Cast:Michael Bailey Smith, Tom Bower, Ted Levine, Kathleen Quinlan, Dan Byrd, Emilie de Ravin, Aaron Stanford, Vinessa Shaw, Maisie Camilleri Preziosi, Robert Joy, Laura Ortiz, Ezra Buzzington, Billy Drago, Desmond Askew
Director Alexandre Aja is really making a name for himself amongst the horror community, first with the gory French slasher High Tension, and now this -- a remake that actually tops the original! Of course, the original wasn't all that great, especially with the half-assed ending it offered. I was open to the idea of a remake of The Hills Have Eyes when first word was announced, especially since Aja was set to direct. Having seen the film, I have to say that I'm amazed at how much the MPAA actually let him get away with. Naturally there were cuts for it to receive an R-rating, but what it managed to bring on-screen was pretty intense and gory stuff. It just goes to show how lenient they have come to be with gritty and violent horror films like Saw and more-recently, Hostel.
The storyline pretty much stays the same as the original -- basically following a family as they go across-country towards California. While crossing some desert terrain they stumble into an area that was once used by the government for nuclear testing. The family takes a wrong detour and end up stranded in the middle of nowhere, where there's no one except themselves to seek aid from. In an attempt to find help, two men from the group split up in opposite directions, hoping to come across someone. It doesn't take long before the mutated desert people come to cause trouble, raping and murdering their way into the family trailer, essentially leaving the family to fend for themselves and forcing the least likely of heroes to spawn from this carnage.
I really liked this movie. It had tense scenes, a good mix of violence and gore, and the pacing never once seemed to slow down. Unlike in the original, where it slowed down in parts, and it definitely wasn't as gory as this one. It's rare that a remake surpasses its predecessor, but it does happen, and in this case it did, thanks to Alexandre Aja's twisted mind. I'm looking forward to see what else this director has in stored for the genre.
This is a surprisingly good movie. There's a nice blend of gore and violence to please any horror fan. Although I liked the original, this definitely surpassed it in many ways.
|Posted on February 5, 2010 - 12:16pm | FrighT MasteR|