Search DVDBeaver

S E A R C H    D V D B e a v e r

(aka "Switchblade Romance" or "Haute tension" or "High Tension")

directed by Alexandre Aja
France 2003

Two female students, Marie and Alex, set off to Alex's parent's secluded homestead in the country to relax and study. Come nightfall, a mysterious truck pulls up. Alex is now bound and gagged, taken off, with Marie alluding the intruder. Can she save her friend's life in time? Or is everything all that it seems...

Universally heralded by genreheads as either the red knight savior to the genre it rests in or a downright demeaning insult, Haute tension is still leaving viewers divided around the world. On one hand, it's technically and aesthically magnificent. The acting by the principles, direction, and composition are par excellence. The score melds with the screen so well it harkens back to a time when music was integral to setting mood and suspense. It's truly a Horror film of pedigree.

On the other hand, it's clichéd, gimmicky, and unyieldingly one-note. It's goes by the numbers...until the climax. It's conclusion is an enormous stumbling block for the majority. It takes the film and negates 98%. Despite some stating it makes no sense, it actually does, though only by a thread.

After the hype dies it has the real potential of becoming a modern classic of the genre... or maybe not. Only time will tell.

Jayson Kennedy

Posters

Theatrical Release: June 18th 2003

Reviews      More Reviews      DVD Reviews

 Comparison:

Lion's Gate - Region 1- NTSC vs. Dreamix, 2 Disc Special Edition  (Korea) - Region 0 - NTSC vs. EuropaCorp - Region 2 - PAL vs. Optimum - Region 2 - PAL vs. Thai Release - Region 0 - PAL vs. Lions Gate - Region FREE - Blu-ray

Big thanks to Jayson Kennedy, Enrico, Ole Kofoed and Henrik Sylow for the DVD Screen Caps!

1) Lions Gate Home Entertainment Region 1 - NTSC TOP LEFT

2) Dreamix, 2 Disc Special Edition  - Region 0 - NTSC TOP MIDDLE

3) EuropaCorp - Region 2 - PAL - TOP RIGHT

4) Optimum - Region 2 - PAL - BOTTOM LEFT

5) Thai Release - Region 0 - PAL - BOTTOM MIDDLE

6) Lions Gate - Region FREE Blu-ray - BOTTOM RIGHT
 

DVD Box Covers

 

Distribution

Lions Gate Home Entertainment

Region 1 - NTSC

Dreamix, 2 Disc Special Edition

Region 3- NTSC

EuropaCorp

Region 2 - PAL

DVD Box Covers

   

Distribution Optimum
Region 2 - PAL
Thai Release
Region 0 - PAL

Lions Gate Home Entertainment

Region FREE - Blu-ray

Runtime 1:30:48 1:26:57 (taken from PAL source) 1:27:00 (4% PAL speedup) 1:26:59 (4% PAL speedup) 1:27:00 (4% PAL speedup) 1:30:44.564
Video

2.35:1 Original Aspect Ratio

16X9 enhanced
Average Bitrate: 8.33 mb/s
NTSC 720x480 29.97 f/s

2.35:1 Original Aspect Ratio

16X9 enhanced
Average Bitrate: 7.6 mb/s
NTSC 720x480 29.97 f/s

2.35:1 Original Aspect Ratio

16X9 enhanced
Average Bitrate: 8.96 mb/s
PAL 720x576 25.00 f/s

2.35:1 Original Aspect Ratio

16X9 enhanced
Average Bitrate: 5.85 mb/s
PAL 720x576 25.00 f/s

2.35:1 Original Aspect Ratio

16X9 enhanced
Average Bitrate: 6.25 mb/s
PAL 720x576 25.00 f/s

1080P / 23.976 fps Single-layered Blu-ray

Disc Size: 22,440,164,866 bytes

Feature: 19,951,042,560 bytes

Video Bitrate: 19.03 Mbps

Codec: MPEG-4 AVC Video

NOTE: The Vertical axis represents the bits transferred per second. The Horizontal is the time in minutes.

Bitrate: Lions Gate

Bitrate:

 

Dreamix, 2 Disc Special Edition

 

Bitrate:

 

EuropaCorp

 

Bitrate:

 

Optimum

 

Bitrate:

 

Thai Release

 

Bitrate:

 

Blu-ray

 

Audio U.S. Unrated in Dolby Digital 5.1 and 2.0; Original French in Dolby Digital 5.1 and 2.0; U.S. English Dubbed Version in Dolby Digital 2.0 Surround French - Dolby Digital 5.1
French - DTS 5.1
French Dolby Digital 5.1, French DTS 5.1

French Dolby Digital 5.1, French Dolby Digital 2.0

English Dub Dolby Digital 5.1, Thai Dub Dolby Digital 5.1

DTS-HD Master Audio French 5653 kbps 7.1 / 48 kHz / 5653 kbps / 24-bit (DTS Core: 5.1 / 48 kHz / 1509 kbps / 24-bit)
DTS-HD Master Audio English 2371 kbps 5.1 / 48 kHz / 2371 kbps / 16-bit (DTS Core: 5.1 / 48 kHz / 1509 kbps / 16-bit / DN -4dB)
* Dolby Digital Audio English 224 kbps 2.0 / 48 kHz / 224 kbps / DN -4dB / Dolby Surround
Dolby Digital Audio English 224 kbps 2.0 / 48 kHz / 224 kbps / DN -4dB / Dolby Surround
Subtitles English, Spanish, None English, Korean, None None English, None English, Thai, None English, Spanish, None
Features Release Information:
Studio: Lions Gate Home Entertainment

Aspect Ratio:
Widescreen anamorphic - 2.35:1

Edition Details:
• English Audio Commentary with Alexandre Aja and Gregory Lecasseur
• Introduction by Alexandre Aja and Gregory Lecasseur
• Haute Horror: Making Of High Tension
• Building Tension
• Giannetto De Rossi: The Truth, The Madness & The Magic
• Slected Scenes Commentary with Alexandre Aja and Cecile De France
• Trailers for Crash, Rize, House of D, Desperate Souls, Undead, Dark Harvest 2, Saw 2
• no trailer for the High Tension itself on the DVD

DVD Release Date: October 11, 2005
Amaray

Chapters 20

Release Information:
Studio:
Dreamix, 2 Disc Special Edition

Aspect Ratio:
Widescreen anamorphic - 2.35:1

Edition Details:
• Behind the scenes
• Interview
• Meeting with Glannetto De Rossi (Make Up/Special Effects)
• Photo Gallery
• Biography

NOTE: NO ENGLISH subs on extras

DVD Release Date: December 7th, 2004
Keep case (2-DVD)

Chapters 28

 

Release Information:
Studio: EuropaCorp

Aspect Ratio:
Widescreen anamorphic - 2.35:1

Edition Details:
• Haute tension: Making of d'un Survival (36:18)
• Interview: Cecile de France (21:51)
• Interview: Maiwenn (5:28)
• Interview: Philippe Nahon (5:12)
• Giannetto de Rossi Make-Up SFX (7:12)
• Animated Still Gallery
• Theatrical Trailer (2:34)
• Animated Menus

DVD Release Date: February 11, 2004
Amarey (2-DVD)

Chapters 28
 

Release Information:
Studio: Optimum

Aspect Ratio:
Widescreen anamorphic - 2.35:1

Edition Details:
• Audio Commentary by Alexandre Aja and Cecile de France (in English)
• Cast interviews
• Phillip Nahon (5:13)
• Cecile de Frace (21:52)
• Mäiwenn (5:28)
• SPFX with Gianetto di Rossi (7:18)
• Making of (36:18)
• Theatrical Trailer (1:46)
• English dubbed Trailer (1:43)
• Animated Menues

 

DVD Release Date: January 31, 2005
Keep Case

Chapters 24

Release Information:
Studio: Thai Release

Aspect Ratio:
Widescreen anamorphic - 2.35:1

Edition Details:
• Trailer (1:41)

 

DVD Release Date: 2004
Jewel Case

Chapters 12

Release Information:
Studio: Lions Gat

 

1080P / 23.976 fps Single-layered Blu-ray

Disc Size: 22,440,164,866 bytes

Feature: 19,951,042,560 bytes

Video Bitrate: 19.03 Mbps

Codec: MPEG-4 AVC Video

 

Edition Details:
• English Audio Commentary with Alexandre Aja and Gregory Lecasseur
• Haute Horror: Making Of High Tension (23:47)
• Building Tension (8:14)
• Giannetto De Rossi: The Truth, The Madness & The Magic (7:42)
• Selected Scenes (five) Commentary with Alexandre Aja and Cecile De France (46:55)
• Lionsgate Previews

• Bookmark capability

Blu-ray Release Date: October 5th, 2010
Standard Blu-ray Case

Chapters 16

 

Comments

NOTE: The below Blu-ray captures were taken directly from the Blu-ray disc.

ADDITION: Lions Gate Region FREE - Blu-ray - September 2010: Haute tension is a typical textured gritty film that benefits greatly from the move to 1080P. Frankly, the DVDs all look more like video... than film. The SD softness, looser colors and detail can't export the rough-hone edge that the theatrical film produces. Noise is prevalent to a much higher degree on the DVDs and although still existing on the single-layered Blu-ray - it is vastly improved - as are the limited obviousness of compression artifacts. There are even sequences on the Blu-ray that have depth. Technically the BD is a substantial leap forward for the presentation of this film.

Effects sounds are rife in Haute Tension and the Blu-ray provides a wonderfully dynamic DTS-HD Master 7.1 at 5653 kbps in original French. This is a well mastered track that handles all the occasionally aggressive film can export. Lions Gate have also added a lossless English DUB (that I don't recommend) but it should be noted that its has decent range as well in the scenes that I sampled. There are optional subtitles and my Momitsu has identified it as being a region FREE disc playable on Blu-ray machines worldwide.

There are over an hour's worth of supplements (Making Of..., 'Building Tension' piece, 7-minutes on Giannetto De Rossi and five select scene commentary with Alexandre Aja and Cecile De France) even beyond the Aja and Gregory Lecasseur English commentary. Accents are thick but not unmanageable. The only thing we seem to lose from the stacked Lions Gate DVD from 5 years ago is the introduction (or I just can't find it). The Blu-ray includes some Lions gate previews and the ability to bookmark scenes.

There is a lot of art-infusion in this masterfully told 'tense' horror. This is another in a string of impressive Lions Gate Blu-rays with a strong a/v and stacked extras - offered at a very reasonable price. Absolutely we recommend this one!

****

ADDITION: Lion's Gate - November 05' : - There is not a lot of difference in the image quality of these DVDs - if there is some , it is very minute. I have no idea why Lions Gate included the English dubbed and the U.S. Unrated (mix out of English and French) audio as these are a pure waist of space. The dubbing is bad and should be avoided. The French audio track is the best choice. The extras on this DVD are nice and should make everyone happy. The Lion's Gate has extensive extras.

Note: The film has English translated Opening and End Credits.

 - Enrico

****

UPDATE - ADDITION (Dreamix, 2 Disc Special Edition  - Dec - 04) - the Dreamix, 2 Disc Special Edition  edition is also considered the 'uncut' version, but the times indicate that it was directly taken fro a PAL source - and it shows as being slightly hazier than the Optimum. The bitrate graph shows it was probably taken from the Thai release. We still prefer the Optimum.

****

Comparison update: The French is a bit more detailed but the Thai has also a very fine picture quality. The cover says that it's a full screen release but it's anamorphic widescreen. The Thai is missing the original French soundtrack but it's the only English friendly release right now if you want the uncut version (there is a Korean cut version). With a price of US$7.5 the Thai release is a good choice for non-French speaking individuals especially if you can't wait for other releases.

Ole Kofoed

****

An absolutely stellar job by EuropaCorp. The image quality is among the best on the format, it certainly uses it's nearly constant high bitrate to maximum effect. Much of the film is quite dark and the transfer admirably displays it's earthy coloration dead-on with excellent dimensionality. Detail and just the right amount of sharpness is conveyed with utter brilliance. There is a slight amount of grain but it appears to be perfectly natural. Quite simply, blood has never looked so gorgeous. The audio is up-to-par also with both tracks being nearly identical. I can't really comment on the supplemental material, because my French is pretty rusty. The only flaw is nothing is subtitled, in any language, and the disc has several forced trailers (Ong-bak, Ken Park, amongst others) at start-up.

Jayson Kennedy

****

The image of Optimum is slightly better. When enlarging 500% compression artefacts are easy identifiable on the EuroCorp image, which surprises me, as Optimum removed the DTS track (about 1GB) to "make room" for the additional material (about 1.5GB). There are optional English subtitles on all extra material. The Audio Commentary is in English. Finally each menu is very a very haunting animated sequence from the film with fresh ideas (like the VHS tapes as menu elements). Superb DVD in all aspects.

Henrik Sylow

 




DVD Menus

(
Lions Gate Home Entertainment Region 1 - NTSC LEFT vs. Dreamix, 2 Disc Special Edition  - Region 0- NTSC MIDDLE vs. EuropaCorp - Region 2 - PAL - RIGHT)


 

   

 

(Optimum - Region 2 - PAL - LEFT vs. Thai Release - Region 0 - PAL - RIGHT)

 

 

 

Lions Gate - Region FREE Blu-ray

 


 

CLICK EACH BLU-RAY CAPTURE TO SEE ALL IMAGES IN FULL 1920X1080 RESOLUTION

 

Screen Captures

 

1) Lions Gate Home Entertainment Region 1 - NTSC TOP

2) Dreamix, 2 Disc Special Edition  - Region 0 - NTSC SECOND

3) EuropaCorp - Region 2 - PAL - THIRD

4) Optimum - Region 2 - PAL - FOURTH

5) Thai Release - Region 0 - PAL - FIFTH

6) Lions Gate - Region FREE Blu-ray - BOTTOM
 

 


1) Lions Gate Home Entertainment Region 1 - NTSC TOP

2) Dreamix, 2 Disc Special Edition  - Region 0 - NTSC SECOND

3) EuropaCorp - Region 2 - PAL - THIRD

4) Optimum - Region 2 - PAL - FOURTH

5) Thai Release - Region 0 - PAL - FIFTH

6) Lions Gate - Region FREE Blu-ray - BOTTOM
 

 


1) Lions Gate Home Entertainment Region 1 - NTSC TOP

2) Dreamix, 2 Disc Special Edition  - Region 0 - NTSC SECOND

3) EuropaCorp - Region 2 - PAL - THIRD

4) Optimum - Region 2 - PAL - FOURTH

5) Thai Release - Region 0 - PAL - FIFTH

6) Lions Gate - Region FREE Blu-ray - BOTTOM
 

 


1) Lions Gate Home Entertainment Region 1 - NTSC TOP

2) Dreamix, 2 Disc Special Edition  - Region 0 - NTSC SECOND

3) EuropaCorp - Region 2 - PAL - THIRD

4) Optimum - Region 2 - PAL - FOURTH

5) Thai Release - Region 0 - PAL - FIFTH

6) Lions Gate - Region FREE Blu-ray - BOTTOM
 

 


1) Lions Gate Home Entertainment Region 1 - NTSC TOP

2) Dreamix, 2 Disc Special Edition  - Region 0 - NTSC SECOND

3) EuropaCorp - Region 2 - PAL - THIRD

4) Optimum - Region 2 - PAL - FOURTH

5) Thai Release - Region 0 - PAL - FIFTH

6) Lions Gate - Region FREE Blu-ray - BOTTOM
 

 


(EuropaCorp - Region 2 - PAL - LEFT vs. Optimum - Region 2 - PAL - MIDDLE vs. Thai Release - Region 0 - PAL - RIGHT)

 

More Blu-ray Captures

 


Hit Counter


Report Card:

 

Image:

Blu-ray

Sound:

Blu-ray

Extras: Blu-ray

(Lions Gate Home Entertainment Region 1 - NTSC LEFT vs. Dreamix, 2 Disc Special Edition  - Region 0- NTSC MIDDLE vs. EuropaCorp - Region 2 - PAL - RIGHT)

DVD Box Covers

 

Distribution

Lions Gate Home Entertainment

Region 1 - NTSC

Dreamix, 2 Disc Special Edition

Region 3- NTSC

EuropaCorp

Region 2 - PAL

 

(Optimum - Region 2 - PAL - LEFT vs. Thai Release - Region 0 - PAL MIDDLE vs. Lions Gate - Region FREE Blu-ray - RIGHT)

 

DVD Box Covers

   

Distribution Optimum
Region 2 - PAL
Thai Release
Region 0 - PAL

Lions Gate Home Entertainment

Region FREE - Blu-ray

 



 

DONATIONS Keep DVDBeaver alive:

Mail cheques, money orders, cash to:    or CLICK PayPal logo to donate!

Gary Tooze

Mississauga, Ontario,

   CANADA

Many Thanks...