer.
     
  6. mystro

    mystro Guest

  7. dwatts

    dwatts New Member

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    Yeah - not bad. I love the "This poster is very hard to find" - yeah, until June :D
     
  8. Ash28M

    Ash28M Active Member

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    Here's an interesting take on the twist ending i read off of FilmForce. It's kinda far fetched but worth a read none the less.

    The film's huge twist is that there is no psychotic truck driver – Marie herself is the killer. One's initial reaction to this revelation is to generally assume that Aja has cheated his audience – if Marie is the killer, the film has some serious plot holes that aren't ever addressed. Walking out of the theater after the screening of Haute Tension, this was my initial reaction.

    However, I had this niggling feeling that I'd missed something. Further reflection caused me to remember the film's opening framing device – Marie in a hospital, after being put through hell. This scene may be the key to understanding Haute Tension's plot twist – rather than viewing the events in the film as legitimate and happening in narrative real time, one must instead look at them as memories from a clearly unreliable narrator. Much like Kevin Spacey's character in The Usual Suspects, Marie's story is one that simply can't be taken at face value – therefore, the plot inconsistencies almost exist as a subtle reminder that Marie is telling us the tale, and that we can't take everything she says as the truth.

    That alone is interesting enough, however, Aja takes things a step farther with his well-defined love for horror movies. Haute Tension appears to be an elaborate homage to a number of different genre films. The truck driver looks a bit like a gone-to-seed Michael Myers (if he ditched the Shatner mask and moved to France); he acts a bit like Rusty Nail from Joy Ride; he drives a truck not unlike the one The Creeper cruises around in while stalking his prey in Jeepers Creepers; a bathroom stalking sequence is lifted almost directly from William Lustig's Maniac; the beginning of the film has a great deal in common with Dean Koontz's Intensity; etc.

    The question is, are all of these things simply ideas that Aja wanted to pay homage to in his film, or are they instead another sly way of telling the audience that Marie is making up all of these elements? There's no hint ever offered in the film that Marie is a fan of horror cinema, but is it really a stretch to imagine that she's included numerous horror film elements to her story in order to make it play as more believable and to portray herself in a better light? After all, she is supposedly a virgin, as the early dialogue points out – and aren't the virgins always the survivors of these films as opposed to the monsters?

    This is the conundrum of Haute Tension – it's never readily apparent which scenario might be true. If initial reactions are any indication, then most people appear to be viewing the plot twist as a huge cheat on the part of the filmmaker. It's how I viewed it at first, and even now, after re-examining the film, I'm not entirely convinced that it wasn't. However, the above-mentioned plot elements certainly make a strong case for it being something more than just a weak twist in a standard horror film. It's unfortunate that the majority of Haute Tension's audience isn't going to be genre cinema literate enough to make that potential connection. Those of us who do, however, can certainly look at the film in a much different, and more intriguing, light.
     
  9. Semerrill

    Semerrill Member

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    Last edited: Mar 10, 2005
  10. Hellbilly

    Hellbilly Active Member

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    Thanks for using spoiler tags :rolleyes:
     
  11. Semerrill

    Semerrill Member

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    your welcome hellbilly, no but honestly i dont know how to use a spoiler tag ill go and edit it out
     
  12. Hellbilly

    Hellbilly Active Member

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    's ok. I've already seen Haute Tension but I'm sure lots on these boards have not. As for using spoiler tags:

    It's simple ...

    [ spoiler ] ***** [ / spoiler ]

    Just make sure to type those without spaces in between.
     
  13. Cool post Ash28, I've never seen someone describe a turd in so much detail. Filmforce obviously has too much time on their hands. I mean "the beginning has some similarities to Intensity" so the beginning of the film is how long according to them? 90 minutes?
     

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