This is for the 2015 (1st) edition of the list. For the 2016 (2nd) edition, go here.
A suburban American family is being stalked by a group of psychotic people who live in the desert, far away from civilization.
This review may contain spoilers. I can handle the truth.
Oh boy. I remembered this being good but not quite this good.
When Alexandre Aja made the move from his homeland to the US after the success of SwitchBlade Romance (aka High Tension or Haute Tension) to start his Hollywood career with a remake, well I bet if Twitter was around it would've disapproved. But looking a little deeper, a remake of this story seemed pertinent. Of course I probably didn't realise this at the time. This is a film tapped into modern warfare and its ills.
The family that are unknowingly driving into brutal horrors kind of represent America or the West in general. Even among themselves there's conflict and differing views and unease. Well maybe just the two…
Probably one of the very few horror remakes that surpass the original.
Monsieur Aja is one sick bastard.
God damn, I love this remake. It blew me away when I first watched it back in 2006.
In my opinion this is the ONLY remake that is superior to the original. Wes Craven's 1977 version is ok but it's nothing terribly special. The only thing I love in the original, is that 1970's gritty, down and dirty feel.
Alexandre Aja was meant to be the next big thing in horror. He had a cult hit with 'Haute Tension', a film I'm luke warm about. 'Piranha 3D' which was fun but not amazing and 'Mirrors' which I thought was bloody awful. He also had a hand in the 'Maniac' remake, a film I'm not quite sure deserves all the praise it gets.
Despite all this, Alexandre Aja is still only 36! I'm sure he's got another great film or two left in him.
As I was watching this for the second time, I realized why I like this movie so. In many ways it feels like The Texas Chainsaw Massacre, my favourite pure horror film of all time. The whole lost in the wild, being picked off by a grotesque, whack-job family is very reminiscent of Chainsaw and Aja pulls it off quite well here.
The protagonist family is very good; the personalities and relationships are varied and you get to know them well in the relatively short time they are all on screen together. While none of them are truly amazing in their roles, they are more than adequate to keep me invested and the interplay between them makes them seem even…
When Only God Forgives premiered at Cannes 2013, director of the film Nicolas Winding Refn said during a press confrence that he had a fetish for violence. Much was made of his comments, and I myself thought they were a little weird at the time, yet funny; But after re-watching The Hills Have Eyes for the first time since my middle school days, I think I understand him...and relate to him on some level.
I don't consider myself violent in any sense of the word, yet violence in film has always fascinated me. When I first watched THHE I remember my jaw flat out dropping on multiple occasions. How could people ever act like that towards each other? It almost…
The value of a remake, in my opinion, is not how well the director can mimic the original film shot for shot, but how well the director can stay true to the original while improving upon it.
Aja greatly succeeds in that respect. While holding very true to the original, he improves on the quality, and not just with special effects. He better represents the characters, as well as the events that unfold. He adds a little more mystery and terror to the deformed family by not revealing as much about them as Craven did, making them all the more scary. The casting was great, they all delivered solid performances. On a personal note, as a German shepherd owner, I love that they are part of the protagonist team, and are almost characters.
Oh and did I mention the gore galore?
This review may contain spoilers. I can handle the truth.
I really like the way The Hills Have Eyes subverts expectations by dispatching the most capable and sympathetic characters first and at once in one stunningly cruel and brutal scene, while leaving a trio of the usual would-be horror movie victims in the form of the goofy teen, the spoiled blonde sorority type, and the white collar city mouse douche to become the unlikely protagonists we root for. And this remake, which I definitely think is an improvement over the original, is entirely successful in those aims, particularly in the case of Aaron Stanford, who improbably becomes quite the badass by the time the movie reaches its abrupt, and not quite happy ending. Also great that the awesome dog in this movie has somewhat of a character arc as well.
"It's breakfast time!"
What I thought was going to be a flat-out gorefest turned out to be a delightfully entertaining, excellently shot gorefest.
Very fun, indeed.
Alexandre Aja dopo Alta tensione conferma le sue indubbie qualità registiche, cimentandosi nel remake del film di Wes Craven del 1977. Dopo una prima parte che sconta una mancanza di originalità, il film decolla (magnifica la città fantasma post-apocalittica abitata da deformi) risultando più truculento e avvincente dell'originale (decisamente più approssimativo). Discreta la prova del cast (ma nessuno brilla in particolare).
Alexandre Aja solves every problem that plagued the original picture. He lets the rocky desert shine with beautiful wide shots. He dials back on following the mutants too closely, thus letting them remain mysterious and almost supernatural. He doles out the specifics efficiently. He builds logical, albeit thin, characters. The Home Alone booby traps are toned down just enough. He conjures up a new set piece, a beautiful nuke testing ghost town, for the climax of the film. Even the chain of events that leaves the family stranded in the desert makes infinitely more sense and works better cinematically.
A perfect film to remake and perfect taste in what elements needed tweaked. It's not transcendent in its subject matter, but the gore is visceral and the violence is unsettling. It's been close to decade since my cousins and I rented this movie, and its impact isn't lost on me now.
Ah yes, pinnicle of film.
Subtle and eerie in the first half, intense and balls to the wall in the second. While I wasn't too big of a fan of the really clean look of certain scenes, this was still a really entertaining movie. There's obviously some clichés here such as jumpscares and whatnot but I felt like it did enough things to stand out from the crowd. Hell, I'd kill to see more horror movies that have actually smart people as the protagonists.
Fox Searchlight Pictures presents the most gut-wrenching Hollywood motion picture ever made. Not nearly as shocking as when I first saw it, however it's still absolutely sickening and pretty frightening at points. This film proves that good can come from remakes, especially those belonging to the horror genre.
one of the few good remakes
When a dog is more likable than any of the actors, you may have to reexamine character development in your movie.
The 2016 (2nd) edition of the list. You can see the original and more info here.
With a list of…