31 Days of Horror Movies: The Hills Have Eyes (2006) (Mania.com)

By:Robert T. Trate
Review Date: Thursday, October 10, 2013
Source: Mania.com

Halloween is a special time. It is the one time of year when everyone gives of themselves. What they give can be anything from candy to a scare. We thought this October, we here at Mania would give you 31 Horror Films for the 31 days of October. Now, many of you will know these films. Some of you, may not. Get ready for 31 days of Horror Films that will run gauntlet from scary to campy, from horrific to down right ridiculous. Happy Halloween from Mania!

Here is a remake that is worth the watch, especially if you like films that have inbreeding, genetically altered, cannibalistic freaks. The Hills Have Eyes (2006) is directed by Alexandre Aja (Maniac 2013) and stars Aaron Stanford, Kathleen Quinlan, Emilie de Ravin, and Vinessa Shaw. The original The Hills Have Eyes (1977) was directed by a pre- Nightmare on Elm Street Wes Craven.  

The film is about the Carter family and their cross country trip through the desert to San Diego.  They get lost, of course, in the hills and have a run with its residents. Turns out these people, who have been living in solitude from the rest of the world, don’t like trespassers.

Alexandre Aja, who not only directed, but adapted the original screenplay, added a real story of survival, horror, and a true testament to the human spirit that I haven’t seen in a horror movie in a long time. This film is not for the timid or those with weak stomachs. It is relentless in its brutality.  At times, you do remind yourself that it is only a movie. What you are seeing feels so real and cruel that you understand what these characters are going through.

Aaron Stanford is superb as the son-in-law/ new father who takes control of the situation. I got curious as to who this actor was and was surprised to learn that he was Pyro in X2 (2003) and X-Men: The Last Stand (2006). More often than not, films of this nature have no one worth rooting for. Thankfully, Stanford changes that in this horror film. 

So, if you have a weak stomach, stay away. If you are daring enough to head for the hills, just promise me one thing, NEVER stop the DVD/ Blu-ray to take a break from these monsters. The Carter family never got a break and neither should you.

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Mania Grade: NA
Rated: R
Starring: Ted Levine, Kathleen Quinlan, Dan Byrd, Aaron Stanford
Written By: Alexandre Aja (screenplay), Grégory Levasseur (screenplay)
Directed By: Alexandre Aja
Genre: Inbred Freaks, Genetic Mutations
Running Time: 107 Minutes