The Hills Have Eyes

1977

The Hills Have Eyes

Critics Consensus

No consensus yet.

67%

TOMATOMETER

Total Count: 24

54%

Audience Score

User Ratings: 51,931
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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 middle of a former nuclear testing site, their attempts to find help lead them unwittingly into the territory of a savage family of cave-dwelling cannibals, the apparent progeny of the bearlike Jupiter (James Whitworth) and an abducted prostitute. Jupiter's eldest son Pluto (professional movie weirdo Michael Berryman) leads the first brutal attack on the defenseless Carters who, through necessity, are driven to equally extreme measures in order to survive. Though the film is not overtly bloody, the scenes depicting this confrontation are rendered with an unflinching directness, and the violations visited on the Carters are so brutal as to make the survivors' regression into savagery all the more convincing. No one is spared from the nightmare: Jupiter's boys have even kidnapped the youngest member of the Carter family -- a mere infant -- to serve as fodder for their next barbecue, and the baby becomes the main point of contention between the rival clans. Craven nevertheless refuses to take the easy way out by depicting his "monsters" as soullessly evil; parallels between either family's "values" are clearly drawn as the differences between the two clans begin to blur.

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Critic Reviews for The Hills Have Eyes

All Critics (24) | Top Critics (2)

Audience Reviews for The Hills Have Eyes

  • Apr 03, 2015
    Though the case of The Hills Have Eyes is a rare one wherein I feel that the remake is in its entirety a better film than the original, Wes Craven's 1977 exploitation horror is still a solid movie, just one that doesn't succeed in its totality. Gimme a Beast spin-off anyday though.
    Gimly M Super Reviewer
  • Sep 30, 2014
    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.
    Cory T Super Reviewer
  • Oct 13, 2013
    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"
    Kevin C Super Reviewer
  • Apr 25, 2012
    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.
    Christopher H Super Reviewer

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