September 22, 2015

Blu-ray Review: The Hills Have Eyes (2006)

http://www.imdb.com/title/tt0454841/
(aka Mongoloid Mayhem)
Release Date: March 10th, 2006.
Country: USA
Rating: UR
Written by: Alexandre Aja, Gregory Levasseur, and Wes Craven. 
Directed by: Alexandre Aja. 
Starring: Aaron Stanford, Dan Byrd, Emilie de Ravin, Vinessa Shaw, Kathleen Quinlan, Ted Levine, Billy Drago, and Robert Joy.

For some unknown reason we decided to pull this movie off of the shelf and give it a spin. We haven't seen it in years, and being that it's a remake of a classic Wes Craven movie that is Executive Produced by Craven himself, it just felt like good time to revisit this better-than-most re-telling.

It's been years since we've seen this one, and now having watched it again, we can safely say two things: This is a great remake that is better than the original in most ways; and we forgot how crazy gory this movie was.

Bob and Ethel are traveling cross-country form Ohio to California, to celebrate their Silver Anniversary. They have their three kids, a son in law, a baby, and two German Shepherds in tow, so that's seven people and two big dogs in a truck and an Airstream Camper... Why Bob didn't just fly he and his wife to Paris or something, I have no idea. It would have made for a much better Anniversary.

YEAH, SHE LOOKS THRILLED.
When they stop for gas somewhere in the middle of the New Mexico desert, the skeevy old bastard who runs the fillin' station tells them to take an off-map shortcut through the hills, if they're interested in cutting some time off of their long drive. Like idiots, they decide to take the shortcut, because they're idiots. You see, the hills have eyes (which, as it turns out, belong to mongoloid cannibals), and by taking the shortcut, they are pretty much walking into a death trap.

BIG BRAIN AKA ELEPHANTITIS HEAD. 
After driving right into the mongoloid trap, which leaves them wrecked and stranded, Bob and Doug decide to head in opposite directions for help, leaving the women and the baby in the care of youngest son, Bobby. From here on out, everything goes to complete shit, and everyone pretty much gets raped, murdered, and eaten.

Really, no one comes out of this in good shape at all. Not even the baby.

THE GUY WITH THE PICK AXE DOES ALRIGHT FOR HIMSELF THOUGH.
As good as the Wes Craven original was, there's a part of us that likes this remake even more. Blasphemy, I know, but this movie just goes there in a way that the original didn't. The original Hills was a nasty, bleak, ultra-violent shocker, and yet somehow this remake ups the ante in all of those departments, and manages to be even nastier on all fronts.

Once the violent stuff beings, this movie doesn't let up. In fact, it gets more violent, and more intense as the minutes go by. Aja, at least in the Unrated Version, holds nothing back as far as the violence and  gore goes, and things get so graphic that we wondered how Fox Searchlight ever agreed to put this one into U.S. theaters. Of course the version that played in theaters wasn't Unrated, and so it was way less visceral, but still. This is definitely NC-17 material.

When Wes Craven decided to hire Alexandre Aja to direct this movie, he made the best choice possible. Aja gave us Haute Tension (which we absolutely love), and so who better to remake such a violent movie in an even more violent, disturbing manner? No one, that's who.

WE WAKE UP SCREAMING AND BLOODY LIKE THAT ALL THE TIME. DON'T ASK.
The thing that really makes the movie so unbearably intense, is the fact that we like the characters, even if they did act like idiots half of the time. Getting to know them, and then watching them being raped, burned alive, shot, cut up, and beaten to pulps had a genuine effect on us. That of course is due to a strong script, but also to the fact that the cast was equally as strong.

Ted Levine is great in anything he's in, and this movie is no exception. Emilie de Ravin and Vinessa Shaw, in addition to being hot as sin, made for really likable sisters, and it was hard to watch them go through everything that happened to them. We even felt for Aaron Stanford, whose Doug was a complete dickhead.

This was just a well put together movie from to to bottom.

WELL AIN'T HE PURTY.
The communication between the characters in this movie was horrible, to the point where it pissed us off.

  • Found your dog disemboweled in a hidden cropping of rocks? Don't tell anyone, because that might scare them.
  • Three women and an infant in a trailer? Leave them there to go off into the night on multiple occasions, because they're probably not in any danger.
  • Find two mongoloids holding your baby and sister hostage? Don't scream and alert the men with guns, because what good could they possibly do?

IF ONLY YOU'D SCREAMED...
Poor doggie.

NOT THIS DOGGIE. THE OTHER ONE.
The Unrated Version of this movie is one of the bloodiest "mainstream" Hollywood Horror movies that we've ever seen. That's not even hyperbole, that's just a cold hard fact. The amount of blood and graphic violence in this one is staggering. Gorehounds will be delighted.

THAT GUY WENT ON THE ROUGHEST RIDE OF THEM ALL.
No nudity, but Emilie de Ravin and Vinessa Shaw were looking mighty good... until things get bloody, of course. Nothing was sexy after that.

WHAT GIRL DOESN'T SUNBATHE IN HER BRA IN FRONT OF HER FAMILY?
While on a road trip, never, ever, ever, ever, take a shortcut through the desert to save time. It's always a trap.

YOU DIDN'T THINK THEY'D ACTUALLY KILL THE BABY, DID YOU?
One of the best remakes ever made, as well as one of the goriest Horror movies to come along in years, The Hills Have Eyes does the original proud in just about every way. This movie is so violent and bloody that it becomes almost exhausting towards the end, but this is exactly how Backwoods Horror should be done.

If you have yet to see this remake, don't put it off any longer.

A

The Hills Have Eyes is available now on Blu-ray, DVD, and VOD.

http://amzn.to/1iHWjgm

The hills also have babes.

5 comments :

  1. The first time I saw this I couldn't make it through the camper scene. To this day it remains the only movie I could handle, About a year ago I finally sat down and watched the whole thing and that camper scene is still one of the most fucked up thing I've ever seen in a movie.

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    Replies
    1. Yeah, I honestly didn't remember it being THAT intense and brutal. Definitely a hard scene, and movie overall, to endure.

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  2. The best part for me is when Doug unexpectedly from total ass become the hero saving his baby while Beast accompanying him.

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    Replies
    1. One of the best and most complete character turnarounds ever. He really was an ass.

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  3. Totally agree with your comments. This is a mean and nasty classic...

    *SPOILER*
    ...which makes it damn ungrateful of me to complain, but why, after everything they showed us, did they cut away from the dogs revenge on Cyst? Animal lovers around the world had a right to enjoy that moment!

    ReplyDelete