THE HILLS HAVE EYES | Film | Pittsburgh | Pittsburgh City Paper
In this remake of Wes Craven's 1977 horror thriller, an extended family is waylaid in the New Mexico desert by bloodthirsty mutant killers. Director Alexander Aja (who also co-wrote the screenplay) sticks to the basics of the genre: a few resilient family members, including the peacenik pantywaist who must connect with his inner Rambo and get to skull-bashing; jump-out scares; and lots of bloody, grisly injuries and deaths. Such scenes are disgusting, naturally, but thankfully, Aja doesn't linger on them. A back-story based on the real-life nuclear testing that occurred in the Western deserts in the 1950s and '60s is a nice throwback angle to those vaguely cautionary eco-thrillers of yore, but Aja bobbles the material. He introduces it too early (in the first freakin' frame), and ruins what could have been a horrifying (and even heartbreaking, in its weird B-movie way) revelation. (AH)

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