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Overall Rating
3.51

Awesome: 24.51%
Worth A Look: 25.49%
Average30.39%
Pretty Bad: 15.69%
Total Crap: 3.92%

8 reviews, 54 user ratings


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Hills Have Eyes, The (2006)
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by Doug Bentin

"If gross is what grinds the bones to make your bread . . ."
3 stars

Wes Craven’s original of this film, released in 1977, drew its inspiration from the Scottish legend of Sawney Bean, a family man whose brood lived in the Scots highlands and waylaid unsuspecting travelers, killing them for the coin in their pockets and the meat on their bones.

So, which side of me won? The side that was looking forward to “The Hills Have Eyes” because it’s directed by Alexandre Aja, the young French guy who made “High Tension,” the best new horror film I saw in 2005, or the side that dreaded “The Hills Have Eyes” because it’s another 1970s monster mash re-hash? The good twin or the evil twin?

Well, since I’m a movie reviewer, it would have to be between the evil twin and the even more evil twin.

Call it a TKO for the Even More Evil Twin in the last round.

The scene is the New Mexico desert 50 years after the U.S. government has concluded its test of The Bomb at the site of a small mining town. A family consisting of father Big Bob (Ted Levine), mom (Kathleen Quinlan) married daughter (Vinessa Shae), her husband Doug (Aaron Stanford), their baby, and two teens (Emilie de Ravin and Dan Byrd), pulls into one of those Last-Stop-for-200-Miles gas stations, and the shifty attendant sends them on a dirt road “short cut.” Anyone up for a chorus of “Highway to Hell”?

Someone along the road deliberately blows out their tires. They’re too far off the blazed path to use a cell phone and as night settles in, the bomb-damage mutants who live in the rocks attack the Airstream in search of loot, gals to rape, and human bodies to cannibalize.

Act one gets us into the trouble. Act two is primarily siege, and act three sends the previously ineffectual Doug into the enemy camp to rescue his kidnapped baby.

Act two is where everything falls apart. It’s here that Aja lets us get a look at the mutated uglies that are after the good folks in the trailer. Yeah, the makeup guys have done a smack-up job making the cannibals look hideous, like human versions of the three-eyed fish on “The Simpsons,” but they were a lot scarier when they were just fleeting figures running across the screen, or shadowy whatzits in our peripheral vision. As soon as we see what they are, they lose a lot of their fear factor.

The tension picks up in act three as Doug searches in the mining town for his missing kid. It’s one of those places wherein the government set up mannequins as stand-ins for humans so the effects of radioactive wind could be tested, and the mutants have re-situated the dummies to substitute for real people. The mannequins placed naturalistically among the mid-1950s décor and relentless dust make for some mighty creepy visuals.

But that’s about as far as it goes. Aja is one of those horror directors who are convinced that people covered in blood, bearing ugly faces, and lots of axes are scary. They’re not. At best, they’re just gross.

“The Hills Have Eyes” is one of those horror movies that freak out people who don’t see horror movies very often, and the reason they don’t see more of them is because the last one they saw was like “The Hills Have Eyes”—depending on sudden loud noises and ultra-violence for most of its BOO moments. It doesn’t aim very high, so the targets it does manage to hit are pretty close to the ground.

It’s not quite a yawn, but it sure isn’t a yell, either.

link directly to this review at https://www.efilmcritic.com/review.php?movie=14095&reviewer=405
originally posted: 03/22/06 03:46:59
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Horror Remakes: For more in the Horror Remakes series, click here.

User Comments

2/13/17 morris campbell harsh but alot better than the original 4 stars
4/01/16 Aj wales This is better than the original. 4 stars
1/04/14 Marty Pretty solid horror movie with some gross-out moments and good acting/action. 4 stars
8/12/11 jiropan best remake......so brutal and intense movie 5 stars
5/15/11 stephen nettles EXCELLENT 5 stars
9/07/10 art never saw the original!,so this verison is GET"s a "THUMb's up'' from your's truly! 4 stars
3/07/10 randy todger awesome 5 stars
12/31/09 art AN EXCELLENT HORROR FILM!,and this was a remake?,you could knock me with a feather! 1 4 stars
10/20/08 Shaun Wallner Scary Film! 5 stars
7/20/08 Shaun Wallner Bloody Awesome!!! 5 stars
7/12/08 John Millheim Creepy, good horror, the dudes are gross looking in the hills 5 stars
6/28/08 Danny See the original instead. Trust me on this one. 1 stars
12/09/07 Vincent sick horror movie 5 stars
7/21/07 al smith fucking amazing nuff said 5 stars
4/27/07 Total Crap Very disturbing, but it's no "Last House on the Left" 3 stars
3/01/07 Beau So disgusting !!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!! i wouldnt see it again but not too bad horror 3 stars
2/16/07 Axel Leos boring and why make remakes, they only ruin the original movie 2 stars
12/30/06 Pavid Smorpal33ni bad film. 1 stars
11/03/06 David Pollastrini good gore. 4 stars
10/23/06 WTF Ugh, Man! What the Fuck?! This is Ultra-Disturbing. And the gore. I could not eat a chip. 4 stars
10/09/06 Booksworm Aww, I was hoping you'd like it.That way I could say it was crap. 1 stars
10/01/06 Soraya ROBERT JOY was incredible as LIZARD! What a great movie and well acted too... 5 stars
8/29/06 Nick A lot of gore! And good emotions! Nice Job Wes! 4 stars
8/12/06 Indrid Cold Does a great job bringing the pain and otherwise defying expectations. 4 stars
8/09/06 Dragon The Artist Not enough cannibalism,the head psycho resembledRubberJohnny&that dog kept being the hero 1 stars
8/02/06 dan alot like the original but worth watching 4 stars
7/24/06 Samuel I'm not sure it's a sgood as the origional, but it's right up there...damn good remake!! 4 stars
7/11/06 Kyle Technically better than orig., but the main characters are a bit more wooden. 3 stars
6/27/06 Dillon This movie has balls. Props to Aja and his crew. 4 stars
6/25/06 MP Bartley Goes on a bit. Satisfying for the gorehounds but little else. 3 stars
6/24/06 Mike How is this different than Wrong Turn? Wrong turn into desert and attacked by cannibals 3 stars
6/13/06 Tasia I loved this movie...even if it was a little different from the original..it was worth it! 5 stars
6/05/06 misty great 5 stars
5/12/06 Marcia Zarwetten-Grassi Like 3 kids & a baby could survive in desert after blowin up their food & water. Yeah! 3 stars
4/30/06 Alex de Fig I'm glad thats over. Entertaining but very unsettling. 3 stars
4/23/06 Dan I liked this... Alexandre Aja is a top director 5 stars
4/18/06 Dave Pretty good, but not a classic horror film at all 4 stars
4/13/06 San Lamar A MUST SEE!!!! AMAZING!!!! 5 stars
4/06/06 Troy M. Grzych Predictable and Reminisent of "Texas Chainsaw" but provides some scares. 3 stars
4/04/06 haney awesome!!!!!!!!!!! 5 stars
4/04/06 y2mckay first half drags, last half is gruesome fun (I counted at least four axe-to-head scenes) 3 stars
4/03/06 JRE it's really scary, but disgusting at the same time. if you're squimish, stay away 4 stars
3/30/06 M. Dido Ted Levine is a demigod! Everyone else pales by comparison! 3 stars
3/24/06 jesika umm.. if uve seen texas chain saw/wrong turn- my friend - uve seen this one - ugh! 2 stars
3/24/06 Ole Man Bourbon Pretty shittty really 2 stars
3/23/06 ROY L. CAIN JR. What a horror movie should be. Pass the kayro syrup ! 5 stars
3/22/06 Bryan Locks This film is alot more disturbing than scary.Unless your'e a sick freak, don't waste your $ 2 stars
3/20/06 Dk Not scary enough just ultra bloody 3 stars
3/16/06 bob furgerson Best horror movie I have seen in a long time 5 stars
3/15/06 great surprised at all the bad reviews, i thought it was really good, really disturbing scenes 5 stars
3/14/06 Lester M. Davis What more can you ask of a horror flick. 3 stars
3/14/06 Tyler L Awesome movie, Aja is someone to keep an eye on. 5 stars
3/13/06 Juicy J I puked from this movie....in glory!! 5 stars
3/12/06 lee Although intense and brutal, the film runs out of steam. 3 stars
IF YOU'VE SEEN THIS FILM, RATE IT!
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USA
  10-Mar-2006 (R)
  DVD: 20-Jun-2006

UK
  10-Mar-2006

Australia
  20-Apr-2006



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