If there was ever a horror film in the last ten years or so that has garnered so much love/hate responses from those who watched it then I will say that Alexandre Aja’s debut film Haute Tension definitely reign on top. It’s also from this very controversial film (at least amongst genre fans) that my latest “Scenes I Love” comes from.
It’s actually fairly early in the film with a brutally, gruesome kill by the film’s serial killer that helps establish the tone Aja was going for. We have the scene of Cécile de France as Marie unable to go to sleep and hearing the house’s doorbell ring and her bet friend’s father going downstairs to answer. Unbeknownst to everyone in the house it’s a brutish figure played by Philippe Nahon who proceeds to brutalize and decapitate the father in a very ingenious and very bloody fashion.
This scene was quite shocking when it first appeared on the big-screen especially since it was from a French horror film that usually didn’t have such extreme violence. Well, this scene definitely helped establish the arrival of the so-called “New French Extremity” film movement of the 2000′s and which continues on to this day. One nice trivia about this establishing scene for this film is that the man responsible for the visual effects for the death is none other than Giannetto De Rossi who also happened to have done much of the effects work for noted Italian horror maestro Lucio Fulci.