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Marie (Cécile De France) agrees to accompany her friend Alex (Maiwenn
Le Besco), whom she seems to be attracted to in a lesbian way, to her
parents' house deep in the countryside, to have some peace & quiet to
be able to do some learning ... but all the dreams of peace & quiet
are pretty much shattered in the first night, when a brutal stranger
(Philippe Nahon) gains access to the house & bruatlly slaughters Alex'
parents (Andrei Finti, Oana Pellea) & her kid brother (Marco Claudiu
Pascu) & chains & gags Alex. Only Marie is able to escape him,
above all because she was the only one who saw him coming & was thus
able to hide on time, plus the killer probably didn't suspect someone else
in the house ...
Meanwhile the killer has thrown Alexs into the back of
his pick-up truck, but when Marie hops into the back too to free her
friend (she can't), the killer, without even noticing her, locks her itnto
the back as well ...
At the next gasstation though the killer stops to
refuel, & Marie manages to hop out & tries to get some help from
the clerk (Franck Khalfoun), but ultimately, he too is killed by the
killer, & it almost seems as if he has all of a sudden noticed the
presence of Marie too, as he seems to follow her through the gas stations
hallways to the toilet ... but thank god, he only had to take a pee. Then
he drives off again in his pick up, Alex still in the back ... & Marie
is left behind.
Desperately Marie tries to notify the police, but her
call is little more than hysterical staggering, which pretty much leaves
the police with little to go on ... so Marie decides to take it upon
herself, & she takes the gas station clerk's sports car & soon has
caught up with the killer's old pick-up ... but soon, it seems, he has
realized theere is someone behind him, somehow has Marie overtake him,
& suddenly the prey that has turned hunter has turned prey again ...
& the killer even manages to puch her off the road (which doesn't seem
too convincing considering she had the much better & faster car, while
his old pick up looks as if it would break down any minuite now). But
Marie is not beaten, & soon builds herself a weapon out of a wooden
post & barb wire which she ultimately uses to beat the kilelr to pulp,
for good ...
Meanwhile the police has come to the gasstation after all,
find the clerk's dead body, & play the surveillance tape ... which
proves beyond a doubt that it was Marie herself who killed the clerk - the
stranger was only a reflection of her (sexually) disturbed/repressed self.
the meantime, Marie happily frees Alex happily, claiming it's over (&
obviously a bit oblivious to the fact that it was her all the time), but
for some reason, Alex doesn't share her happiness even though she is free
again, & she fiercely defends herself against with a knife, which
Marie has given her in the first place,. & in the end, Alex can even
stop her cold with it. But Marie doesn't die, but it looks as if she would
have to spend the rest of her life in the loonie bin.
not really a clever thriller, not even the surprise twist ending is quite
as new as it might seem at first look ... nevertheless Haute Tension
is a competent & relentless slasher movie which does put more thought
than usual for this kind of film into the creating of genuine suspense,
& also handles its suspense scenes in a more intelligent &
comprehensible waqy, that goes beyont the usual suspense-by-the-numbers
scare tactics of your usual Hollywood mainstream flick. Of course the
continuous creation of suspense - & its frequent culmination into
gruesome gore scenes - leave little room for much of a story ... but on
the other hand, the film is called Haute Tension/High Tension,
& this is one time the title doesn't lie.