Directed by: Alexandre Aja
Written by:Alexandre Aja, Gregory Levasseur
Starring: Ted Levine, Kathleen Quinlan, Aaron Stanford, Vinessa Shaw, Dan Byrd, Emilie de Ravin
Released: April 20, 2006
Grade: C+

It’s not often that a horror film is rated R here in Australia.  We’ve seen two though in the last two months – Hostel first and now The Hills Have Eyes.  I think the only reason I go to these violent horror flicks is to see how far they are prepared to “push the envelope”.  We have become more and more desensitised to violence over the years and filmmakers have to find new ways to scare us silly.

For this reason, there is no point recommending this film to anyone perturbed by bloodshed.  You won’t find any Oscar-worthy performances or anything resembling a realistic storyline.  You only need see this flick if you want a fright and in my honest opinion, you won’t even get that.  For all the fake blood and special effects that are used, I was never on the edge of my seat.  The Aussie slasher flick Wolf Creek was rated MA and offered much more in the scary department.

The Hills Have Eyes is set in an isolated part of the American desert.  A family on a sight-seeing expedition have become stranded when their car (and attached campervan) crashes on a lonely, dirt road.  This is no accident.

Many years ago, the American military performed nuclear tests in the desert.  The resulting radiation had a catastrophic effect on a small number of miners working in the area at the time.  They became deformed and their intent on revenge has seen them develop a taste for human blood.  This won’t be the first time they’ve preyed on an unassuming family…

The movie is actually a remake of Wes Craven film of the same name which was released in 1977.  There’s no denying that this new film is violent but as I hinted at earlier, it doesn’t add up to much.  There are standard killings and standard close escapes.  Even fans of the horror genre will be disappointed.