Director: Wes Craven
Running Time: 1 hour, 29 minutes
A family en route to California takes a detour down a desert highway to check out an old silver mine one of them inherited. After taking a wrong turn, the car breaks down in the middle of the desert. They quickly realize they are not alone as a family of wild cannibals lives in the nearby hills and are looking to get a bite to eat.
Written and directed by Wes Craven, "The Hills Have Eyes" tells the story of a showdown between two families. One family are simply a group of travelers driving to California, and the other a family of crazy cannibals living in the desert hills near a military bombing test site. Like many horror movies, trouble starts when this family decides to leave the main highway and take a secluded desert road looking for an inherited family property, only to have their car break down. In the spirit of films like "The Texas Chainsaw Massacre," a nearby family of cannibals attacks its unsuspecting victims.
This is a raw 1970's grindhouse-style horror film. It looks rough and has a very simple concept. It puts the family of victims in an isolated, unfamiliar location where they are forced to fight for their survival. It looks to be done on a micro-budget and is really stripped bare of any amenities other movies have like good lighting or proper sound editing. The film produces some good tension and moments of excitement as the cannibals break into the family's trailer to assault the people who have been left alone as they engage in a close-quarters battle for their lives. There are some grotesque visuals that will unsettle the audience. The casting of the cannibal family is really spot on, especially Michael Berryman, who has a very unique look as Pluto and has become a horror villain legend based on his unique appearance. We wouldn't go as far as saying the performances are anything spectacular, but they are solid enough for such a low budget grindhouse horror.
"The Hills Have Eyes" has enough happening in a very short amount of time to keep horror fans engaged and rooting for this family's survival as we hope they are eventually able to get the upper hand on their cannibalistic assailants. If you like pristine, polished horrors, you can check out the remake of this flick, though we almost always prefer watching gritty types of horror film like this one.
My Rating: 7/10
BigJ's Rating: 7/10
IMDB's Rating: 6.4/10
Rotten Tomatoes Rating: 64%
Do we recommend this movie: Sure, why not?