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Monday, June 6, 2011

The Hills Have Eyes

     Wes Craven's "The Hills Have Eyes" already had a reputation back in the day as being quite the infamous shocker.  Yet I had never experienced it until recently. The mood just struck me, and I went with it.  I figured why not, right?   Now, I went in expecting absolutely nothing.  The sorry state of horror has made me somewhat bitter and jaded these days, and I've been burned one too many times with false promises and over-hype.  But I'd heard so many good things about the film over the years that I figured the odds were with me.  So, I popped it in and settled down with "The Hills Have Eyes".

      Even though the plot is nothing new- family gets lost on vacation in the desert and become stalked by a violent clan of inbred  and mountain-dwelling cannibals- the raw and intense atmosphere is what easily sells the movie.  The empty and creepy desert is terrifying, and becomes a perfect setting for a horror film.

     Craven winningly directs the movie- he really conveys a sense of hopelessness and isolation here, and this film is a huge step up from the dreadful (in my opinion) "Last House On The Left".  And much like "The Texas Chainsaw Massacre", the grainy, low-budget look of the film stock only adds to the movie.  It just makes it scarier to me.  All that, combined with excellent cinematography and rather impressive special effects for such a low budget, make a gripping and ruthless shocker that undoubtedly made a mark on horror and pop culture.  It's a highly influential and cheap 70's exploitation horror film that, unlike "The Last House On The Left", actually lives up to its hype.

     Brutal and harrowing, "THHE" manages to be one of the most disturbing and frightening genre flicks of the 1970's.  On top of being classic Craven and one of his more creative, in my opinion.  Possibly Wes Craven's greatest B-movie, "The Hills Have Eyes" certainly lives up to its reputation as a violent and shocking cult classic.  This is a perfect drive-in movie here- an unassuming little shocker that doesn't try to be anything more than what it is.  A simple and scary movie.  And for the most part, it succeeds.  Scream Queen Dee Wallace-Stone makes an appearance in this Craven classic that all fans of horror should experience!

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