Let me preface this review by saying that I never saw Wes Craven’s original The Hills Have Eyes so I won’t be able to compare this feature to that one. That said, I enjoyed this movie to the extent that I did not dislike it. This is to say that I was pretty much numb to this flick, it was neither good nor bad – it was mediocre in the best use of the word.
The Hills Have Eyes centers on the most unlikely story possible as a family is on its way to California to celebrate mom and pops anniversary. Included in this merry band are aforementioned mom and pop, little sis, little bro, big sis and her hubby (who is hated by pops by the way) and their infant child. Oh yeah, there are a couple of German Shepherd pooches as well named Beauty and Beast.
These poor saps have decided, on pop’s recommendation, to go on a family road trip, which includes an old school silver camper and plenty of red neck attitude as they make their way through the desert. Things change a bit as they stumble upon the worst gas station ever, manned by a fella you wouldn’t want to meet in any alley, let alone a dark one. This toothless wonder gives these friendly folks advice on how to make their trip shorter by cutting through “the hills” on a dirt road. “Should cut two hours off your trip,” says the old fool. “Okay! Yay! Let’s follow this guy’s advice.” And so they do, and our story begins.
For in them thar hills be mutant people – I am sorry I am laughing right now, the thought of mutant people in the hills makes me a bit giddy. These mutants used to be normal people however but were changed when the government began testing nuclear weapons in the desert. So these folks are a bit upset. Argh… grovel, grovel, grovel… You see, these people were miners and were warned to leave, but they weren’t leaving and were subsequently mutated as the bombs began to drop, which makes up the gruesome and twisted opening of the flick.
So our happy family, is traveling through the dirt in the desert with no particular idea on where they are going, “California you see,” when spikes are placed across the road blowing all six of their tires (you see there are only two on the camper). The blazer busts its front end in a giant rock and our plot is ready to kick start. The family is then tortured and tormented by the cannibalistic mutants who have somehow taken a liking to raw flesh right off the bone as opposed to cooking up a leg, thigh or ankle. At least break out the BBQ y’all, a little KC Masterpiece can go along way when you are chomping on some poor gals flabby arms.
Based on all that I hope you have concluded that this film has its fare share of gore. With all the hard-R films being released lately I have become a bit numb to the whole gore thing, but this is not to say I didn’t enjoy that portion of the flick. The Hills Have Eyes was directed by Alexandre Aja, the helmer of last year’s High Tension, which was just as gory, it just had such a shitty ending that it was ruined. This movie, however, does not have a shitty ending. Once you get past the “mutant in the hills” aspect this plotline actually works quite well, and the gore remains relentless.
It would be silly to go into the acting of the flick because all that is required is looking scared, screaming and a bit of slashing as just about everyone is given the opportunity to lay the smack down.
The Hills Have Eyes is a satisfying horror that fans of the genre should enjoy immensely. It is far from a flick that will hit classic status, but I can certainly see The Hills Have More Eyes down the pike. I am just wondering how they are going to convince another group of idiots to blindly go driving through the desert. Maybe it could be a group of teens that are exploring old mine shafts and the rumored deaths surrounding the particular mines in these hills. Hey!!! That’s my idea! Don’t copy it!