Review – The Hills Have Eyes

This review is part of our 31 Days of Horror series. You can check out the other posts by clicking these words.

The Carters are a typical American family travelling throughout the southwest. However, their trip takes a detour off the beaten path across the desert. They suffer a blow-out with their tyres and plough into a rock – an event that leaves them stranded in an area closed off from the rest of civilisation. The area was formerly used by the US government as a nuclear test site. It was thought to be empty – but they were wrong. The Carters gradually realise they may have fallen into a trap perpetrated by the disgruntled residents of the area, who are intent on carrying out a gruesome massacre.

I thought I was being brave when I set out to watch The Hills Have Eyes the other night, however it could be said I was actually being rather stupid. How naïve of me to think that it would be a terrific film based on the four-star rating the TV magazine had awarded it. I was mildly grossed out by the film, but was more disappointed than anything else.

Performances in horrors are something I have quite a big problem with most of the time. I really do struggle to find positives with the majority of them. Characters often have all the brains of a rocking horse, and therefore beyond lots of screaming, there really isn’t an awful lot else.

Ted Levine played the head of the Carter clan, Big Bob, and he probably was the most promising character of the bunch. At least, he was until he was killed off quite early on in the film. This left us with a group of hysterical characters who just about managed to have an ounce of intelligence between them. Of course, this didn’t put an end to some brainless antics that left me very frustrated. You would think it to be a big ask to have characters that had it together with some of the ones presented here.

The story was one of those that had potential, but never delivered all it could have. As a remake, I guess it had to stay fairly true to the original, but surely those in charge of these aspects noticed it could have been improved upon? Wasted potential is a thing that really bugs me – to think how great a film could’ve been, but to instead be presented with some pure tripe just really annoys me.

All in all, The Hills Have Eyes is yet another horror that left me very disappointed as opposed to shaking behind the sofa. Stupid characters wore my patience thin very quickly, while the boring “hero” didn’t give me much to cheer for. I don’t really reserve the right to complain too much however, as I sat through the even worse sequel the next day…

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