Starring: Ezra Buzzington, Aaron Stanford, Kathleen Quinlan, Ted Levine and
Vinessa Shaw, Emilie de Ravin.

Directed by: Alex Aja

Story: The story of a family road trip that goes terrifyingly awry when the
travelers become stranded in a government atomic zone. Miles from nowhere,
the Carters soon realize the seemingly uninhabited wasteland is actually the
breeding ground of a blood-thirsty mutant family... and they are the prey.


I doubt that this is such a big issue to have such a problem with but I find it
very irritating when people go to see these films not knowing that it's been
done before and that the film they are about to watch is a remake to a much
older movie. So all you'll seem to get are mixed opinions and the occasional
"this is a rip-off" conversation with someone who doesn't know any better. It's
great to see a much younger audience going to the theatres and supporting
the genre with their well spent money. It's always fun to walk into these genre
films ready to be scared, freaked out or just entertained. Walking into this
movie I didn't really know what to expect but I did hope for the best. When
this film was first announced I had really mixed feelings about its outcome.
We're living in a time where we're starting to see more remakes. All the big
movie studios have been remaking films and creating new adaptations to
stories almost since day one, but now it's up to a point where we're seeing too
much of them and I really don't think I'm alone in this when I say that everyone
is getting tired of them.

It's not just me or the many other movie viewers who share this opinion but
it's also the people who you don't see that vote on those award shows who
feel the same way. With the genre there have been plenty of remakes over the
last five or six years. Very few capture the spirit and taste of the original but
some manage to surpass them, even if it's just in small scenes or the entire
picture. Alex Aja's the Hills Have Eyes is a great example of doing justice to the
original while making it more exciting and brutal then ever. The Hills Have Eyes
is a remake to the Wes Craven horror classic about a family who are on a road
trip to California. Along the way they stop at a gas station and they get
directions to a short cut that would save time. Sadly they were tricked and the
family found themselves stuck somewhere in the desert. When night falls they
find themselves to be prey for the planet family, a group of mutated cannibals
who are out for blood.

This film features the same plot as the original and it also includes all those
memorable scenes that we've seen before. The first thing that I wanted to
point out about that is that if you've seen the original film then you'll know
what happens in the movie. Most of the scenes were the same and some of the
old dialog is in there. What impressed me the most was the fact that I've seen
the original film so many times yet this film had my heart beating heavily during
all the crazy and intense scenes. I already knew how the scenes were going to
go and I knew how they were going to end but it still caught me with my mouth
open and I was very impressed with the small changes. Every brutal and
twisted scene from the original is more shocking and intense in this one. All the
scenes are intense thanks to a fantastic gritty score mixed with a lot of blood
and gore. Alex Aja achieved what Wes Craven couldn't back in 1977 thanks to
the low budget. This movie shows you the blood and guts and it's easy to see
why this film ended up receiving an NC-17 in it's first rating score.

Another plus for me was the fact that we get more of a back story behind
some of the characters in the film. It's explained much more thoroughly and
you understand why these characters are the way they are. You also get to see
some new scenes which show more about the main characters and their
relationships with each other. I enjoyed the fact that it was almost a mirror
image of the original film and I enjoyed the films high level of violence and
overall feel of horror. But like every genre film it's not perfect. While I had no
problem with the acting or the cast of characters there were some changes in
the script and some of the scenes that I really didn't like. The whole
becoming the hunted"
aspect isn't really carried in this movie. Most of the film
you just have to see the horror that this family has to go through and the only
real character that goes out for revenge is the father of the baby. That was
something from the original that I really missed and I thought that it was a bad
idea making the family more as victims for most of the picture. You won't see
them coming up with a plan or creating some neat traps, instead you'll fallow a
hero like character who is out to slaughter the mutated/cannibal family.

The whole
"civilized being the more savage" aspect isn't present in this film
either. It just puzzled me as to why they decided to make the main characters
a little less intelligent. I'm not an expert with stories or characters but I
thought that was a bad move and it was one of the few problems I had with
this remake. What I also didn't like is what they did with the ending. I did like
that they switched the last two scenes around but I just thought the way they
ended the film ruined the mood and had me puzzled for a while. In the past I've
tried my very best to look at these remakes and review them as if they were
just stand alone pictures. I realize more now than I did then that it's almost
impossible. Remakes are remakes and it just doesn't feel right if I don't
compare it to the original film. So with this film I compared it to the old one and
I'm sticking to my opinion that I enjoyed both films the same. There were
things that I loved in the original film that aren't present in this new version.
But the things that I didn't like in the original film are fixed and better in this
one. So after having mixed thoughts and views I finally came to the conclusion
that I enjoyed both movies the same.

If you've seen the original film then this movie shouldn't be any big surprise for
you. What is included though are more terrifying scenes mixed with brutal
blood and gore that wasn't possible in the old film. The looks to the characters
are improved and the entire aspect of it is more intense and hard to swallow. I
thought this film surpasses the original on those aspects but other than that it
just didn't have the same feel and I missed the overall message about society
and their savage ways. Not to mention they decided to make the characters
more like sitting ducks. But overall I thought Alex Aja's take on the original
classic was a good one. I enjoyed the film High Tension and I definitely liked
what he did with this picture. He made it more intense and brutal and it was
great to see that it's very much like the original film. Even if you've seen the old
movie this one should still be able to gave you some sort of chill. This movie
goes into my list of good genre remakes.

Overall: 7/10
Genre: Drama, Horror,
Thriller, Remake

Rated: R

Country: USA

Year: 2006

Runtime: 107 minutes

Studio: Fox


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Online since: February 20th, 2006
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Review done by: Nightmare Child
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