The Hills Have Eyes (1977)
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Critic Reviews for The Hills Have Eyes
One of the prime examples of the what was so fascinating about American horror films in the 1970s.
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.
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.
Audience Reviews for The Hills Have Eyes
A cheap rip-off of The Texas Chainsaw Massacre with villains who are disgusting perverts that you want to see dead and main characters who act really stupid most of the time. By the end, it has no room for any moral questions, for a matter of life and death justifies anything.
Normally it would be considered treason to remake a 70's "classic" from Wes Craven. In the case of 'The Hills Have Eyes' though, the original is painfully inert and while the runtime is relatively short, the film shambles at a plodding pace. This is a prime example of an underspiced premise that should be plowed further. The transition from day to night is practically instantaneous. The family of soon-to-be-cannibalized victims range from dimwitted (Bobby is deliberately reticent to inform the others that their canine Beauty has been disemboweled and he won't divulge how he bruised his cheek) to hopelessly naïve (the mother mispronounces "may paw" as a distress call into the radio). As for the inbred hooligans at the center, they look like rejects from 'One Million Years B.C.' with tattered loincloths and Hall-and-Oates bouffant hairstyles. Mama could be a Native-American oracle with the beads around her scalp. In other words, it's Motley Crew tribute band and they are never once frighteningly feral. Even the bald Michael Berryman is more clueless and innocuous than volatile. Just because there is a shameless child-in-danger subplot doesn't mean the audience will be manipulated into paroxysmal terror. It's absolutely mystifying why this calamity is so highly praised among the horror elite.
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"
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