The Hills Have Eyes (2006)
Dir: Alexadre Aja
Available on DVD
A family is traveling to California and decides to take the advice of the creepy gas station owner and take a shortcut that could cut “a couple of hours” off their trip. As they travel along the dirt road, they are stopped by a group of hill people that have been genetically warped by the nuclear testing in the area that terrorize the family.
It is not often that I take the time to write about a film that I did not like but, I didn’t want to pass up this opportunity. I found the story to be incredibly predictable and unfulfilling. The inspiration obviously came from the horror films of the 50s but it fell short of even the worst of them. There were times when they tried to make a point but, like many films it doesn’t quite manage to find a good way to communicate it without pounding it over your head.
What is even more surprising is that the director made what is possibly one of the greatest contemporary French thrillers Haute Tension (High Tension, 2003) and has not signed on to do the sequel The Hills Have Eyes II (2007). I don’t know for certain but it wouldn’t surprise me if Alexandre (who also wrote the script) tried to make a different film but got caught up in the Hollywood studio system and ended up with something that just didn’t work. I am excited to see his future work to see if it is more in line with High Tension or The Hills Have Eyes.