Score: Technical: 60, Story: 50, Acting: 50, Overall Score: 53

Directed By: Alexandre Aja

Written By: Wes Craven (Original Screenplay)
Alexandre Aja (Screenplay)
Remaking the 1977 film by Wes Craves, Director Alexandre Aja (High Tension) re-explores the story of a family who get lost on a road trip to California, only to discover that they are in the middle of nowhere, and not alone.

In walking through Best Buy, my attention was diverted from the normal barrage of audio/visual stimulation by a cleverly packaged DVD. The Best Buy exclusive uncut version of The Hills Have Eyes has a clear plastic cover filled with red colored oil in water. As I was about to find out, this was to distract from how bad this film was.

I understand there’s a certain formula to slasher movies, and it’s difficult to do anything even remotely original in this genre, but this was as bad as they come. Every point of the plot was predictable, the acting was lame, and you could almost prepare for every increased decibel blast you were about to receive. The antagonists in this version differ from the original, being horribly mutated people living in the hills of a former nuclear test site. It opens doors in the story that could have taken it on a unique path, but it somehow becomes more comical than anything. The mutants’ interaction with the environment and each other is mostly confusing and pulls you out of any sour mood a good slasher is supposed to put you in. Another creative decision made in this movie that could have made it a million times better was shooting the more intense scenes in the “Private Ryan” 60 frames per second, giving a more choppy and erratic feel. Unfortunately, it becomes one of a long list of distractions that try to connect into a cohesive package, but ends up being everything that we’ve already seen and more.

Despite the plotholes and predictiability, I would suggest this DVD to any fan of this genre. The behind-the-scenes reel is great and goes into detail about every aspect of the film and what it took to make it, and if that’s not enough, there are two commentaries by Alexandre Aja and Wes Craven. In short, I was more entertained by the supplements on the DVD than the actual movie itself.

The Hills Have Eyes

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The Hills Have Eyes (Unrated Edition)

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