The Hills Have Eyes

( 15 )

Overview

Alexandre Aja directs this remake of Wes Craven's film The Hills Have Eyes. In this update, a family is taking a cross-country road trip when their trailer breaks down, leaving them stranded in the desert of New Mexico. There, they find themselves under attack by the savage "hill people," who were deformed by radiation during nuclear testing. ~ Cammila Collar
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Overview

Alexandre Aja directs this remake of Wes Craven's film The Hills Have Eyes. In this update, a family is taking a cross-country road trip when their trailer breaks down, leaving them stranded in the desert of New Mexico. There, they find themselves under attack by the savage "hill people," who were deformed by radiation during nuclear testing. ~ Cammila Collar
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Special Features

Commentary by Screenplay Writer/Director Alexandre Aja, Screenplay Writer/Art Director Gregory Levasseur and Producer Marianne Maddalena; Commentary by Producers Wes Craven and Peter Locke; Surviving The Hills: Making of The Hills Have Eyes; Production Diaries; Music Video: "Leave the Broken Hearts" by The Finalist; ; Theatrical Trailer
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Editorial Reviews

All Movie Guide - Jason Buchanan
The year was 1977 and the the Vietnam War had just ground to a slow and painful halt. The definition of "family" in America was changing as shell-shocked troops -- considered "lucky" by the naïve for having survived the horrific atrocities viewers at home only glimpsed on the nightly news -- were attempting to return to their families and loved ones and make sense of life in the serenity of the suburbs. But there was no going back; America had changed, and after two excruciating world wars and an extended quagmire in which the nation's youth were fed into the war machine and spat out in chunks, the culture of violence was flowing through her veins like an all-consuming disease. Ambitious horror filmmaker Wes Craven had absorbed the death and destruction that had become too much to bear for the numbed masses, and proceeded to shatter the senses of moviegoers with the boundary blasting sadism of Last House on the Left. As horror fans ached with curiosity to see what terrors he would bring to the screen next, Craven was cooking up a nihilistic tale of raw survival set against the scorching sun of the Nevada desert. Politically, Craven's sophomore vision personified the growing chasm between the right and the left while simultaneously serving to explore the differences between where we thought we were as a culture, and the contradictory reality so painfully obvious to anyone who still had the stomach to keep up with current events. Flash forward to the year 2006 and another war is going on. This time it's the "war on terror" and, much like its mid-20th century counterpart, it seemed to have no end in sight. Over in Hollywood the remake trend was on fire, and whose catalogue better to raid than Hollywood horror franchise factory himself, Nightmare on Elm Street and Scream creator Wes Craven? Fresh-faced French filmmaker named Alexandre Aja's had just delivered what many considered to be one of the most unforgiving mainstream horror efforts in the last decade, and he needed a winning follow up to cement himself as a true master of the genre. Though the first half of the new The Hills Have Eyes seems to follow Craven's original screenplay almost to the letter -- including the harrowing initial raid on the family caravan that nearly recreates the original atrocity shot for shot -- the heavy handed second half takes an ill-advised turn off the main road to offer a none-too-subtle commentary on the destructive capabilities of the American machine that paints in broad, reactionary strokes where a steady, subtle hand may have been a bit more effective. In terms of surface aesthetics, Aja's flick is retro-hip thanks to Maxime Alexandre's hyper-saturated palate, Daniel Glicker's throwback costume design, and Alessandra Querzola's sparse sets. Composers Tomandandy's unconventional use of discordant, tune-bent strings is strikingly effective in creating a mood of ill-ease early on before inexplicably, and somewhat tragically, swelling to an overbearing eagre of faux-triumphant horns in the final scenes. On the civilized side of things, the performances are generally strong thanks in large part to Ted Levine's turn as the jingoistic, praise-the-lord and-pass-the-ammo patriarch, a pacifist-to-pit bull transformation by unrecognizable X-Men alum Aaron Stanford, and a nurturing, heart-rending show by matronly Kathleen Quinlan, whose suffering at seeing her family butchered before her very eyes is only the beginning of her agonizing trauma. In the end though, Alexandre Aja wants it both ways; he wants to remain staunchly faithful to the original while altering the proceedings to take on new meaning in a new era, and he wants to turn in an inventive, viscerally grating, nuevo-grindhouse epic that will subvert the multiplex experience while simultaneously getting sucked into the creatively exhausted remake trend. While the resulting film could certainly be considered reprehensible in its relentless pursuit to torment the audience, the exact same could be said for Craven's original back in 1977 -- and for viewers looking to be run through the ringer, the new Hills certainly obliges with ruthless abandon. For audiences who hunger for some form of intellectual nourishment amongst the bloody chaos, however, Aja's ponderous, ham-handed evisceration of the American swagger may prove a bit too bombastic to truly drive home his point effectively.
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Product Details

  • Release Date: 9/13/2011
  • UPC: 024543744184
  • Original Release: 2006
  • Rating:

  • Source: Fox Searchlight
  • Aspect Ratio: Cinemascope (2.35:1)
  • Presentation: DTS
  • Sound: DTS 5.1-Channel Surround Sound, Dolby Digital 5.1 Surround
  • Language: English, Español, Français
  • Time: 1:48:00
  • Format: Blu-ray
  • Sales rank: 50,344

Cast & Crew

Performance Credits
Aaron Stanford Doug Wood
Kathleen Quinlan Ethel Carter
Vinessa Shaw Lynne Wood
Emilie de Ravin Brenda Carter
Dan Byrd Bobby Carter
Tom Bower Gas Station Attendant
Billy Drago Papa Jupiter
Robert Joy Lizard
Ted Levine Big Bob Carter
Desmond Askew Big Brain
Ezra Buzzington Goggle
Michael Bailey Smith Pluto
Laura Ortiz Ruby
Maxime Giffard first victim
Maisie Camilleri Preziosi Baby Catherine
Gregory Nicotero Cyst
Ivana Turchetto Big Mama
Judith Jane Vallette Small Deformed Child
Adam Perrell Small Deformed Child
Cedric Proust
Technical Credits
Alexandre Aja Director, Screenwriter
Adil Abdelwahab Asst. Director
Richard Adrian Sound/Sound Designer
Maxime Alexandre Cinematographer
Guiomar Alonso Stunts
Baxter Editor
Youssef Beddelem Stunts
Ali Benbadi Stunts
Mark Bennett Casting
Howard Berger Makeup Special Effects
Mohamed Boukhouima Costumes/Costume Designer
Wes Craven Producer
Danetracks, Inc. Sound/Sound Designer
Dane A. Davis Sound/Sound Designer
David Franco Musical Direction/Supervision
Mjid El Gachi Stunts
Daniel Glicker Costumes/Costume Designer
Frank Hildebrand Executive Producer
Othman Illyassa Stunts
Fatah Lahouissi Production Manager
Samy Layani Producer
Mariam Lee Makeup
Phillipe Lesson Stunts
Gregory Levasseur Art Director, Screenwriter
Peter Locke Producer
Marianne Maddalena Producer
Tamara Marini Art Director
Sasha Melaranci Camera Operator
Joseph C. Nemec III Production Designer
Gregory Nicotero Makeup Special Effects
Noureddine Ouihya Stunts
Aîssa Ouyous Stunts
François Poirier Stunts
Franco Ragusa Special Effects Supervisor
Florian Robin Stunts
Malika Saïd Stunts
Tomandandy Score Composer
Mustapha Touki Stunts
Cody Zwieg Associate Producer
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Customer Reviews

Average Rating 3.5
( 15 )
Rating Distribution

5 Star

(5)

4 Star

(3)

3 Star

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2 Star

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1 Star

(4)

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Sort by: Showing all of 4 Customer Reviews
  • Posted October 1, 2010

    more from this reviewer

    This Movie is Just Plain Good

    The story is simple: a family's off on a holiday and had taken a short cut through the desert to get there. In order to make the trip, they pull up to a lone gas station in the middle of nowhere to top up the tank. Problem is, the gas attendant is in on a little secret and points them to a "short cut" that's supposed to save them a couple hours. Instead, this "short cut" leads the family on the fast track to death as a pack of bloodthirsty mutants hunt the family as their next meal.

    No, really, that's the story. But you know what? I love it. Simple horror, straight and to the point. Here's the good guys, here's the bad guys, here's the setting. Let's see what happens. It works for me and it works for The Hills Have Eyes no problem. Unfortunately, I didn't see the 1977 original so I can't compare the two, but what I can tell you is the idea, as presented in the movie, of human-mutants caused by nuclear testing's radioactivity was done well, especially since the mutations aren't over the top but very believable (i.e. a guy with a big head; a little girl with a lopsided face; even the grossest of the bunch just seemed to have a few tumors the size of pool balls bulging under his skin).

    This movie started off with a quick action scene, then the credits rolled, and the main story got under way. Since we as the viewers knew this family was in jeopardy almost right from the start, the slow build-up leading to the explosion of danger and gore was well worth the wait. Actually, I'm glad there was a long lead up before things went crazy. Made you care and relate to the family first before things started happening to them. Made it all the more painful when they got killed.

    The one part that really got me jumping was the involvement of the baby who, it seemed, was around six months old. Being a parent, the thought of your child getting kidnapped is just terrifying. Add getting kidnapped by cannibal mutants to that and it really makes for sensitive watching. Every scene where I thought maybe something would happen to the kid, I was, like, "No, not that baby!" (What? Horror fans can't be sensitive?)

    The 180-degree character development of our hero, Doug Bukowski (Aaron Stanford) , was impressive especially since I really didn't like him at all in the beginning, which was the point, and which was a success on the part of the filmmakers. Truly awesome.

    The Hills Have Eyes was a fun horror movie that pleased this roadside horror fan to the nines. Going to be renting the sequel. Definitely.

    Go see this.

    A.P. Fuchs
    Canister X

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  • Anonymous

    Posted October 1, 2010

    A reviewer

    i dont know why if its cuz im a new dad but a certin seen did disturb me but thats not why i say this movie sucks bad. I wish i spent my time doing something else.

    Was this review helpful? Yes  No   Report this review
  • Anonymous

    Posted October 1, 2010

    Head Over Hills

    Ever since I saw this movie I've been thinking about it.It was awesome! I was about to go back and see it for a second time! And it's taking too long to come out on DVD.I'm anticipating dearly,or at least I'm trying to.In addition,the ending left me in suspense...

    Was this review helpful? Yes  No   Report this review
  • Anonymous

    Posted May 26, 2009

    No text was provided for this review.

Sort by: Showing all of 4 Customer Reviews