The Hills Have Eyes is a horror film directed by Wes Craven. The plot sees a family traveling through the desert on their way to California, when they stop midway through their trip they come under attack from a group of cannibalistic murders a battle for survival quickly ensues.
This was my first time watching this film and I am pleased to say it holds up well, it was frightening and menacing throughout and best of all it had a constant sense of dread that would not let up. Right from the first scene of the film you realise that something is wrong, then it builds and builds throughout. The moment when Beauty, the dog is killed, made me sit up and take notice
This film makes you wonder just who is out there, could there really be cannibals in the hills? All of the savage cannibals are terrifying, but Jupiter (James Witworth), was perhaps the most unsettling. The moment when Jupiter nails Big Bob Carter (Russ Grieve), the father of the family, to a makeshift cross it truly shows you just how evil these people are and perfectly illustrates what is to come. I liked the fact that they took the time to explain Jupiter’s backstory I thought it made him more rounded as a character.
I thought the choice to have most of the heroes be horribly inept, expect for when they manage to kill Jupiter in the end and instead have Beast, the other dog, be the one that picks off most of the baddies, is almost wonderfully comical. I would guess that it is not supposed to be humorous, but seeing this dog destroying this some what organised/experienced killer family one by one could be a film in and of itself.
The thing I like the most about this film is the fact that it feels stand alone, the ending neatly wraps everything up without too many lose threads. Of course there was a sequel, but it feels like this film closes the arc, which is how films should be, you shouldn’t have to watch another film to know how the last film ended.
Overall there is a reason that this is a horror masterpiece, a must watch for sure, Craven is a master of the genre.
Beast the dog.
The explanation and backstory.
It has great atmosphere.
Everyone is giving great performances.
Some of it almost feels comical and that is not great for a horror film.