HOME |  CULT MOVIES | COMPETITIONS | ADVERTISE |  CONTACT US |  ABOUT US
 
 
Newest Reviews
Beach Bum, The
Kill Ben Lyk
Into the Mirror
Support the Girls
Werewolf
Little Monsters
Spider-Man: Far from Home
Horrible Histories: The Movie - Rotten Romans
Pentathlon
Anna
Moulin Rouge
Ray & Liz
African Queen, The
Helen Morgan Story, The
Golem, Der
Yentl
Finishing Line, The
Triple Threat
Mysterious Castle in the Carpathians, The
Driven
Planet of the Dinosaurs
Gwen
Big Breadwinner Hog
Thunder Road
Moby Dick
Frankenstein's Great Aunt Tillie
Mad Room, The
Phantom of the Megaplex
Night Sitter, The
Child's Play
Power, The
Midsommar
After Midnight
Dolemite is My Name
Varda by Agnes
Toy Story 4
Master Z: Ip Man Legacy
Man Who Never Was, The
Greener Grass
Scobie Malone
   
 
Newest Articles
Cleesed Off: Clockwise on Blu-ray
Sorry I Missed You: Les Demoiselles de Rochefort on Blu-ray
Silliest of the Silly: Monty Python's Flying Circus Series 1 on Blu-ray
Protest Songs: Hair on Blu-ray
Peak 80s Schwarzenegger: The Running Man and Red Heat
Rock On: That'll Be the Day and Stardust on Blu-ray
Growing Up in Public: 7-63 Up on Blu-ray
Learn Your Craft: Legend of the Witches and Secret Rites on Blu-ray
70s Psycho-Thrillers! And Soon the Darkness and Fright on Blu-ray
Split: Stephen King and George A. Romero's The Dark Half on Blu-ray
Disney Post-Walt: Three Gamechangers
But Doctor, I Am Pagliacci: Tony Hancock's The Rebel and The Punch and Judy Man on Blu-ray
Once Upon a Time in Deadwood: Interview with Director Rene Perez
Shit-Eating Grim: Salo, or the 120 Days of Sodom on Blu-ray
Stallone's 80s Action Alpha and Omega: Nighthawks and Lock Up
Python Prehistory: At Last the 1948 Show and Do Not Adjust Your Set on DVD
You Could Grow to Love This Place: Local Hero on Blu-ray
Anglo-American: Joseph Losey Blu-ray Double Bill - The Criminal and The Go-Between
Marvel's Least Loved and Most Loved: Fantastic 4 vs Avengers: Endgame
Battle of the Skeksis: The Dark Crystal Now and Then
American Madness: Sam Fuller's Shock Corridor and The Naked Kiss on Blu-ray
Flight of the Navigator and the 80s Futurekids
Trains and Training: The British Transport Films Collection Volume 13 on DVD
Holiday from Hell: In Bruges on Blu-ray
The Comedy Stylings of Kurt Russell: Used Cars and Captain Ron
   
 
  Hills Have Eyes, The Families At WarBuy this film here.
Year: 2006
Director: Alexandre Aja
Stars: Aaron Stanford, Ted Levine, Kathleen Quinlan, Emilie de Ravin, Dan Byrd, Vinessa Shaw, Michael Bailey Smith, Billy Drago, Robert Joy, Laura Ortiz, Ezra Buzzington, Tom Bower, Ivana Turchetto, Desmond Askew, Maisie Camilleri Preziosi
Genre: Horror
Rating:  6 (from 1 vote)
Review: Out in the deserts of New Mexico, a team of scientists are conducting analyses for radiation due to the nuclear weapons tests that took place there in the twentieth century. Suddenly they are interrupted by a bloodied figure stumbling towards them begging for help and they are abruptly attacked by whoever the man was fleeing from... Meanwhile, a family are travelling with their caravan through the desert on their way to California as part of the twenty-fifth wedding anniversary of Big Bob (Ted Levine) and his wife Ethel (Kathleen Quinlan) and pull up at the only gas station around for miles. Youngest son Bobby (Dan Byrd) has the oddest feeling of being watched while they wait, and with good reason as they are heading towards great danger...

Wes Craven produced this, the remake of his influential, cult horror of the seventies and handed the reins to young up and coming genre talents Alexandre Aja and Grégory Levasseur, who both adapted the script while Aja directed. It could be said there was an abundance of horrors of the first decade of the twenty-first century that were largely tributes to the horror of the decade thirty years earlier, The Hills Have Eyes among them, so this version opts for emphasising two elements: the social side, which verges on the blackly satirical, and the violence, which is as nasty as they can get away with.

Yet that opening aside, Aja and Levasseur are happy to let the tension gradually build up without diving headlong into the action. We are made aware that the gas station owner is in cahoots with whoever is out there bumping off the unwary, so when he suggests a shortcut to the family we are already one step ahead of the story. And predictably the vehicles are scuppered when their tires burst after running over a booby trap, but Big Bob thinks it's just the heat that has caused this and the subsequent crash. There's only one thing to do, and that's have Bob walk one way back to the gas station, and his son-in-law Doug (Aaron Stanford) walk the other way to see what's up ahead.

As this goes on, Bobby heads off in pursuit of one of their two pet dogs who has zoomed off after barking at something unseen beyond the nearest hill. The sun-bleached landscape is shot in an appropriately alien fashion, making it all the more unnerving when Bobby finds his pet disemboweled among the rocks, and then meets an unfortunate accident himself. Once Big Bob reaches his the station, all hell is poised to break loose, particularly when the owner blows his own brains out with a shotgun and someone knocks Bob unconscious. Following this what basically happens is much as the original, with two groups of people, two families, going hammer and tongs to destroy each other before the other destroys them, but there's a depth behind the expected havoc.

Yes, this version has further pretentions to social comment than the original and appears to be positing a civil war between America's haves and have-nots. Above a criticism of the U.S.A.'s nuclear testing policy which has rendered its villains bloodthirsty mutants, and possibly cannibals to boot, is a statement that an underclass is about to rise up and demand, if not the right to murder their oppressors as they do here, then the right to take revenge on the indignities they suffer so that others higher up the scale may survive comfortably. This is a provocative aspect that sadly doesn't get enough space to breathe in bewtween all the baby kidnappings and pickaxes in craniums that make up the greater part of the second half, but if you really must remake old movies for new audiences, then Aja and Levasseur are wise to build on the themes of the predecessor, and perhaps unnecessarily that of Straw Dogs as the namby pamby liberal Doug is forced to turn he-man against the onslaught. Music by tomandandy.
Reviewer: Graeme Clark

 

This review has been viewed 3414 time(s).

As a member you could Rate this film

 
Review Comments (0)


Untitled 1

Login
  Username:
 
  Password:
 
   
 
Forgotten your details? Enter email address in Username box and click Reminder. Your details will be emailed to you.
   

Latest Poll
Which star do you think makes the best coffee?
Emma Stone
Anna Kendrick
Michelle Rodriguez
Sir Patrick Stewart
   
 
   

Recent Visitors
Graeme Clark
Andrew Pragasam
Enoch Sneed
Darren Jones
Paul Smith
  Rachel Franke
Paul Shrimpton
  Desbris M
   

 

Last Updated: