The Hills Have Eyes - Movie Reviews - Rotten Tomatoes

The Hills Have Eyes Reviews

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Super Reviewer
½ December 28, 2010
I do not see any good reason to remake a bad movie changing the nature of the depraved villains but keeping all of the faults found in the original film - especially characters who are irritatingly stupid and the only smart one being the dog.
Super Reviewer
October 17, 2012
I don't remember the original "The Hills Have Eyes". I saw the movie, at least a couple of times, when I was younger, but it failed to leave a lasting impression on me. I think I even owned the VHS version at some point. I don't remember it being a bad movie, boring perhaps. I seem to remember it being just another reason to consider Wes Craven criminally overrated. Maybe I'll revisit the original at some point. Until then, when I'm in the mood to watch a Horror movie, you probably won't hear me say, "You know what I'm in the mood for? I'd really like to watch the 1970's version of 'The Hills Have Eyes' directed by Wes Craven." It probably won't happen anytime soon.
The remake on the other hand, is a truly disturbing slab of cinema. It was unleashed at a time when remaking Horror movies was routine. Beginning with "The Texas Chainsaw Massacre", filmmakers that were unable to capture the grisly atmosphere that made the originals terrifying, would instead, amplify the violence and gore. In most cases, while entertaining in their own way, the efforts fell significantly short of the originals. I don't think that's the case with "The Hills Have Eyes".
The 2006 version, succeeded in becoming an excruciating spectacle. Although exaggerated at times, the deformed "hill people" are a lurid visual. As foul as the antagonists are visually, the most distressing elements of the two hour journey is the sordid behavior on display. Alexandre Aja's re-imagining runs a gauntlet of malevolent moments. The viewer is exposed to mutilation, suicide, kidnapping, cannibalism, and at it's worst, delves into rape and sexual humiliation. I'd venture to guess that even the most desensitized members of the audience would find something in the film to cringe at.
It's difficult to say, whether I'd be still consider this film successful if the shock value wore off, but I imagine that's irrelevant. The point of a Horror movie is to make you uncomfortable. "The Hills Have Eyes" succeeds.
Super Reviewer
½ June 9, 2006
In terms of production values, budget, and effects, this is definitely a suprerior film to Wes Craven's original. In terms of story and overall quality, well, that's purely dependent on personal opinion. Once again, the plot is that of a family on vacation whose vehicle breaks down in the desert. They are stranded at an abandoned nuclear test site popualted by some mutants whoe sole purpose is to kill and cause mayhem, and it becomes a family versus family fight ot the death for survival.

With this film, they at least spell out the implied backstory for the mutants, and, while it's okay, they still don't have any real motivation. I could let that slide if the film had slightly more of a point and weren't gruesome basically for the sake of it. The original had violence and terror, but it was also more suspenseful. Yes, this film is creepy, and there's some tense moments, but the focus is more on the violence and gore.

The effects are far better this time, and there's plenty of them, but I think things may have gone slightly overboard. The acting this tiem around is also slightly improved, but the chasracters still really seem unlikeable. Aaron Stanford is pretty decent though. The film tries to have some subtext by doing a Straw Dogs sort of thing with his character, and, it's okay. However, he's no Hoffman, and Aja is no Peckinpah.

I shouldn't like this movie. It's disgusting, vile, and there's not much in the way of redeeming qualities. However, it manages to be slick and polished, yet still incredibly gritty and raw. The original gets a pass for its limitations, but this one should know better, and could have done without so many cliches. Plus, it's intense, but there's not much impact to it, beyond a visceral level.

I wasn't bored though, even if, like the original, there's pacing issues (slow start, drawn out conclusion, dynamite middle). The film definitely has style, though, and admittedly we do need this sort of thing once in a while, if only to balance out the universe.

Obviously I'm conflicted here, because it does some things better than Craven's, yet it fails to achieve the same sort of impact and misses the point when it comes to putting the horror in "horror film". Still, this is shockingly far better than it had any right to be. B-.
Super Reviewer
June 9, 2010
The Hill's Have Eyes is actually a pretty good remake considering that most remakes miss the mark in terms of what the original did. Most of the time, the storyline is watered down, the acting is done by a poor cast of talentless actor and they go more for shock value than for actual horror. This film succeeds at delivering fear and tension in the audience, something that remakes fail in almost every case. Director Alexandre Aja who directed the film Haute Tension (High Tension) directs and as with his second film, he delivers the gore. What makes this standout is the good cast; they deliver above average performance, considering that this is a remake. For what it is, they keep most of the original elements of the 1977 classic, but they have added a few new aspects to the story. The film succeeds where most modern retellings failed; it delivered a shocking, tense and memorable horror experience. The film has its flaws, but for the most part it manages at being one demented nightmare of a film. This remake definitely amps up the stakes in terms of shocks and thrills. The original was a Slasher type exploitation film that relied on atmosphere to create its memorable moments of blood and gore. With this one, the production values are better and unlike the original, it does not have a raw, grind house exploitation feel to it. Nonetheless for what it is, it's a s good film for what it is, despite the fact that it relies more on gore and effects to create its effects. This is a fun film that horror fans are sure to enjoy.
Super Reviewer
July 27, 2006
Wasn't worth the remake, was as terrible as the first and adds nothing new to story
Super Reviewer
October 26, 2011
A descent horror film that holds nothing back and is full of blood.
Super Reviewer
September 7, 2011
There are not many people that see the majesty of this film as much I seem too. Although the story line is somewhat predictable there are enough twists and turns to keep your teeth clenched as well as numerous other parts of your anatomy. This movie breaks controversial ground by including a baby in the cast of possible victims and brings horror to an emotional level by making the entire cast of non deformed could be heroes a very believable family. Original and not afraid of itself, the Hills Have Eyes is a very good film indeed.
Super Reviewer
July 25, 2007
Better than the usual of this genre because of superior values, better acting better writing, things like that. There's still the standard people doing maddeningly stupid things at the wrong time ("let's split up and go check out why the last guy was hideously tore limb from limb when he was alone...") and lots of gore factor but it's still entertaining.
Super Reviewer
½ April 19, 2006
Curious to see how they've butchered this classic, or whether perhaps they have actually managed to make a good remake.
Super Reviewer
July 9, 2010
Still living up to the standards of the originals... boring and not-so-good.
Super Reviewer
September 3, 2006
What a horror and really freaky as hell of a remake.
Director Alexandre Aja takes Wes Craven's original film and builds on it in just about every way. Better acting, better visual effects, better make-up, better story presentation, and much, MUCH more gore.
I haven't seen the original one yet, but not interested.
Horror remake of Wes Craven's 1977 The Hills Have Eyes.
Super Reviewer
½ January 26, 2008
Shocking. Disturbing. At times hard to watch. All words to describe the horror of being forced to watch Michael Moore take his shirt off. But these terms also accurately describe this brutally vicious upgrade on Wes Craven's 1977 low-budget horror classic.

What would you do if you were traveling through the desert and became stranded amongst a group of genetically-mutated freaks who were intent on killing you? You'd probably die. Granted, I would kick all sorts of genetically-mutated butt (not an easy accomplishment when said butt has a foot growing out of it kicking right back), but the average human would be in some major trouble, just like the Carter family.

The father looks like he could handle himself in a fair fight, after all he is a detective, but what are three girls, a boy, a cell phone-selling geek, and a pizza place (maybe two of you will get that lame joke) going to do against a bunch of unnaturally strong psychos? How will they survive? Will it be through might or strategy? You'll have to watch the movie to find out. And if you're squeamish then you'll most likely find yourself cringing in your seat and watching with your hands over your eyes. The Hills Have Eyes is a movie that knows exactly what it needs to do to satisfy its target audience, and it does it well.

Case in point... I'm not very vocal during movies. I usually don't clap and scream and hoot and holler like most the dorks sitting around me, but there were a couple of scenes where I literally said aloud, "Ooooooooooh, crap!" Of course, one of those instances was during a trailer for Phat Girlz, but one scene of violence left my mouth hanging open for about 30 seconds. Then I realized that my mouth was agape like some buffoon, so I quickly closed it.

It takes a lot to shock and disturb me these days, so congrats go to The Hills Have Eyes for accomplishing that. It comes at you fast and hard and isn't interested in sugar-coating the violence it's about to serve up. The intensity level starts high and never gives you an opportunity to take a bathroom break. I highly recommend you address any and all bladder issues before the movie begins.

For me, the main drawback of the movie was the "hero." You can argue that he was more of a "regular guy" and not a typical macho hero, but I felt he transitioned a little too quickly from a gun-hating wuss to an ax-wielding killing machine. My hat's off to the dog though; that canine rocked! Easily the coolest dog in a movie since the German Shepherd in The Lost Boys.

"I like horror movies, Johnny, but I liked to be creeped out more than being subjected to a lot of gore. Would I like this?" It's very doubtful. I'll make this as blunt as possible: this is a movie that contains severed body parts, brutal shootings, axes to the head, a person biting off a bird's head and drinking its blood, and disturbing violence to helpless women.

If that description turns you off then you know to save your money. However, if that fits your style then the movie will succeed in giving you exactly what you want. But I have to say that if you think this sounds like fun for the entire family then I'll have to decline any invitations to sit down with you for a family dinner.
Super Reviewer
March 7, 2010
Not bad.
Super Reviewer
January 29, 2010
Was never a really big fan of horror, unless it's good! This is not an example of a good horror film!
Super Reviewer
½ November 18, 2009
It's actually just an improved version of the original, which I was pleased to see. The acting talent was extremely better, the effects were great and the music is some of the best horror score i've heard in a while. The freaks are handled so much better, giving them a truly creepy edge. It still managed to keep all of the good things about the original, which was all I could've asked for. I especially loved the radioactive plotline, it worked out perfectly (the bombing houses are truly creepy). The "super" Sloth fight scene was a nice touch as well.
Super Reviewer
½ July 17, 2007
Yes, it's a little sadistic and yes it features lots of gore, but it's better than average for a movie of its kind. It's technically proficient and entertaining while still delivering its "message", which isn't really relevant today like it was in the original that came out in 1977. Either way though, I enjoyed it. The acting was convincing and above average for a horror movie.
Super Reviewer
½ August 15, 2009
Not sure I've ever seen the original unless when I was in diapers or before my memory formed, but man, this one was awesome!!! I'll have to see the original and all the other movies in it now, but can't imagine them being better than this!
Super Reviewer
June 13, 2006
One of the better horror remakes of recent years, for several reasons: the title sequence is wonderfully disturbing, some of the scenes are really exciting and scary, the acting performances are convincing and their characters not entirely as stupid as in other films of the genre and actually fight back. Also: although the political dimensions of a horror film and the criticism on atom testing should not be taken too seriously, it is pretty funny that the Republican gun loving dad does not have quite the same success as his democrat son in law. The violence is pretty graphic and some scenes rather sickening, but at least the film is not as easy to figure out as many others. Hero of the day: the second German shepherd.
Super Reviewer
½ January 9, 2009
For the storyline, it's just another movie where a family is going on a tour and ends up in an isolated area which is inhabited by some eerie creatures, which are dangerous too. The rest is about how the family and how much of the family succeed in saving their lives.

Nothing new in the concept, yet I liked it. It didn't bore me as now-a-days, I don't expect more than that from the movies. Rarely do I find any movie that offers me more than my general expectations and so I've stopped blaming such movies that at least doesn't bore me, if not make me jump with joy. This movie is satisfactory and you can afford to see it once. However, keep the children in your house, specifically less than ten years, away while you are watching this one. It's filled with too much violence and believe me, that too much is too extreme too.
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