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WES CRAVEN must have felt pretty proud of this adaptation from his original movie.

The Hills Have Eyes was the second movie that he made following on from Last House On The Left and was a huge success for the director, paving the way for a smashing career in the horror realm.

For the remake though, Craven would step aside from directorial duties, focusing solely on his Producer role and allow Alexandre Aja take the helm.

Aja already carved success in his own right in the genre with Furia and Haute Tension, both bloody brutal films. (The less said about Mirrors and Piranha 3D the better).

And the frenchman doesn’t shy away from the gore and mayhem in this movie, much to our delight.

After watching the screening at the Horror Movie Campout in Sydney,  was reminded of how hard-wired, crazed, and fucked up this movie is.

Having dissected the original movie in a previous podcast, yo could clearly see the same paths being plotted out by our protagonists, but this version does allow for some more freedom and exploration when it comes to the ‘mutant’ family.

Craven had always ventured out to make  a savage insight into the good and bad side of America by polarising families on the opposite side of the spectrum and pitted them against each other in a bloody war of survival.

Much of that is apparent in this version, but Aja takes that concept and ups the ante by throwing the Carter family into a world of carnage and disarray, where it is anyone’s guess who if anyone will survive.

That raw energy transcends well and it’s the perfect recipe for a thrill ride of massive proportions .

If there is a flaw, it’s that our Carter family seem a little too polished when held up against the mutant family.

There are often times when you wished that more time was spent on fleshing out the characters than actually ripping the flesh off them, but who am I kidding?

This movie is fun, all the same and provides enough shocks, all-out-gore, and ferocity that not only make it a worthy of the original, but dare I say it?

A rarity in that it adds something additional to the Craven’s vision and expands on it in a positive way.

A decent stab in the open, vast and deserted landscape.

  • Paul Farrell