Friday, March 10, 2006

The Hills Have Eyes (2006)

This is why you don't take a woman's make up away from her.

Genre: Horror Thriller

Starring: Aaron Stanford (X2; X-Men: The Last Stand), Billy Drago ("Charmed"; The Untouchables)

Directed By: Alexandre Aja (High Tension)

Overview: In this remake of the 1977 Wes Crave classic, our family still ends up stranded in a desert wasteland once used for nuclear tests, and find that the cannibalistic inhabitants are a little less than human.

Acting: The actors do as well a job as they could have I suppose, given that their net of intelligent dialogue was almost non-existent. The new mother, the old man at the gas station, even dad with his hand-cannon, all fine. The direction however... Aja did High Tension before this, and either he sold out and let creative control slip right through his fingers, or he soured when he decided to go Hollywood. Something happened here, because he went from genius to mockery. And not even a Berryman cameo, what is that?
Rating: 6

Cinematography: Great job. Everything that I had an issue with the original was resolved. The characters were scarier, there was more violence, more gore, freakier mutants, better filters and lighting. This was extremely well done, a spectacle to look at.
Rating: 8

Script: As I began to listen to this I thought, "Where is the originality of the 1977 classic? Why did they make this dialogue speaking for the sake of filling silence?" It didn't stop there. It turned into the most formulaic nonsensical tripe you could imagine. Mutants doing the most contrived monologues about why 'we're trying to get even with you people who mutated us', and with the worst ending line imaginable, earning resounding boos from the crowded theater: "Come on, let's get out of here." Might I add they're STILL in the desert with even LESS that they started off with? Stupid. Normally I'd be more lenient, but they already had a script, and they stripped that to put in here, but only the worst bits.
Rating: 3

Plot: I don't know if that foot-stabbing was a tribute or a blatant theft of the same scene from True Romance, but plagiarism isn't a good start. A Deux Ex Machina of a dog, a 'defeated' bad guy that stands up at the last second with the gun left lying right next to him, only to be foiled in slow motion. By the end of this one, they're almost hopelessly screwed, but still they're all smiles and scars, obviously high on their murderous adrenaline rush. If I want a movie to lead me by the nose, I'll go watch some Romantic Comedy. I expected something interesting, an improvement. I was disappointed by everything but the killing.
Rating: 4

Mood: They improved the mood with budget. More time was spent making their surroundings more oppressive, more wasteland, but overall the believability of the characters' situation tore all that asunder, because people stranded in the middle of nowhere surrounded by violent cannibals don't ACT LIKE THIS.
Rating: 7

I don't know what this guy's problem is. Whenever I wake up in a box full o' dead people, the LAST thing I do is panic.

Overall Rating: 56% (The Hills Sold Out)

Aftertaste: To think that the best thing about this film became the worst. Wes Craven, in part, produced this. That, to me, says that he was on the set, helping out and paying for a hopefully successful film. There is the possibility that he just sent a cheque from his tax-deductible corporate account, because Holy Christ did they ever wreck his movie. See the original and boycott this toilet. And to think I spent time being all excited about it. The trailer made it look so good. They shoot bad remakes, don't they?