New York Times - 03/10/2006
"Directed in tense, concentrated jabs...the remake establishes a jittery family dynamic as well as the original..."
Total Film - 08/01/2006 3 stars out of 5 -- "[I]mpressively ferocious....[T]he movie matches the relentless high tension of the French filmmaker's breakthrough..."
Ultimate DVD - 07/01/2006 4 stars out of 5 -- "[T]he violence, when it comes, is stomach-churningly intense."
With his 2006 remake of Wes Craven's 1977 slasher THE HILLS HAVE EYES, French director Alexandre Aja manages to accomplish what many directors fail to do by making his film a definite improvement over the original. With Craven on board as producer, Aja sticks pretty closely to the first film's script and storyline, but with the help of a larger budget, special effects, better actors, and slick cinematography, creates a much scarier story. While the film's setting is contemporary, it maintains a 1970s feel in parts, paying tribute to the decade in which the slasher subgenre was born. With an interesting opening-credit sequence consisting of actual nuclear testing footage, we are told that the film's desert setting was the site of nuclear testing during the 1950s and ?60s. Warned to vacate, the miners that lived there refused to leave, thus subjecting themselves to high levels of toxic radiation, and breeding mutant babies as a result. It is this generation of now-grown mutants that the poor Carter family has the misfortune to encounter while driving through New Mexico on their way to California.
When their vehicle breaks down in the desert, the Carters are too busy bickering with one another to realize they have entered enemy territory. But it doesn't take long for the demented creatures living in the hills to make their presence known. The gorefest that follows is packed with terribly frightening scenes of the deformed killers delighting in the torment and intended kill of each family member, young mothers, teen girls, and babies included. Much of the film is set in a government-created test city in which deteriorating mannequins take the place of actual humans. Posing lifelessly alongside their mutant neighbors, these waxy figures provide a chilling backdrop for the graphic war between the mutants and their victims.
Theatrical Release |