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The Hills Have Eyes (1977)


No Score Yet...

Average Rating: N/A
Critic Reviews: 2
Fresh: 2 | Rotten: 0



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Average Rating: 3.2/5
User Ratings: 51,488

My Rating

Movie Info

Horror auteur Wes Craven followed his threadbare but horrifically compelling cult classic Last House on the Left with this wonderfully demented morality fable about a bloody war of attrition between two extremely different families. The story opens on the journey of the Carters, a mildly dysfunctional extended family led by patriarch "Big Bob" Carter (Russ Grieve), as they travel across the California desert in search of an inherited silver mine. When a broken axle leaves them stranded in the


Mystery & Suspense, Horror

Sep 23, 2003

Laser Media

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All Critics (24) | Top Critics (2) | Fresh (14) | Rotten (8) | DVD (21)

A satisfying piece of pulp.

July 22, 2008 Full Review Source: Variety
Top Critic IconTop Critic

A heady mix of ironic allegory and seat-edge tension.

February 9, 2006 Full Review Source: Time Out
Time Out
Top Critic IconTop Critic

One of the prime examples of the what was so fascinating about American horror films in the 1970s.

April 8, 2011 Full Review Source: TV Guide's Movie Guide
TV Guide's Movie Guide

Beware! 70s horror film is ultra violent.

December 15, 2010 Full Review Source: Common Sense Media | Comments (3)
Common Sense Media

As disgusting as the movie is, the ride is never dull, but there's no need to take on the film to begin with unless there's something a little off inside your head.

March 9, 2006 Full Review Source: Arizona Daily Star
Arizona Daily Star

Craven paints an interesting and uniquely bloody study of how 'normal' people will descend to the lowest depths in order to save themselves, but you'll have to suffer through a lot of tedium to get there.

March 7, 2004 Full Review Source:

Even a dog has his day, and among the few tolerable features helmed by Craven is this early cult item.

November 4, 2003
Creative Loafing

As a mirror to the low-fi, sci-fi hero journey of Star Wars, however, The Hills Have Eyes is the far less damaging to its respective genre.

October 1, 2003 Full Review Source: Film Freak Central
Film Freak Central

Craven's latent sick streak gets a major workout here, and the rudest shocks seem to center around the "good" family's parental figures.

September 10, 2003 Full Review Source: Slant Magazine
Slant Magazine

...a sporadically effective Texas Chain Saw Massacre rip-off.

August 1, 2003 Full Review Source: Reel Film Reviews
Reel Film Reviews

Inventive story ideas and humorous touches give this horror picture an enduring relevancy and stylistic flourish.

March 10, 2003 Full Review Source: Austin Chronicle
Austin Chronicle

Intensely creepy, but too unpleasant to really like

August 22, 2002
Mountain Xpress (Asheville, NC)

Craven's best movie that doesn't have the word "Texas" in the title.

July 26, 2002 | Comments (6)

It has become a cult-status film...

January 1, 2000 Full Review Source: Ozus' World Movie Reviews
Ozus' World Movie Reviews

There's a difference between reiterating a theme and repeating what worked before, and you feel the line drawn here.

January 1, 2000 Full Review Source:

Audience Reviews for The Hills Have Eyes

Wes Craven's cult classic reeks of lost potential, and it's due to one factor: the actors are unable to sell the gut-wrenching, truly dreadful moments. The happenings of this plot are the types that make me tear up and wonder if hope is just a stupid distraction in this cruel world. What I really ended up thinking was "OH YEAH, YOU GO DOGGY, YOU BITE THAT ANKLE, SUCK IT CANNIBAL MAN, HAHAHA"
October 13, 2013
Kevin Cookman

Super Reviewer

I'll just say right from the start that I am (somewhat) inflating my grade here. I know this film isn't that great, but there's enough stuff here that I liked that I feel warrants a recommendation, especially for genre fans, and those who enjoy old school low budget exploitation schlock.

The plot is a typical one: all American family on a road trip out to an inherited silver mine in the desert is assaulted by a family of vicious mutants. It's basically a war of one family against another where the audience is challenged to decide which family ends up being more monstrous than the other given how the fight progresses.

That's pretty much it. No real backstory, no real reason for the initial attack, but hey, sometimes more mystery is definitely better, and far scarier. In the case of this film, I think backstory might have helped things. This is Craven's follow up to his landmark debut, and this is once again a gritty and raw horror thriller.

Yes, the acting and effects aren't great, but the limitations add to the intensity of the situation. Plus, the music and locales are just downright creepy. The pacing is quite uneven, but once things get going, this is quite a ride. I also have to give props to a film that has one of the most awesome movie dogs ever, as well as a guy being crucified on (of all things) a cactus.

Look, the film's a mess and I admitted I'm being kind, but think of it as a necessary stepping stone in the evolution of horror cinema and it's easier to appreciate.
June 25, 2012
Chris Weber

Super Reviewer

Wes Craven's 1977 film The Hill's Have Eyes is one of the most depraved and jaw dropping films in the horror genre. Wes Craven directs this awesome film with relish as the characters on screen are brutally stalked and murdered by a family of cannibals. With ever camera shot, Craven makes you feel uneasy as the backdrop of the film is in the open and you end up feeling the same anguish as the characters on screen. The Hill's Have Eyes is a powerful Horror film and this is Wes Craven when he's just warming up. His Horror talents would culminate with 1984's Nightmare On Elm Street and 1989's Shocker. The Hill's Have Eyes is a film of raw, brutal intensity and is a wild ride from start to finish. The cast is pretty good as well, Dee Wallace and Michael Berryman are the best actors in this film and Wes Craven has cooked up an amazing film that you won't forget. What makes The Hill's Have Eyes such an unrelenting horror is the mix of genres that Craven uses for his film. The film tends to touch on the Slasher film genres and psycho killer film with hints of exploitation. The result is an effective film that is a surrealistic nightmare of horror, one that grasps the viewer in a thrilling viewing experience that doesn't let go up until the memorable climax. This is one of Craven's best, and is a fine follow-up to his controversial, but excellent debut feature, The Last House on the Left. This Craven in his prime and it showcases his talents for effective horror perfectly.
June 22, 2012
Jeff "The Dude" Lebowski

Super Reviewer

More like "The Hills Have Idiots". This movie is pretty much Wes Craven ripping off "The Texas Chainsaw Massacre", except ineptly executed. The cannibalistic family in this movie are a bunch of idiotic push-overs. They wear the stupidest clothing (the mother looked like a Native American while one was dressed as a caveman), and say the most laughable dialogue I've ever heard. At times it felt like the cannibal family was dying faster than the normal family, one of them was even killed by a dog. Not even the old man at the gas station seemed to have been afraid of them. The normal family in the film are bland and annoying, especially the sister in the shorty shorts. The script is very light on story and lacking in any compelling suspense or scares. The movie is not even bloody or gory, not that more blood makes a film better but so many critics hype this film up as being "brutal". It is not like the concept of this movie was too bad, but the combination of terrible direction and execution made this movie hard to watch for all the wrong reasons. Just like how the family's car breaks down and goes nowhere, this film goes nowhere. The filmmakers didn't even has the courtesy to give an actual ending, it just cuts off after a guy stabs one of the cannibals to death. How is this considered a minor horror classic? It wasn't even horrifying.
April 27, 2012
Christopher Heim

Super Reviewer

    1. Brenda Carter: We're gonna be french fries! Human french fries!
    – Submitted by Bria M (2 years ago)
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