Tag Archives: Haute Tension 2003

Sticks and stones may shatter my bones…

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Haute Tension (High Tension or Switchblade Romance)

Director: Alexandre Aja

Year: 2003

Language: French

Many slasher films, in their lovable eagerness to make us squirm, forget that human bones are as strong as cement blocks. It takes a lot of force and velocity to smash one to smithereens. Filmmaker Alexandre Aja and his team of sound mixers/re-recorders want us to feel queasy too but their love for gore aficionados is rooted in a fierce commitment to realism. For every skull that is crushed, every neck that is broken and each time a part of the human body snaps, cracks and pops out, it is accompanied by a visceral sound effect that hands out front-row seats to our earlobes. The home invasion sequence that introduces us to the antagonist, in particular, is the absolute best. It’s the top of the pops, especially abusive, alcoholic and couch-potato pops. It has a three-second scene with a curb stomp that sounds like the cruelest act in the world. The credit also goes to Philippe Nahon, a gentleman that graces the screen with the ease of a slap on the wrist yet bearing the complexities of a well-timed kidney punch.
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When the man comes around to curb stomp you

ImageHaute Tension

Director: Alexandre Aja

Year: 2003

Country: France

This was Alexandre Aja’s first stab at the slasher genre. He didn’t just stab it… he stuck a knife in it and watched it die. Now it’s up to you to somehow translate that as a compliment. Haute Tension isn’t without cliches like how even good progressive rock music isn’t without exhaustive solos. It’s more about how bands such as Porcupine Tree do it. Sure, Fairport Convention does it too, but there’s a difference – they aren’t very original.

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