May 08, 2011

The Hills Have Eyes (USA 1977)

After the enjoyable but ultimately disappointing forth installment of the "Scream" franchise, I decided to watch one of Wes Craven's classic horror films: the 1977 shocker "The Hills Have Eyes".

Compared to Alexandre Aja's 2006 over-the-top 2006 remake, it is not that shocking anymore and feels a little outdated but it is still a good showcase for Wes Craven's talent. The film revisits territory familiar from previous 70s films like "Deliverance" and "Texas Chainsaw Massacre". From the very first scene where a suburban family stops at a run-down gas station in the middle of nowhere, you can tell that this road trip is not going to end well.

But as in most other horror films that's not really the point because the "how" is actually more important than the "what". And Wes Craven does it pretty well by slowly building an atmosphere of quiet desperation and employing some inventive ideas. Craven doesn't totally forget about the "why" either because the film - much like his notorious debut "The Last House on the Left" - is ultimately about the dark side we all have inside of us. It is usually hidden beneath the rules of the civilized world but under extraordinary circumstances, it might come out sooner or later...


Someone's watching: Wes Craven's "The Hills Have Eyes"

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