THE HILLS HAVE EYES (2006)
Release Date: March 10, 2006
Starring: Ted Levine, Vinessa Shaw,
Kathleen Quinlan, Aaron
Stanford, and Emilie de Ravin
Audience: Older teenagers and adults
Distributor: Fox Searchlight
Director: Alexandre Aja
Executive Producer: None
Producer: Wes Craven, Peter Locke and
Writer: Alexandre Aja and Gregory
Address Comments To:Stephen Gilula, President
Fox Searchlight Pictures
20th Century Fox Film Corp.
A Division of Fox, Inc.
10201 West Pico Blvd., Bldg. 38
Los Angeles, CA 90035
Phone: (310) 369-1833
Fax: (310) 369-3175
The Carter family has decided to spend their summer vacation trekking across the southwestern United States on a road trip to California. Although his family is less than thrilled about the expedition, Big Bob Carter (Ted Levine), a gruff police detective, is excited about the journey and convinced his family will warm up to the idea as the trip progresses. While refueling at a gas station in the remote New Mexico desert, a creepy gas station owner gives Bob directions for a scenic shortcut, which, as it turns out, leaves them stranded in the middle of a government atomic zone miles from civilization.
Bob departs to walk several miles back to the gas station and promises to return to his family shortly with help. Once night falls with Bob yet to have returned, however, the Carters soon discover they are being hunted by hideous, blood-thirsty “hill people,” mutants that have been deformed as a result of radiation from the U.S. government’s nuclear testing.
Just before Bob leaves for help, his wife Ethel (Kathleen Quinlan) leads her reluctant family in a prayer asking God to protect him and the rest of the family while he is gone for help. Ethel’s prayer, however, is viciously mocked with the events that soon follow.
Just as the Carters are tormented by the hill people, the movie’s audience is asked to suffer through an uneven narrative. By the middle of the movie, the most likable characters have already been violently murdered, which means that viewers, instead of pulling for the survivors, will likely find themselves simply rooting for the movie to end.
THE HILLS HAVE EYES (2006) was originally rated NC-17 by the Motion Picture Association of America, and one can only wonder how atrocious the original cut must have been. Nevertheless, Alexandre Aja’s remake is still incredibly self-indulgent, relentlessly violent and hopeless. Media-wise audiences will avoid this abhorrent movie.
Incredibly self-indulgent, relentlessly violent and hopeless, this movie is a sadistic, bloody mess in which evil triumphs over good. Just as the Carters are tormented by the hill people, the movie’s audience is asked to suffer through an uneven narrative with excessive gory violence and strong language. The most likable characters have already been murdered by the middle of the movie, which means that viewers, instead of pulling for the survivors, will likely find themselves rooting for the movie to end. Media-wise audiences will avoid this abhorrent movie.