Yojimbo's Movie Review of The Hills Have Eyes (2006)

Rating of

The Hills Have Eyes (2006)

"The Hills Have Eyes" by Yojimbo
Yojimbo - wrote on 03/25/12

A family driving through the desert in their mobile home are hijacked by a group of mutants living amongst the ruins of a nuclear test site. I hated the original version of this movie with a passion. It seemed to me to be a load of gratuitous ugliness aimed at voyeuristic sadists. I was willing to give this a go however because I was quite impressed with the remake of Texas Chainsaw Massacre, and generally try to keep an open mind (except where it comes to musicals of course.) On the plus side, it actually bothered to make the victims 3 dimensional characters, and they were in fact quite a likable, mildly dysfunctional bunch; pretty much like an ordinary family. It also avoids visual gimmickry, and the dreaded shaky cam, which I was thankful for. And it kept my attention til the end. On the other hand, it ticks a lot of the "crap horror movie" boxes; namely it contains the lines "Why are you doing this to us?" and "I'm so scared". It has a crap, barely sketched out back story to excuse the carnage. It has mysterious shapes running around in the foreground/background. It shows far more ugly violence than it needs in order to facilitate the story. And the soundtrack is one of the worst I've EVER heard (it actually has a rousing, cheerleading crescendo while someone is having their head bashed in and being blown apart by a shotgun as if you're suppose to applaud the fact.) I'm going to have to sit on the fence about this one because I know there is a market for it and it does have some cinematic merit in that it's directed and acted reasonably well (which is more than I can say for the original.) However I am certainly not part of it as I find it very hard to enjoy watching people being brutalized and sexually abused, and don't really feel like cheering when someone has an axe buried repeatedly in their spine; no matter how much they "deserved" it.

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