Shocking. Terrifying. Extreme. An idyllic road trip to California ends in disaster when the Carter family becomes stranded on an old desert road. The worst is yet to come when they discover that THE HILLS HAVE EYES! Wes Craven returns to the screen with his sophomore horror entry following the exploitation classic THE LAST HOUSE ON THE LEFT. THE HILLS HAVE EYES is an extension of the themes found in LAST HOUSE. When left to fend for themselves, the Carter family quickly surrenders their civility for the same blood lust and savagery as their cannibal counterparts, leaving the audience to question if there is really any difference between the two. Craven demonstrates a dramatic advancement in form in his second feature, refining his characters while also dropping the uneven tone that plagued LAST HOUSE. As far as filming goes, there is nothing polished about THE HILLS HAVE EYES. It is as gritty, visceral, and raw, using the lay of the land and minimal production to convey a darkened sense of reality. This style, often referred to as 'guerilla filmmaking,' set THE HILLS HAVE EYES apart from nearly all other big studio productions of the time. Michael Berryman is iconic as the cannibal family's deformed son Pluto, who has since become one of Horror's most memorable villains. Perhaps even more frightening is Lance Gordon's portrayal of Pluto's feral brother Mars, who drinks the blood of the family's pet bird before threatening to eat their baby. THE HILLS HAVE EYES is yet another highly-influential and genre-changing effort by director Wes Craven, who would go on to redefine the Slasher genre a few years later with A NIGHTMARE ON ELM STREET.
Movies like THE HILLS HAVE EYES:
WRONG TURN, THE TEXAS CHAINSAW MASSACRE, THE FOREST, THE LAST HOUSE ON THE LEFT, THE OFFSPRING.