While, obviously, many famous graphic novels have been adapted for the silver screen, I've never actually looked at one that was inspired by a film as its source material first. That's not the general order of things--however, that has evolved somewhat as the marketplace continues to recognize the potential revenue to be generated in this realm. When I saw "The Hills Have Eyes: The Beginning," therefore, I was intrigued to try it out. The recent film remake of the horror classic was surprisingly effective, even if its subsequent sequel was a complete fizzle. The macabre horror and humor, not to mention the grotesque visuals, seemed ideal for interpretation!
Might I say, first and foremost, the "Hills" is a striking volume. Set in the past, the pages have a sepia-toned quality totally in tune to establishing the mood of the piece. With its earthy color palette, the stark landscapes look especially desolate and the violence especially eerie. The graphics and artwork is top-notch--heck, the birth of a mutant baby is suitable for framing (if that's your thing anyway). Unfortunately, however, the story just isn't as strong. A direct prequel to the modern films, the book takes us through the origins of mutant marauders descended from the Sawney Bean family.
If you're a fan of the movies, you may like this as an additional experience. It doesn't work, for me, as a stand-alone however. The film back story is necessary to put the actions of the graphic novel into context. Lacking real motivation or characterizations, "Hills" is a bit empty. The "villains" are cartoony and the "heroes" are indistinct. Ultimately, I think this tale of injustice, revenge and ultimate madness could be powerful and compelling. But in this incarnation, I just didn't care very much. It was all great to look at, though, which adds that third star to my rating.