Movie Review: The Hills Have Eyes (2006)

by StevenHelmer

A review of the 2006 horror film starring Aaron Stanford and Emilie de Ravin.

Synopsis: A family driving through the desert on their way to California is tricked into taking a dead end road where, after their vehicle is disabled, they are stalked by a group of mutated cannibals that have been preying on travelers for years. With no help available for miles, they must find a way to protect themselves from the cannibals.

Review

Some time ago, my family and I were driving through Georgia and stopped at a roadside stand for some peaches. The person behind the stand, upon hearing it was our first time to his state, offered to give us directions for a scenic route off of the main highway. My wife and I promptly (but politely) declined his offer because of movies like "The Hills Have Eyes."

We actually had an opportunity to watch this movie again last night, for the first time in a while. After seeing it, I can say it is still definitely one of the better cannibal-related horror films out there.

I think the thing I like most about this movie is, other than the decision to take directions from a stranger, the family didn't really do anything overly stupid. A lot of other movies in this genre only work because of dumb mistakes by the victims. In comparison, the victims in this film showed quite a bit of common sense by making an effort to find help, arming themselves and locking their camper door. If they weren't ambushed, they probably would have fared quite well.

I also, personally, loved the role their dog, Beast, had in this film. I'm used to seeing beloved family pets getting killed early or doing nothing more than barking. Beast, however, was one heck of a weapon for that family, though he did, admittedly, have a bad habit of running off.

Probably my only real complaints about the movie were the cannibals and the violence being a bit video-game-like. This is especially true of some of the over-sized weapons that were displayed, including the father's (Levine) handgun. Fortunately, this movie was good enough to make up for that. But, that's the type of thing that could make a lesser horror film into an unintentional comedy.

Final Opinion

There's quite a bit of blood and gore and, if you're squeamish, it might not be a movie you'll want to watch. But, overall, I think it's an entertaining horror film that is worth seeing if you have a strong enough stomach.

My Grade: A

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Updated: 07/26/2016, StevenHelmer
 
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