It began with one of the most grotesque scenes I have ever seen: four men slaughtered with an axe and dragged for miles by a moving car. Immediately, I grabbed my boyfriend’s hand and felt a pit in my stomach. It was obvious the remake of Wes Craven’s 1977 film, “The Hills Have Eyes,” is a story of a blood-thirsty mutant family and a disturbing and violent movie.
A California family’s road trip turned fatal when The Carter’s realize they have become stranded in a government owned atomic test-zone. Their mother, Ethel Carter (Kathleen Quinlan), remains optimistic throughout the film and grounded in her faith in God, despite her husband and children’s diffidence. Their only son, Bobby Carter (Dan Byrd), – who stays back at the motor home with his mother and sisters – realizes the uninhabited land is actually the breeding ground for these “creatures” when his dog, Beauty, is found gutted. He does not want to scare his family, so Bobby allows them to sleep while he roams through the desert with his flashlight and pistol. Bobby’s father, “Big Bob” Carter (Ted Levine), who has recently retired from the Cleveland, Ohio Police Force, discovers the gas attendant’s secret when he returns to the gas station to get help – but, perhaps, it is too late.
Directed by Alexandre Aja, “The Hills Have Eyes,” has been referred to as a “bold and brutal film,” and certainly one that not only got under my skin but also left me terrified and nauseated. Throughout most of the film, I remained buried in my seat too frightenened to watch severed limbs fly by and mutants nibbling on human bones and organs. The movie showcases a number of award-winning actors and actresses and just as the mutant family preys on The Carter’s, the movie’s storyline preys on society’s desire for violence, terror and horror.