The Hills Have Eyes Reviews
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.
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-.
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.
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.
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.