The debates and accusations towards Alexandre Aja's Haute tension (AKA: Switchbalde Roamnce) will never dissipate, that, particularly in the horror genre, is a given. Plagiarism charges and hostile bile vomited on the twist ending ensure it's a film unlikely to produce unity in horror circles.
Once viewed it's a picture that simply doesn't add up, thus it's a bit of a cheat, however, it's still a nail-biting experience as Marie (Cécile De France) attempts to rescue her best friend Alexia (Maïwenn) who has been kidnapped from the remote family farmhouse by a blood letting psychopath who has massacred Alexia's whole family.
Tale is unrelentingly grim and gruesome, pulsing with edgy atmosphere at every juncture. Dialogue is kept to a minimum, director Aja smartly letting the visceral shocks and palpable terror rule the roost. Production is stylish but not over glossy, so as to strip away the grainy feel of plotting, and the twin lead performances score favourably.
It could never hold up to a repeat viewing, that much is obvious, and "that" ending is understandably a cause for dissension, but it still has much to offer the slasher fan after a bit more than the usual teen stalk and slash trash. 7/10