Horror master Wes Craven achieved critical and commercial success with the likes of Scream and A Nightmare on Elm Street – but for many genre fans, the director’s seminal 1977 effort The Hills Have Eyes remains his masterpiece.
Taking a detour whilst on route to Los Angeles, the Carter family run into trouble when their camper van breaks down in the middle of the desert. Stranded, the family find themselves at the mercy of a group of monstrous cannibals lurking in the surrounding hills. With their lives under threat, the Carters are forced to fight back by any means necessary.
What We Thought:
Wes Craven’s classic, The Hills Have Eyes, got a beautiful new restoration. I hadn’t seen the film in a very long time and the new restored version is pretty great.
This movie was a game changer. Movies like this and the original The Texas Chainsaw Massacre defined sub-genres of horror. If you didn’t want to go into the redneck woods because you were scared of being sexually violated after seeing Deliverance, you thought you were going to be slaughtered by inbred hillbillies after seeing this. There’s been many copycats and clones since this was released, but this is the original that scared people.
What always stuck with me about the movie is how realistic it is. There’s no crazy man who haunts you in your dreams. There’s no machete wielding guy who has survived a dozen movies. It’s a family on a trip with a broken down car in the middle of nowhere. They stopped to get gas on their way to California and now are lost in the desert being hunted by inbred locals. I’ve driven through the deserts outside California and Nevada, this story makes sense to me.
This new Blu-ray collection looks fantastic. The original film was really gritty and sure this doesn’t look like pristine HD of today, but it’s a thousand times better than what it was. It was a 1970’s low-budget horror, it never looked perfect in the first place. Audio is top-notch as well with easy to hear dialogue and violence. And the bonus features, wow, the bonus features. There’s an alternate ending which I’m not sure if I’ve ever seen before. There are commentaries, outtakes and much more. It’s a pretty sweet release.
The Hills Have Eyes might not be on the Mt. Rushmore of horror, but it defined a sub-genre of it. Craven may have hit the big time with A Nightmare on Elm Street and then Scream, but without his early work changing horror traditions, those movies might not have happened. This new Blu-ray restored release is a must own for horror fans.
ADD THIS TO YOUR COLLECTION IMMEDIATELY!
- Brand new audio commentary with actors Michael Berryman, Janus Blythe, Susan Lanier and Martin Speer
- Brand new audio commentary by academic Mikel J. Koven
- Audio commentary with Wes Craven and Peter Locke
- Looking Back on The Hills Have Eyes – making-of documentary featuring interviews with Wes Craven, Peter Locke, actors Michael Berryman, Janus Blythe, Robert Houston, Susan Lanier, Dee Wallace and director of photography Eric Saarinen
- Brand new interview with actor Martin Speer
- The Desert Sessions – brand new interview with composer Don Peake
- Never-before-seen Outtakes
- Alternate Ending, in HD for the first time
- Trailers and TV Spots
- Image Gallery
Cast & Crew:
- Dee Wallace
- Director Wes Craven
- Michael Berryman
- Robert Houston
Recommended If You Like:
- Wes Craven
- Classic/Genre Defining Horror