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3.8 out of 5 stars120
3.8 out of 5 stars
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on 19 July 2006
People,you can make up your own mind on the notion of remaking films,i for one have mixed feelings on the concept,some improve on the original,and some are a disgrace to the original,this my friends is a remake with teeth and what a show it is.

The films plot is plausible because the act of nuclear testing in the 1940s is fact,and people did mutate in the fallout of it all,although to say that they all became savages is slightly suspect.The film leans on alot of the scare tactics that we all know and love and of course we have a family with various generations included,driving their way through america,or at least thats what they had planned to do,for upon disturbing a gas attendant who works for the radiation affected mutants,they are then advised to take a shortcut through a desert where hell awaits to put it plainly.

I dont wish to break each and every aspect of the film down for you as that will take away from the what happens next aspect,but lets say murder,rape,baby kidnapping,heroic dogs and cannibalism follow and you cant help but be captivated by it all,it isnt a film that your granny would like,but hey who wants to watch a film that their gran would like anyway.

The film is better than your standard gorefest for one simple reason,you actually like the good guys in it,let me explain!how often do you see the supposed good guy family with their obnoxious children and stereotyped parents and pray that they all get wiped out in a pool of pain,well in the hills have eyes the characters are likeable and you hope the mutants get ripped to pieces,added to that there is a dog that you hope makes it and the baby has its moment as well when you are hoping she can make it as well.

The films plot is similar to last house on the left,and i believe that the original was in fact a sequel of sorts to wes cravens classic,you hurt us,now we hurt you genre,so all in all this is a rewarding film,and as the tagline says 'the lucky ones died first'.
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TOP 500 REVIEWERon 30 August 2011
Ah, the homely, squabbling Carter family. Traveling through the Nevada desert on the way to San Diego. When suddenly their trailer is beset with punctures and promptly crashes off the road. Was this an accident? Or is there here, in a place where atomic testing was done years before, really eyes in them thar hills?

So here it be, yet another horror remake of an older much loved picture from the age of the X certificate. Taking on the task, and wrath of fans, for The Hills Have Eyes is Alexandra Aja. Aja, boasting good horror credentials after directing 2003s Haute Tension (Switchblade Romance), actually pulls it off rather well. Sure it at times feels like he's confused as to if it wants to be "horror porn" or a "boo jump scary movie" but by and large it's a dirty damn grimy chiller.

Once Aja submitted his cut to the US censors for classification, word quickly spread that it was so grotty and sick it got the death knell NC-17. Rumours were rife that the film was so disgusting, people were walking out of test screenings feeling ill. There is no such thing as bad publicity, but in this case it became a bad case of unachievable expectations, the desensitised MTV crowd just wasn't enamoured with it. This was after all a hip horror director in waiting, aided on production duties by Wes Craven himself {director of the original}, throw in the shrewdly out there press reports, well it should have been the second coming of the anti-Christ in many eyes.

Yet now it's finally getting support in the right circles, and that's rightly so. For Aja builds his film up nicely with an extended introduction to our characters, whom we know are soon to be desperately violated. The atmosphere, thru gliding camera work and plinking score, is heavy, pervading doom is the order of the day, and then Aja unleashes his hellish barely human monstrosities {led by a fabulously vile Robert Joy}. Blood flies and screams are abound as Aja gleefully starts to up the anti for screen horror violence.

Very much following the marker set by Craven's original, is actually what stops this from truly breaking the mould. It lacks freshness to go with it's willingness to set bloody parameters. But, and it's a good but, this is still one fine and squeamish little ride, one that lingers like a naughty thought for days in the memory. 7/10
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on 23 August 2010
Most modern-day horror films are good for a bit of a scare on a Friday evening, resulting in the ocassional launch of popcorn into the air at jumpy-moments. However, this 2006 remake of the Hills Have Eyes maybe doesn't fall into that category..

The basic plot of the film is quite similar to other horror films in that it follows a family who are travelling through the desert of New Mexico enroute to San Diego. When their truck and trailer is run off the road and damaged..they become stranded. Que no phone signal or way of contacting to say, the family decide to explore the desert to find some help..

The intuitive film viewer will see the dangers here..the arid, vast desert, scuttling scorpions, and the rising hills. It's the perfect scenario for danger and malevolence..but of course our characters don't seem that phased by just how 'alone' they are out there..

What follows is a seemingly endless series of events, from the bloody to the downright questionable - a film of a particular genre that in today's society would only just be accepted. Don't get me wrong, the film is interesting and has you on the edge of your seat and the storyline makes for a promising horror chase.

First time horror flickers and those who don't enjoy the fantasy of blood, guts, gore and personal assault should steer clear, but those who enjoy a good fright, a good bit of gore will enjoy this graphic and intelligent remake of the 70s Craven movie.
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on 3 November 2008
A family travelling to California are told of a shortcut through the mountains that will get them to their destination quicker. After the tyres of their camper van are punctured they find themselves at the mercy of a group of cannibalistic survivors from Government nuclear testing, who begin to kill the family members one by one.
Wes Craven's 'The Hills Have Eyes' made in 1977 is in my opinion his masterpiece. Anybody attempting a remake really would have a hard act to follow. So the fact that Alexandre Aja succeeds so admirably is quite an acievement.
Apart from a few concessions to modern technology, the remake remains faithful to the original. There is also a refreshing lack of CGI effects.
It may lack the raw power of Craven's original, but Aja's remake is still shocking, extremely gory and has a cohesive narrative. Where this film does score heavily is with its depiction of the radiation affected mutants and their twisted sense of family loyalty. There is real tension in the passage of the film where Doug goes in search of his kidnapped baby and walks through the mine shaft into a forgotten world, an abandoned nuclear test facility complete with charred mannaequins and example after example of unspeakable horror.
So a terrific film, both taken on its own merits and in comparison to the fantastic original. 5 out of 5
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on 17 October 2007
A typical American family is driving across the dessert. They take advice from a weapon wielding weirdo to take a short cut (as you do). The car somehow crashes into a suspiciously well situated rock, and our family suddenly find themselves stranded in the middle of nowhere: this nowhere happens to be old abandoned military testing grounds, and our characters quickly begin to realize that they are not alone...

The Hills Have Eyes premise may just sound like a cheap excuse to kill off some personality-free characters, but I can assure you it's not. What we have here is actually a very bold, uncompromising and exiting survival thriller. Even in some parts it may go slightly over-the-top, and the running time could easily be cut down a bit, it still results as one of the best survival flicks around. Certain highlights are the surprisingly good and believable acting, brilliant gore and mutant effects, and some very original and unusual scares.

Most critics felt obliged to give this film an only 'O.K' rating, because it is a remake of a classic Wes Craven slasher, but behind their words, they know they all enjoyed it. Because I was so pleased with the turn-out of this film, I went out and bout the sequel, The Hills Have Eyes 2, thinking again that critics had rated it lowly because it was a sequel to a remake: this time, the critics were right. I would advise you not to bother with the second.
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on 24 May 2013
This is a very good remake for a change. Normally it seems that modern takes on 70's horrors are empty and uninvolving, with tons of CGI make up effects but nothing else.
The 70's was a great time for exploitation films like the original movie, and it used mood and suspense, as well as some shocking onscreen gore effects to get people on edge. These were gritty and real films that really affected people, which is why they are now a cult, and so fondly remembered for actually doing the job of scaring people.
Generally I think modern horrors have forgotten this, and just assume a surplus of over the top CGI gore is all that is needed to give people a good time. Gore is one thing, but without mood and interesting characters in the plot, who gives a damn if they end up dead.
This remake is well done, and does have believable people who don't just do the obvious wandering off alone to put themselves at danger. I liked it and found it suitably unnerving, and quite revolting in places.

The Blu-Ray isn't mega loaded with extras, but there is enough for people to find out a bit of background to the film.
It is a bargain price anyway from Amazon.
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on 5 July 2007
If it is graphic violence and gore you want then this will be the equivalent to a Wet Dream for you. I've yet to see Craven's original, so I can't really compare this remake to it. Although, from what I've heard this remake is far better. If I had seen the original, I would probably agree. Alexandre Aja, who brought us a little French film called "High Tension" is at the blood and guts genre again. This time he has more people to slaughter and a great team behind him to bring these horrific mutants to life. What we as an audience get is a sick, twisted, no holds barred horror film that isn't afraid to smack the viewer in the face. With so many horror films playing it "safe" in the recent years, Hills Have Eyes clearly went the opposite direction in the horrors of the horror genre.

Alexandre Aja and co manages to create such creepy and isolated atmospheres, that if there were no mutants at all I would still get the creeps. The hills play characters themselves, as the home to these creatures, they too are frightening. The cinematography is too scare people and it does a pretty decent job at that. How is this film slightly different from other horror films out there today? Well, instead of having a guy kill a bunch of teenagers, we have disfigured mutants (like the film U-Turn)that kills and rapes a family.

Yes, there is a rape scene, and while it's not as horrific as some may have it seem to be, you still have that uncomfortable feeling when it starts to play out. With the girl getting beaten by her attacker, and then raped. While this may seem tame compared to the women beating of "Ichi The Killer", this film if more mainstream, so you can sense of surprised face when I saw it. There are two scenes that are the highlights of Hills; one is when the mutants first attack the family, which is where the rape takes place. The second is when one of the family members goes to the mutants "home" and becomes a killing machine.

The blood and gore? Plenty. One to keep the gore hounds happy. Hills showcase a mix of CGI and prop deaths. Along with the effects from the brilliant minds of KNB (old school Evil Dead, I love these guys). Seeing the mutants is fun too, even if you can't remember the names of any of them. They are cool to look at and all, but not very memorable.
Other remake such as `The Fog' and `The Omen,' can't compare to `Hills Have Eyes' because it stands out of the bunch. I can see good things from Alexandre Aja in the future of horror. Hills is an excellent horror experience, it has the right amount of creepy scares and more then enough uncomfortable gore. I found the performances to be surprisingly well done for a horror film that is about mutated cannibals. This film is a horrific, grotesque, intense & above all a creepy ride through the hills.
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Do you enjoy watching a typical family being hunted down, killed, and at least partially eaten? Does your heart go all a-flutter at the sight of a giant axe being buried in someone's head? Do you get weak in the knees when some horribly mutated human monster flashes his viscous orbital sockets at you? Do you wake up each and every morning chanting Gore Gore Gore? If you answered Yes to any of these questions, you'll take evil delight in this remake of Wes Craven's classic The Hills Have Eyes.

I have to admit that, at least for me, the shine of these mutant-led massacre films has pretty much worn off. There's really nothing new here at all. It's really just a question of how gory the director will make it. It's not like the film is going to draw you into a juicy story, as that story consists of nothing more than a family being thrown out in the desert on some pretense and having to fight for their lives against mutant freaks. There isn't even any mystery as to who the monsters are or how they got that way, as that's made pretty clear from the very start.

As for all the gore, it's really quite exceptional, especially in this uncut version. When a guy blows his head off with a shotgun, he really blows his head off with a shotgun. All of the bullets that hit their mark do all kinds of damage. Still, there's really nothing like a good axe blow to the skull, and the director seems to really get off on that sort of thing as he gives us plenty of it. I could complain about the whole lack of brain oozing in conjunction with all the Bunyan Blues being whacked out, but at least there's plenty of blood. While this isn't the goriest movie I've ever seen - not even close, really - it's definitely up there in the upper echelon of gruesome motion pictures. The special effects aim high and hit the mark, as well; the mutated human degenerates cover a wide spectrum of radiation-induced ooziness, deformity, and general ugliness.

The cast is quite good, as well. Lost's Emilie De Ravin, who must by now have trouble convincing anyone to take even a short trip with her anywhere, is the most familiar face in the bunch - her screaming could use a little work, but she may have just found herself all screamed out after all the indignities and suffering she had to endure over the course of this film. Aaron Stanford successfully moves beyond his general dweebiness to make a man out of his less than macho character, while young Bobby (Dan Byrd) never lets himself fall prey to the stereotype of the teenaged hero wannabe.

If you're going to make a completely unnecessary remake, you'd better do it right - and that is just what happened here. Just take a look at some of the critical reviews, decrying the bloodlust fueling such degenerate movies as this, even going as far as to call the moviemakers "ghouls" feeding on the blood money of viewers who will supposedly go out and do violent things to one another after the end credits roll. As for reports of some viewers walking out on the film due to the level of violence - I don't get that at all. Uh, did they walk into the wrong cinema or something? It's not like The Hills Have Eyes was advertised as some sweeping romantic epic. And I just don't think there's an outrageous level of violence here in the first place. We spend a lot of time with an annoying family before the fun even begins. And the rape scene? Extremely tame, so much so that I wasn't completely sure it was actually a rape scene. I also thought the director held back quite a bit on the whole cannibalism thing. Really, as a hardcore horror fan, I find it amusing that some people consider this a shocking, ultra-violent film. Those folks really don't know what they're missing.
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In the tragedies of ancient Greece the "harmartia" of the tragic hero usually involved an act of "hubris," to show that once again pride goeth before the fall. But the key part of the hero's tragic flow was that they had to be culpable in their own downfall, so that they were never the innocent victims of his fate. There is something at work in horror films, especially of the splatter flick variety, in which the victims have to do something that dooms them to being sliced, diced and whatever the psychopaths that await them want to do to them. In these films it is never pride that dooms them, but rather stupidity, often on a level of such sheer unbelievably that its only function is for you to want these people to die because they are literally too stupid to live. For me the epitome of this in films of recent vintage was the remake of "House of Wax," where Jared Padelicki's character sets a record for going into the wrong places time and time again until something really horrible happens to him.

"The Hills Have Eyes" starts off in a similar vein. If you are driving across the Nevada desert and you stop at a gas station that is so old and decrepit that it must have been ten years since (a) they cleaned the place and (b) received a shipment of gas, and if the old coot (Tom Bower) that runs the place tells you there is a short cut to your destination, then how stupid do you have to be to take his advice? Just to make things clear, you choice is between THE ONLY PAVED ROAD IN SIGHT and a dirt road that leads off into the hills. To add insult to injury, the person making this decision, the father of this doomed little nuclear family happens to be an ex-cop. The bad news is that he should know better, but the good news is that he has a gun. Not that it will do him any god.

The dirt road is a trap. A car is never going to make it all the way down the road, which leads to a faux town that was built by the U.S. military to test what happens to buildings (and manikins) when exposed to one of the 300-plus nuclear blasts set off in the area. The town was out of the blast radius, but not out of the range of the nuclear radiation. So was the mining camp whose occupants refused to leave just because the government was setting off atomic bombs for several years. Their descendants, a group of mutated and probably incestuous cannibals, are looking forward to their next meals. That would be the family of Big Bob Carter (Ted Levine), his wife Ethel (Kathleen Quinlan), teenage son Bobby (Dan Byrd), youngest daughter Brenda (Emilie de Ravin), oldest daughter Lynn (Vinessa Shaw), her husband Doug (Aaron Stanford), and their baby Catharine (Maisie Camilleri Preziosi).

The real nuclear family of this film consists of Papa Jupiter (Billy Drago), Big mama (Ivana Turchetto), Pluto (Michael Bailey Smith), Lizard (Robert Joy), Ruby (Laura Ortiz), Goggle (Ezra Buzzington), and Big Brain (Desmond Askew). There are a couple of kids, the next generation of mutant cannibals as it were, but they do not take part in the festivities. Having arranged for the Carters to be stuck in the desert, they wait for their victims to start going for help so they can be picked off one by one. No matter what direction you go in these hills, you are doomed. Doomed, do you hear me? Doomed! The only problem is that there is a baby involved, and why the guy stupid enough to drive down the dirt road might deserve this and the girls sunbathing themselves are inviting disaster, the same cannot be said for an innocent little baby.

The most interesting thing about this movie is that over ninety percent of it takes place during the daytime, usually in the brightness of the desert sun. Splatter flicks usually take place in the dark, but this is a movie that wants you to see what is going on most of time. Director Alexandre Aja ("Haute tension") and his constant co-writer Gregory Levasseur, take the original 1977 screenplay by Wes Craven and run with it. Things are a bit slow at first, mainly because as long as the sun is up you can see the monsters are not out there waiting, while in the darkness it is much easier to imagine. Once the blood and gore start being spilled things pick up and there are enough set pieces to whet your appetite, but I will fully admit that I rounded up on this one because the hero ends up being the character that is most like me (to wit, the one who really should have been the first to die). I also appreciate that he follows my long held personal advice for people in such situations, which is to use any and all objects, both blunt and sharp, to kill the monsters and to never, ever think that one blow might be sufficient. Finally, the film has a very appropriate final shot for the inevitable "it is not really over" bit that always comes at the end of splatter flicks.
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on 17 April 2015
This is the R1 Unrated print of The Hills Have Eyes (remake).
It's 2.35:1 widescreen & the picture quality is
very good, the top & bottom black bars aren't that
bad. If you have to make a remake, THIS is how
you do it. The film is fantastic, it looks terrific &
the mutants are suitably horrific, they are a truly
superior design. A slam bam opening makes way
for a horror story that's not shy on delivering the goods,
beautifully ferocious fights, characters you actually give
a damn about & two legendary K9s. I'm pretty sure
this is more intense than the UK version (but check first).
It's in my top 10, Extras: two commentary's, a "Making of",
production diaries, & a music video (!). Not watched extras yet.
2006 108mins...GOGGLE
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