Day 17 | The Hills Have Eyes (2006)
Yes, I know this is a remake of the Wes Craven The Hills Have Eyes (1977), but I figured I could talk a little bit about both! Wes Craven is particularly known for horror movies, often of the exploitation variety. I know that sounds a little bit negative but it’s not really. Before The Hills Have Eyes, Craven made a movie called The Last House on the Left (1972), which is considered a “rape and revenge” exploitation film. Basically, the idea is that Craven worked with “shocking” or “lurid” subjects. These two movies predate A Nightmare on Elm Street (1984), which is of course Wes Craven’s most well-known work, and is a slasher film–another type of “exploitation” movie.
Anyway, the plot of the movie is that the main family (the Carters) gets stranded in the desert when their truck and trailer skid off the road and they are brutalized and terrorized by a family of “savages.” Sounds a little like House of 1000 Corpses (2003), which came out a few years before the Hills remake, doesn’t it? That’s because the director–Rob Zombie–was influenced by The Hills Have Eyes (1977) and the Texas Chainsaw Massacre (1974). Going back to the exploitation genre, and the slasher films which all of these movies are considered to be, the idea is “a ps*chopath [or multiple ps*chopaths] stalking and violently killing a sequence of victims.” The people in the original movie who are trying to kill the Carters are just people who are “weird” and live out in this desert. This is a major difference between the original and the one from 2006.
In the 2006 The Hills Have Eyes, the movie makes a point of stressing that the people who terrorize the Carter family are the products of nuclear waste on miners that refused to leave the area after the United States government tested nuclear weapons in the American Southwest. Just to be clear, this movie was condoned by Wes Craven and he even had a large part in picking the two writers and director for the film.
Both versions of the film are pretty violent and there is rape both. If slasher films and super violence like Black Christmas (1974) and Halloween (1978) are up your alley then give either or both versions of this movie a try.