Brad Reviews: The Hills Have Eyes (2006)

The_hills_have_eyes2006.jpgFriday night my entourage and I headed out to the local Regal Cinema to catch the opening of Alexandre Aja’s remake of Wes Craven’s 1977 horror classic “The Hills Have Eyes“.

“The Hills have Eyes” was Wes Craven’s second film. After the controversy of “Last House on the Left”, Craven’s career was on the line and this next film could have been the end of a very short run. Instead of adding to the negative press from “Last House”, “The Hills Have Eyes” marked a keystone in movie horror and has become one of the scariest movies of American film.

As always, when a remake is released I am very skeptical. I fear the bastardization of great films as much as anyone, especially when it comes to iconic films such as “Hills”. None the less, I was excited and the boys and I ventured out to the high school student filled theater with the hopes of being scared and grossed out as much as we were in high school.

It is important to note that we saw this in a packed theater on a Friday night. Normally I never go to the movies on a Friday -I’m to busy drinking in some pub-, you can often catch me at a Sunday afternoon show when the theater is solely occupied by my friends and myself. I feel that seeing the new “Hills” in this setting enhanced the overall experience. The frightened screams of 16 to 17 year old girls followed by twisted laughter from their dates placed me in just the right setting to enjoy the gore that much more.

Overall I felt the movie was done well. Aja stuck to the original story pretty closely with a few minor exceptions. For example; there were a few added family members hidden within the hills, and the background of these seriously demented mountain nomads was based on nuclear bomb testing completed by the government which mutated the inhabitants of the area. This didn’t bother me, and it made it possible to launch this story into modern day.

Gore! The gore-iffic effects were pleasing and I’m confident that many horror fans would agree. There’s just something about watching a grizzled towny blowing his face off with a shot gun entertaining and even more entertaining is being able to watch this action with no scene cuts. The cannibalism was limited. A short few scenes showing the inbred family chowing down on dog flesh and human organs wasn’t enough. The shock factor now a days is significantly higher than in the 70’s, and although displayed well I feel we could have seen more feasting of human body parts or perhaps some munching on a live victim while she was screaming in fear and agony -notice I state female, I think that would strike fear nerves more effectively-.

The characters themselves were satisfying. Each one had their own unique look and after each introduction you think to yourself “I wonder what the next one will look like”. Certain characters like Billy Drago’s Jupiter where hidden and didn’t have nearly enough screen time. While others who were relativly useless kept poping up and not truly making an impact.

Another small disappointment was a few instances of suggestive horror. One which comes to mind is the rape of the youngest daughter Brenda (played by Emilie de Ravin). While sleeping and unaware, two grotesque mutated mountain men hover over the soft young vixen, drooling and chuckling. When she awakes, they pounce, grabbing, touching, and pretty much just being disgusting. Reference is displayed that she is about to be raped by this horribly mangled version of a human man but then we are taken somewhere else, only to return asking ourselves “did that actually happen or did she get lucky?”. I personally would have made it abundantly clear what happened, perhaps showing more bare skin so we know clothes where removed, more gyrations and movements and even having her say something. I’m not into that sort of thing, but think of how horrifying it is to be raped, and then add this twisted wretched sloppy man into the equation and you’ve just freaked the crap out the audience.

The new “Hills” carries a number of jumpy moments -it got me like 4 times-, lots of gore -body parts and blood-, and a good supply of chilling and disturbing actions.

For fans of the original “The Hills have Eyes”, I think you will be happy with this new representation. For those who are new, Aja’s “The Hills have Eyes” is a fun horror coaster which will give you that tickle in your stomach and leave you feeling strange for enjoying such a story.

Comment with Facebook

12 thoughts on “Brad Reviews: The Hills Have Eyes (2006)

  1. Lousy. Downloaded the one song entitled “California Dreaming” by The Mama’s and the Papa’s and that was that. Waste of time, money and effort to watch this. If there is a “khalifornya dreaming mp3” by Gov. Arnold Szhwazeneger then maybe…

  2. Hi, I did think it was very cliched and a good photocpy of the Texas Chainsaw massacre but enjoyable towards the end. Basically Texas Chainsaw with horny cannibals who have the munchies for babies. Predictable in I knew the baby woudnt get eaten. But the last 5 seconds of the film what was that in the distance?Someone sodomizing a dog?

  3. In some way I agree with Drewbacca but in others I believe they are wrong. I went to see this movie with my boyfriend who loves horror movies for the simple fact that he gets to see the things he loves most, a gory gross murder. I myself am only a fan if they scare me. and until about half way through this one did. But then it kind of became a bit to much like house of wax for my liking. Dont get me wrong I loved this movie. Talk about a gore filled jump fest. But All the way through I was wondering, is this supposed to be modern day or is it supposed to be the seventies. It wasn’t until I saw the Ipod headphones that I realised it was more likely to be modern day.

    Another thing that got me was at the end Doug was welcomed back to his brother and sister in laws as though he was a hero but what they dont know that if it wasn’t for Ruby, doug would have been shot and baby catherine would of more than likely died from being flung from her father. But Ruby was the hero.

    Does anyone know if there is word of a sequel because I personally would love to see the four of them and a crazy dog try to get out of the desert.

    I give it five stars.

  4. If u like Rape, Blood, and Goofy men that look like Jabba or the cyclopse from the movie ‘The Goonies’ then you will love it! Only people who are not true horror fans will think this is actually scary! HAHA girls were the ones jumping in the theater I practically was enjoying my popcorn. Its totally crap! Only little 14 yr olds will think this is ‘cool’ and who made this? Hicks living in the midwest? A girl getting raped from the back and front is something only teenagers can think of as scary! ITS A TOTAL SCI-FI FILM, not horror or scary at all! The trailors are MISLEADING! Im so mad after reading all the reviews from the people who got their $9.50 back, I was about to walk off only if I knew I could buy myself dinner at least! CRAP movie! SAVE YOUR MONEY b4 the first half!! The whole family except 3 die in the end…its stupid and soooo predictable, not scary at all!!!

    Wes Craven is an idiot and I think he just humilated himself and his reputation with this idiotic film.

  5. Did you really need to see more skin to know that the girl was being raped? If you want violation and blatant murder then watch the news. I want to see creative film making!

  6. My God, you demon spawned mother fuckers. Ya’ll got some horrible fucken issues, more skin? Part of me wonders did you merely have some sick fascination with the mutants nethers? I sure as hell hope not, but if ya do I got one word for ya. Church, wake up and small the insence! Jesus can still save your ass.

  7. Nord,

    thanks, and you as well bring up valid points. Such as homage, and the fact that the original was one of those movies which started these horror formulas.

    I suppose if you had never seen the original, and you are one who nit picks through a film, especially a horror flick which is leaning towards the fun side rather than thriller side, you could pass an overall negative opinion.

    Personally, with a few areas which could have been improved, the remake was a success.

  8. Ummm hmmmm

    I absolutely agree with Brad on this one on many points, I too tend to skip seeing movies opening night because I cant stand 17 year old “tough guys” kicking on my seat and yelling out things they think is funny, but I went anyways, and the atmosphere of the packed theater definaetly upped the intesity of this film, I dont normally jump at movies, but I was jumping because everyone around me was.

    This movie was quite alot of fun, didn’t take it self overly serious, and considering my hatred for the ending of Haute Tension I think Aja went out of his way to give the audience a more satisfying ending (if a bit over the top)

    As for Drews comments, not sure how old you are, but the reason most of the things you pointed out are cliches, is because the original Hills Have Eyes made them the cliches they are with many pretenders following the same formula afterwards, you see cliche, others see homage ( or just plain following the original story, which is a good thing)

    All in all, this movie was well paced, nicely editted, bit of horror fun. Trust me dude, it could have been ALOT worse.



    You fat… fat….fat and juicey

  9. 3 Stars!? You have got to be joking. This was the most cliche horror film ever. Let’s recap:

    1) Family out in the middle of nowhere (could be packpackers, teens on spring break, etc). Two of the family memebers are hot chicks.

    2) Stop at a desolate gas station with run down walls, holes in the room, a pay phone that doesn’t work (of course) and a creepy old guy that runs the place. Wow. Talk about originality.

    3) The family decides that the creepy old guy running the place is probably correct when he tells them to take an old dirt road instead of the main highway. That will get you to California sooo much quicker. Right.

    4) Their car breaks down (even farther out in the middle of nowhere) and they decide to split up and go look for help.

    5) Deformed mutants (ala Leatherface) linger in the shadows to kill them.

    6) It just gets dumber and dumberer from there.

    7) Top it all off at the end with the most cliche action/horror tactic in all of cinematic history.

    the boss is coming, I have to get back to work. trust me. This movie was dumb dumb dumb. Nothing we haven’t seen before.


Leave a Reply