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Movie rating system (0-2) The movie is balls (2-4) A few moments but mostly bad (4-5.5) Entertaining film but lacking something to make it good. (6-7.5) A recommendation meaning a good solid watch. (8-10) must watch films, they are usually leaders in their respective genre. I can also be found on Facebook or follow my blog at the bottom of this page. THERE MAY BE MINI SPOILERS AHEAD!!! But there will be no endings/twists/cameos/or large plot reveals given.

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Friday, 15 June 2012

The Hills Have Eyes

The Hills Have Eyes
Action (Horror)
Rated: R
Running Time: 107 minutes
Starring: Emelie De Ravin, Vinessa Shaw, Kathleen Quinlan, Dan Byrd, Aaron Stanford
Directed By: Alexandre Aja
Rating: 4 out of 10

A family is stranded in a New Mexico desert. With little chance of rescue they realize the barren landscape might not be as empty as it seems.

We know radiation in large doses can be detrimental to nature’s health. Blinky the three eyed fish from the Simpsons, The Hulk, Godzilla, and I can only assume Sloth from Goonies, were all caused by heavy exposure to radiation. You will quickly see why this is important. We find ourselves following the Carter family across the New Mexico desert. A wrong turn and a flat tire finds them stranded in the middle of nowhere with no cell phone reception and no human traffic. This desert used to be the testing place of Atomic bombs for the United States, and not all the inhabitants were so willing to leave.

 I liked the start of this movie as it gives you a bloody taste of what is to come. There is no build up of suspense it just prepares you for the bloody viscera spray that you know will happen with urgent frequency. After the opening, this movie is no more and no less than the word bizarre. The Carter family itself is a gun toting, Jesus loving, roving group of America propaganda. So basically picture the opposite to the television show Glee. They are travelling across the country together in a tiny RV , and taking the back roads to their destination. I never understand these movies because ultimately the Carter family gets lost with the help of a creepy gas station attendant, but they are not that lost. I won’t get into that much but if people went missing this regularly along this stretch of road someone would notice.

 The desert setting itself is great at night but what isn’t scary at night when you are isolated? The actual frights are more gross than scary and when they are scary it is the usual loud convenient bump or noise that gives you a jolt. The people in the hills that terrorize the Carter family are here for a little mayhem and fun and are very well put together. They are as varied and disgusting as one would hope in a film like this. Hideous deformities are the norm in this desert and they put a lot of thought into makeup and costume.  

 With a little known cast the acting of the Carter family itself I was not upset with. Although the dialogue tended to be very stilted and at times forced they seemed to be genuinely scared. They also were not as dumb as most people in horrors so It did not detract from the film. The bickering between them though to start the movie was terrible and could have been rewritten. The mutants required very little acting but were solid in their performances.

All in all though people watch these types of movies for the scare factor and I have to admit there were the odd moments but nothing to write home about. You can tell this movie prided itself on trying to disgust the viewer and for the most part it works on that level. Cannibalism, torture, incest, is all in a day’s work for these mutants and those are a few of the milder things happening in this film. I will say this though the gore is well done I am just not sure who likes watching it to this degree.

Director Alexandre Aja has put together a truly bizarre and disgusting film. He does a few things well though. The mutant designs are great and the musical score during the scenes of violence is different yet works. He does a few scenes of gore very well and the movie is never boring. What he doesn’t do well though offsets the good. I understand this movie is a remake from the same named film in the 70’s but it doesn’t need to have that same vibe. Even though this is happening in the present the Carter family seems to be right out of the 70’s. Their clothes, hairstyle, vehicle, in fact everything about this film including some of the musical score is very out of place. You will be surprised every time someone pulls out a cell phone as it will seem wrong somehow. Also some of the scenes of gore are more comical than scary. All in all he did an okay job just needed to tweak some things to make this movie work.

 I cannot give this movie a recommendation. Ultimately the viewer is here for scares and frights not shock and disgust. The hills maybe have eyes but I doubt they would tune into this movie for long.

 T Factor + If you like scenes of shocking gore this could score higher on the rating scale.

 T Factor – If you do not like shocking scenes of violence then this could score lower on the rating scale.

If you liked this film reel recommendations: Wrong Turn, Chernobyl Diaries

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