The Hills Have Eyes is easily the second worst movie I’ve seen this year (the first being Broken Flowers). There’s only one word to describe it: BORING. It reminded me of the original Texas Chainsaw Massacre, and no that is not a compliment. For the first half of the movie I just kept waiting for something to happen, and when interesting things did start happening, it just wasn’t good enough.
So here’s the set-up: a family on a cross-country drive blows a tire and their wheel axle breaks.They’re in the middle of the New Mexico desert in the middle of summer. There’s Dad, Mom, two daughters, the son, the son-in-law and the baby granddaughter. The first half of the movie is all about family drama – Dad always gets lost, son-in-law is smoking again and the wife doesn’t know, Dad hates the son-in-law, etc. The dad and the son-in-law head out to find help, since the truck pulling the camper is totalled. Dad heads one way, son-in-law heads another. Dad doesn’t come back. The son-in-law finds a random little crater filled with empty cars, yet instead of being creeped out, he assumes it’s some kind of dumping ground. Just after he gets back to the camper is when all the so-called action starts.
The attack scenes could have been better. They’re bloody and gross, but there’s no real fear put into them. I wasn’t invested in what was happening. I was so numb with boredom from the first half of the movie, that by time the characters were in danger, I almost wanted them to die. If it made the movie end faster, I would have been all for every character dying.
Here’s the part that I don’t understand: the killers are mutated people whose mutations were caused by nuclear fallout from testing in the ’40s. Fine. They’re deformed, they’re ugly, and angry. But why kill random people? Yes, they’re mad that they were deformed by nuclear fallout. But the government told them to leave, and they didn’t. It’s not like they weren’t warned. And, if you’re so mad at the people conducting the nuclear tests, why are you killing random travellers that wander across your path?
I can’t speak for the original 1977 film written and directed by Wes Craven, but this version was complete crap. In fact, the only reason it’s getting the half star rating from me instead of zero is because I have enough respect for Wes Craven to believe that this film must have been a complete butchery of his original.
Final Snob suggestion: Don’t bother spending your time and money on this nonsense. Go check out V for Vendetta instead (since I completely 100% agree with MovieSnob Scott’s review of the film).
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