Date on Master's Thesis/Doctoral Dissertation


Document Type

Master's Thesis

Degree Name




Committee Chair

Kopelson, Karen Lynn

Author's Keywords

High Tension; Queer theory; Monstrosity; Disidentification; Queer negativity; Slasher


Haute tension (Motion picture); Homosexuality in motion pictures; Horror films; Violence in motion pictures; Motion pictures--Social aspects


The film High Tension (2005) is a complex and powerfully threatening portrait of queer monstrosity and negativity. Upon its release, the film's twist ending garnered widespread derision, but there is a mad method, so to speak, in its insistence on purposeful irreconcilability. This thesis aims to tease out the nuances of High Tension's subversive twist. It examines the makeup and history of the slasher sub-genre of horror, as well as relevant 'criticism in the field, in order to locate High Tension's specific contribution. The film presents an image of queer monstrosity that performs what Michael Moon calls sexual disorientation, as well as a profoundly queer disidentification. In its final scenes, the film portrays a vibrant and violent queer sexuality, one that threatens beyond the screen. High Tension figures the terrifying manifestation of queer negativity, proffering a radical threat to the social itself.