The Hills Have Eyes

release year: 2006
genre: horror
viewing setting: home DVD, 6/30/06

synopsis: A suburban family takes the wrong shortcut through the desert, and falls prey to a strange family of deformed killers.

impressions: I never saw the original, but I understand that it's a classic. This remake was pretty good - entertaining, gory, spooky, and full of surprises. There were some definite stupid moments for some of the victim family, but near the end, the ones who were left showed some initiative and good sense. Speaking of good sense, here's some for free: if you're driving through the middle of nowhere and a weird old guy suggests a shortcut...DON'T LISTEN TO HIM! (A secondary bit of advice is to avoid driving through the middle of nowhere in the first place.)

something this movie has that no other movie has: A guy blowing his own head off with a shotgun, inside a port-a-potty.

acting: Some of the victim-family roles were weak (probably intentionally so) while a couple were competent; in all cases, the acting was good. We had a hard time telling the mutated-family members apart, mostly. Aaron Stanford and Dan Byrd were good as the two who survived the initial attacks and had to get savage in order to fight the savages.

final word: I'm not sure how this remake holds up to the original, but it definitely holds up on its own merit.

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