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Did 'High Tension' Rip Off Dean Koontz's 'Intensity'?

June 21, 2016

High Tension blu-rayThousands of horror fans — whether lovers of New French Extremity, gore, or simply fast-paced thrillers — adore High Tension. Released in France as Haute Tension in 2003 and in the UK as Switchblade Romance in 2004, the movie combined a great cast and talented young director Alexandre Aja to create one of the most exciting, blood-spattered horror movies since 2000.
However, apart from the usual detractors and haters of movie violence — this was yet another marvelous horror movie that Roger Ebert despised — there’s always been one more interesting criticism leveled at High Tension:
IntensityIs High Tension a rip-off of Dean Koontz’s Intensity?
Eight years before Aja released High Tension, horror novelist Dean Koontz published Intensity, which has a very similar storyline. But is it a rip-off? I haven’t been able to find any official word from either Aja or Koontz regarding the matter, although the likely unreliable Wikipedia does note that ”the film is an unauthorized reinterpretation of the novel Intensity by Dean Koontz.”

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