Sunday, September 11, 2011

The Hills Have Eyes (2006)

Director: Alexandre Aja

Starring: Aaron Stanford, Kathleen Quinlan, Vinessa Shaw, Emile de Ravin, Dan Byrd, Tom Bower, Billy Drago, Robert Joy, Ted Levine

More info: IMDb

Tagline: The lucky ones die first.

Plot: The Carters are an idyllic American family travelling through the great American southwest. But their trip takes a detour into an area closed off from the public, but more importantly from society. An area originally used by the U.S. Government for nuclear testing that was intended to be empty...or so they thought? When the Carter's car breaks down at the old site, they're stranded...or are they? As the Carters may soon realize that what seemed like a car casually breaking down, might actually be a trap. This trap might be perpetrated by the inhabitants of the site who aren't pulling a prank, but are out to set up a gruesome massacre.

My rating: 5.5/10

Will I watch it again? No.

The first half of the picture is very good and does a fine job of following the original 1977 film without pissing all over it. Then the second half goes into same 'ole, same 'ole territory and does just as you would expect a Hollywood horror movie to do - it over-complicates the back story and drags out the film. It's not all that bad but it's not all that good, either. I couldn't help but start to pick it apart out of boredom. The biggest offense of all in my book was having the usually fun Billy Drago listed in the credits and he's barely in the movie. What, two minutes of screen time behind heavy makeup and doing not much of anything? Whatever. I did love Ted Levine's performance. He's the best part of the picture...but then he's also in the first half, the better half.

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