Tagline: The lucky ones die first.
Plot: It all begins with a typically dysfunctional cross-country family road trip. It’s the wedding anniversary of rugged Cleveland police detective “Big Bob” Carter (TED LEVINE) and his chatty wife Ethel (Academy Award-nominee KATHLEEN QUINLAN) and to celebrate, Bob’s asked his extended family to cruise to California with them, hoping the joys of the open road might help fuse their frayed connections. No one is particularly happy about it. Eldest daughter, Lynn, (VINESSA SHAW) worries about her new baby’s safety and comfort while her husband, mild-mannered tech geek, Doug (AARON STANFORD), worries about close encounters with his father-in-law. Meanwhile teen daughter, Brenda, (EMILIE DE RAVIN) detests the idea of leaving her friends for a family bonding trip, while young prankster Bobby, (DAN BYRD) is anxious to entertain the family’s two German Shepherds, Beauty and Beast. Nevertheless, the entire clan piles into a weathered Suburban pulling Bob’s beloved ’88 Airstream trailer and heads west.
Then, Big Bob takes a detour. Suddenly, the Carter family finds themselves in a desolate stretch of desert, with nothing seemingly alive for miles. When they run into a little unexpected vehicle trouble, they realize they are in dire straits, far from help, with a relentlessly sweltering
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Discussion forum for this movie
What remakes should be like! Wes Craven is the master! A horror film that will really freak you out!
--Steven Chupnick (MovieWeb)
...gets points for gore and general creepiness, and for occasional periods of tension, but it's not scary enough to linger long in the subconscious. It's fair to say that this is one of the better horror films in recent months but that's more a comment on the weak field than it is a statement of unqualified praise.
--James Berardinelli (ReelViews)
There is a little twist at the end that, if this proves as successful as I expect it to be for entertainment-starved filmgoers, may well spawn a sequel. In the meantime, if you are a horror movie fan, “The Hills Have Eyes” is quite satisfying. B
--Robin and Laura Clifford
...can never achieve the taboo-shattering rebellion of its predecessor, no matter how much the commercials insist otherwise. It gains a great deal in technical flourish, artistry, and goose-your-date terror -- in many ways, it's the better film -- but noamount of spit or polish can entirely recapture the dark seeds it so earnestly wishes to plant. It needs to come from a different place for that: somewhere riskier, more unknown, a little crazier... B
--Rob Vaux (Flipsidemovies.com)
...gets under your skin on an almost primal level.
--Keith Breese (FilmCritic.com)
...will delight horror fans and terrify general audiences in all the ways a good horror film should. It's smart, stylish and inventive, capitalising on the strengths of the original and building on thirty years of cinematic evolution in all the ways a good remake should...
--Joe Utichi (FilmFocus.co.uk)
Chock full of gruesome jolts, wonderfully gooey mutants, shocking doses of intense violence, and an overall tone of dry, bleached-out, desperation, The Hills Have Eyes might not be any sort of improvement over Craven's original flick, but it does a fine job of delivering the goods ... and with just a little more beneath the surface than you might expect.
--Scott Weinberg (eFilmCritic.com)
...might not have the sneak attack appeal of Craven’s film, or the moral questioning, but it cooks in ways Craven has always missed in his own work. I’m positively itching to see what Aja has planned for his audience next.
--Brian Orndorf (eFilmCritic.com)
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