Prayer Focus

High Tension

(a.k.a. Haute tension)
MPAA Rating: R for graphic bloody killings, terror, sexual content and language
Extremely Offensive
Add to your list?
View your list
Moviemaking Quality:

Primary Audience:
Foreign, Suspense/Horror
1 hr. 25 min.
Year of Release:
Featuring: Cecile de France, Maiwenn Le Besco, Philippe Nahon, Frank Khalfoun, Andrei Finti
Director: Alexandre Aja
Producer: Robert Benmussa, Alexandre Arcady
Distributor: Lions Gate Films
Copyright, Lions Gate Films
Copyright, Lions Gate Films
Copyright, Lions Gate Films
Relevant Issues
Copyright, Lions Gate Films

How does viewing violence affect the people? Answer

Hearts will bleed.

Language: French with English subtitles

Here’s what the distributor says about their film: “Two worlds collide disastrously—a rusted delivery van barrels through cornfields; meanwhile, Alex has brought her friend Marie to spend the weekend at her parents’ country farmhouse to escape the hectic pace of Paris. Behind the van’s wheel, the driver caresses ripped photos of young women; at the same time the girls get ready for bed dishing girly gossip. At the end of the road lies an isolated house, caught in the van’s headlights; as the girls close their eyes, an intruder is about to turn their innocent dreams into a relentless and bloody nightmare.”

Viewer Comments
Negative—When I went to go see this film, I wasn’t expecting the great horror of the year, but I did want to see some acting and a story line that didn’t leave you with more questions than answers at the end of the movie. This movie is a horrible bust and a waste of money. The whole movie was dubbed (and badly at that) English from French, and boy could you tell it!
My Ratings: Very Offensive / 1½
—Alex Hood, age 18
Negative—This is an absolutely horrendous movie. I’m a Christian, but I like horror films. I’m not big on gore, but I don’t mind it either. So the gore and stuff didn’t really offend me in “High Tension.” What I WAS disgusted with was the storytelling and the big “twist” at the end of the film. It made no sense whatsoever.

It is a very terrifying film, and it’s suspenseful and keeps you on the edge of your seat until the end. But once the end came, I literally yelled, “Come ON!” in the middle of the theater. It was that ridiculous.

For Christians, I would recommend you stay away from this film. There is some female nudity, and it’s obvious that the main character (a female) is sexually attracted to another female character. The movie is extremely graphic, bloody, and violent. It is one of the goriest films I have ever seen. There is also a scene where the main character is shown masturbating and having an orgasm. The whole sequence is obviously just to get teenage boys crammed into the theater to watch some “hot chick” get off, which is gross if you ask me. Bottom line: It’s so stupid that it isn’t even worth renting. And morally, most Christians will be appalled.
My Ratings: Extremely Offensive / 1
—Ashley Boys, age 21
Neutral—I found this to be a pretty basic horror flick, which is what was intended. Extremely gory throwback to horror films of the ’70s. I found it to be a pretty engaging story. The twist near the ending was unexpected and pretty cool. The masturbation and nudity scenes, however, were completely unnecessary and didn’t advance the plot at all. Wait for the DVD if you must see it, and see the French language version with subtitles.
My Ratings: Extremely Offensive/3
—Adam, age 22
Positive—Let’s get this straight: This is not a film for everyone. It’s very bloody, contains graphic sexual scenes, and a constant level of threat is sustained throughout. There isn’t an underlying moral message, and many Christians will feel the need to leave the cinema within the first twenty minutes or so.

However: This is a very well made horror thriller. The tension is kept as sharp as a cut-throat razor. The acting is superb, and Mr Nahon’s lumbering, massive villain is terrifying. He rarely moves quickly, as he knows they can’t get away—He’ll catch them eventually. The film’s construction is intelligent and well-crafted, harking back to the blood-splattered “golden age” of slasher movies. The controversial twist is actually very good, and is pointed to right from the start of the film—if you’re paying attention. In fact, for the film to be totally successful, you need to invest concentration on the events and analyse the narative construction. I can’t say any more without giving spoilers.

I liked this film—It’s a well made, but utterly horrible, movie—However, I write about film for a living, and may well view movies in a different way to many. If you are seriously into textual deconstruction or enjoy analysis of a movie, you may well find something here. If you’re one of the few Christians who can enjoy horror, you’ll find much here to feast upon. For the rest of you, it may be best to stay away.
My Ratings: Extremely Offensive/5
—Paul, age 32
Movie Critics
…A gorehound’s delight… gritty kind of hardcore horror… 80 blood-soaked minutes… slits throats and releases arterial spray in ferociously gruesome detail… designed to terrify not entertain…
—Jamie Russell, BBC