‘The lucky ones die first’
The Hills Have Eyes is a 2006 action horror feature film and remake of Wes Craven’s 1977 film The Hills Have Eyes. Written by filmmaking partners Alexandre Aja and Grégory Levasseur of the French horror film High Tension, and directed by Aja, the film follows a family which becomes the target of a group of murderous mutants after their car breaks down in the desert.
The film’s soundtrack score was composed by tomandandy (47 Meters Down; Sinister 2; The Strangers)
The film earned $15.5 million in its opening weekend in the United States, where it was originally rated NC-17 for strong gruesome violence, but was later edited down to an R-rating. An unrated Blu-ray release, ‘the version to die for’, has since been issued.
Buy Blu-ray: Amazon.com
A sequel, The Hills Have Eyes 2, (not to be confused with The Hills Have Eyes Part II from 1984) was released on March 23, 2007.
Wes Craven, director and writer of the original film, considered a remake after he saw the success of other horror remakes such as The Texas Chainsaw Massacre and The Amityville Horror. The search then began for filmmakers to helm the project. Marianne Maddalena, Craven’s longtime producing partner, came across Alexandre Aja and his art director/collaborator Grégory Levasseur who had previously made the French slasher film Haute Tension. After showing the film to Craven and the rest of the production crew, they were impressed with the pair.
Prior to filming, Aja and Levasseur had already conceived an idea for the mutants’ appearance. “We based all our descriptions and directions on real documents, pictures and footage that we found on the effects of nuclear fallout in Chernobyl and Hiroshima”, explained Aja. The Hills Have Eyes utilized the KNB EFX Group Inc. who had done previous work on projects such as The Walking Dead and Sin City.
Buy Blu-ray: Amazon.co.uk
“… a refreshingly good remake. I think Aja actually made some marked improvements over the original Wes Craven film. The remake is a different film from Craven’s, but that’s one of the things that makes The Hills Have Eyes (2006) so effective.” DVD Talk
“Gore fans will love this flick’s extremely violent scenes, but those looking for genuine scares will be left unfulfilled. Hills goes out of its way to terrorize its audience but rather than take the cerebral highway, it goes for the gross-out shortcut, and breaks down halfway home.” Movie Metropolis
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Cast and characters:
Maxime Giffard … First Victim
Michael Bailey Smith … Pluto
Tom Bower … Gas Station Attendant
Ted Levine … Big Bob
Kathleen Quinlan … Ethel
Dan Byrd … Bobby
Emilie de Ravin … Brenda
Aaron Stanford … Doug
Vinessa Shaw … Lynn
Maisie Camilleri Preziosi … Baby Catherine
Robert Joy … Lizard
Laura Ortiz … Ruby
Ezra Buzzington … Goggle
Billy Drago … Papa Jupiter
Greg Nicotero … Cyst
Ivana Turchetto … Big Mama
Desmond Askew … Big Brain
Judith Jane Vallette … Small Deformed Child
Adam Perrell … Small Deformed Child
108 minutes (unrated)
Aspect Ratio: 2.35: 1
Audio: DTS | SDDS | Dolby Digital