"The Hills Have Eyes"
Director Alexandre Aja
Fien Print Rating (Out of 100): 25
In a Nutshell: Is there a paucity of disturbing ideas in the world that somebody felt the need to remake Wes Craven's 1977 film, which is, in its dated way, still fairly effective. The problem is this: When Craven made the original, he was acknowledging the primally fearsome nature of the central scenario -- poor family stranded in the desert and terrorized by inbred hicks in the hills. When Aja does a remake, it's invariably cynically saying "I know that this formula of putting innocent people through hell in the desert works, so I'm just gonna reproduce it because it's a sure thing." Does that make sense? Craven made his warped movie, but he wasn't sure it would work. He took the risk. Aja's just shooting fish (and tourists) in a barrel (and a Gulfstream). Aja's actually not a bad director when he isn't relying on the cheapest of scare tactics, but he falls back on all of the oldest tricks in the book here. The results aren't pleasant to watch. On the bright side, at least now I understand why Fox Searchlight sent me a styrofoam box containing an ear. That'll help me sleep better tonight.
For a full review, check Zap2it on Friday, March 10.