( this review has been shamelessly stolen from my mates andys excellent website)
FILM REVIEW: The Hills Have Eyes
There is nothing quite as disappointing as watching a potentially fantastic horror film degenerate in front of you, and sadly this film did exactly that. I've been excited about seeing it for a couple of weeks and was genuinely expecting something that, while it might not be immensely clever, would still be a top-class scary film.
Instead, it was genuinely offensive filth! That might sound a bit strong, but I'm sure if you asked the numerous people who walked out half way through they would agree. The film got off to an excellent start, giving you a well portrayed, very emotive family who you could genuinely empathise with. By a pure unpleasent fluke they end up driving into the middle of a mutant cannibal infested desert hell where their tires are blown out and they are stranded. Up to this point the film is jumpy and very edgy, and it gets even better for a short period, until in typical American style Wes Craven goes HERES A MUTANT LOOK AT THE MUTANT MUTANT IN YOUR FACE NO MORE UNKNOWN ELEMENT MUTANTMUTANTMUTANT!!!!
From this point in the downward spiral begins in earnest and the suspense gives way to gratuitous and pornographic violence. The content becomes rapidly more offensive and, while I have absolutely no problem with the use of extreme subjects IF THEY HAVE A MESSAGE OR PURPOSE, the portrayal of rape, attempted infanticide, cannibalism etc just to shock the audience is at best lazy film-making and at worst is genuinely disgusting. Please appreciate that I am quite a fan of splat horror and am hardly a sheltered viewer, but the exploitative nature of the gore, violence and sh*t in this film has severely erroded any respect I might have had for Wes Craven.
The characterisation of the 'monsters' was equally appaling; potentially these could have been very sypathetic creatures, having been turned into what they were by the machinations of an uncaring government. Instead they were vindictive 'baddies' in the most useless 80s sense, deliberately inflicting as much brutish torment on the main characters as they could and acting in a vindictive, bullying and degenerate fashion that left the viewer totally unable to empathise with their cause, yet unable to really dislike or take seriously such 2D characters.
Finally, a special mention should be given to the pro-yankee bullsh*t that this film attempted to ram down the viewer's throat. Does anyone else find it odd that they should chose now to release a film which shows the mild-mannered democrat discovering the power of weilding an all-american shotgun to save his ravaged loved ones from the attentions of degenerate people in the desert...? The thundering electric guitar which ploughs incongrously into the background as our 'hero' discovers the importance of violence over understanding is still more of an irritant, and if I hadn't been so numbed and revolted by this point I would have laughed out loud as the 'hero' buries an American flag in the big mutant's head in order to kill it.
Wes Craven, your film is too long, it is FAR to offensive for no good reason, and it is revoltingly pro-yank pablum that should never have made the screen. Try harder. Twit.
2/10 (generously awarded for the good opening)...