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"THE HILLS HAVE EYES"
(2006) (Aaron Stanford, Ted Levine) (R)

Alcohol/
Drugs
Blood/Gore Disrespectful/
Bad Attitude
Frightening/
Tense Scenes
Guns/
Weapons
Moderate Extreme Extreme Extreme Extreme
Imitative
Behavior
Jump
Scenes
Music
(Scary/Tense)
Music
(Inappropriate)
Profanity
Mild Heavy Extreme None Extreme
Sex/
Nudity
Smoking Tense Family
Scenes
Topics To
Talk About
Violence
Moderate Minor Extreme Moderate Extreme


QUICK TAKE:
Horror: After their vehicle breaks down in a remote desert, a family tries to avoid a bunch of cannibalistic, mutant humans that are soon after them.
PLOT:
It's Big Bob (TED LEVINE) and Ethel Carter's (KATHLEEN QUINLAN) anniversary and they're headed for San Diego with their teenage kids Bobby (DAN BYRD) and Brenda (EMILIE DE RAVIN), as well as older daughter Lynn (VINESSA SHAW), her husband Doug (AARON STANFORD) and their baby Catherine (MAISIE CAMILLERI PREZIOSI). Yet, rather than traveling via the interstate, Bob wants to see the New Mexico desert. He and the others get to see more than they bargained for, however, after following a short-cut offered by a gas station attendant (TOM BOWER), unaware that they've been sent straight into a trap.

And that's because that attendant is related to a bunch of cannibalistic, mutant humans that are the descendants of miners who were exposed to 1950s era nuclear testing by the U.S. Government. While the family doesn't realize that right away, they know they're in trouble when all of their tires are blown out and the truck pulling their trailer crashes and becomes inoperable.

With Bob and Doug headed off in opposite directions to look for help, the mutants move in for the attack. From that point on, the family members try to do whatever they can to survive, with some showing unexpected courage and resolve.

WILL KIDS WANT TO SEE IT?
If they're into gruesome horror films, they probably will.
WHY THE MPAA RATED IT: R
For strong gruesome violence and terror throughout, and for language.
CAST AS ROLE MODELS:
  • TED LEVINE plays a former detective who's driving his family through the desert on the way to San Diego. He briefly makes fun of Doug for being a democrat, uses some profanity and sets out to get help once they become stranded.
  • KATHLEEN QUINLAN plays his wife, a former hippie turned religious mom who must deal with the horrors that unfold before her.
  • DAN BYRD plays their teenage son who becomes unnerved and unhinged by what occurs, for which he shows varying amounts of bravery. He uses strong profanity.
  • EMILIE DE RAVIN plays his teenage sister who isn't happy to be on the trip and is then scared by what transpires once the mutants attack. She briefly comments on wanting some pot and uses strong profanity.
  • VINESSA SHAW plays their older sister, a new mom who similarly finds herself in a bad situation.
  • AARON STANFORD plays her pacifist husband who isn't happy to be on this trip with her family, but eventually turns into a fierce warrior when he must find and save his infant daughter. He uses strong profanity and kills various mutants.
  • TOM BOWER plays the gas station attendant who's related to some of the mutants and sends the Carter family into their lair. He has a cigar in his mouth and is drunk in one scene before taking a drastic and permanent step to get out of the situation.
  • CAST, CREW, & TECHNICAL INFO

    HOW OTHERS RATED THIS MOVIE


    Curious if this title is entertaining, any good, and/or has any artistic merit?
    Then read OUR TAKE of this film.


    (Note: The "Our Take" review of this title examines the film's artistic merits and does not take into account any of the possibly objectionable material listed below).


    OUR WORD TO PARENTS:
    The following is a brief summary of the content found in this R-rated horror film. Profanity consists of at least 21 "f" words, while other expletives and colorful phrases are uttered. Brief and non-explicit, sexually related dialogue is present, as are several views of a teen sunbathing in a bikini top. A new mother breast feeds and than has an adult male mutant sucking on her breast, but we don't see anything explicit. Two mutants appear ready to rape a teenager, but are interrupted before that occurs.

    Most of the violence includes mutants and humans brutally killing members of the other party, by various means and weapons, and with all sorts of incredibly bloody, gory and gruesome results. Those scenes, other moments of peril, various jump scenes, and views and photographs of severely deformed faces and bodies will likely be unsettling, suspenseful or downright scary to viewers. Many of those deaths result in tense family material (survivors grieving over murdered family members), while the killers obviously have bad attitudes.

    A man is drunk in one scene, while brief comments are made about desiring alcohol and pot, and some brief smoking occurs. Thematic material includes nuclear testing, those genetic defects and more. If you're still concerned about the film and its appropriateness for yourself or anyone else in your home who may be interested in seeing it, we suggest that you take a closer look at our detailed listings for more specific information regarding the film's content.

    For those prone to visually induced motion sickness, there are many instances of bouncy, handheld camera movement throughout the film.


    ALCOHOL OR DRUG USE
  • A gas station sports a sign reading "Cold Beer" and we see many empty beer and liquor bottles on posts outside the building.
  • Lynn comments on what she'd give for a cold margarita, while Brenda says the same about "the chronic," prompting the others to explain to Ethel that she's talking about marijuana.
  • The gas station attendant sounds drunk as we see his boots sticking out from the outhouse. Bob then finds him in there holding a bottle of liquor
  • BLOOD/GORE
  • A bloody figure suddenly appears in the point of view of a researcher in a radiation suit and mask.
  • One or more mutants attack several scientists/researchers in the desert with pickaxes, stabbing them in the heads and bodies (with bloody results) and some being thrown into rocks, etc. We then see a vehicle driving away and dragging the bloody bodies behind it.
  • During the opening credits, we see various archival, black and white images of deformed body parts and babies (we later see black and white photos of more). During the film, we see various human mutants that have horribly disfigured faces and bodies.
  • The gas station attendant opens a bag left for him and finds a severed and bloody ear inside a Styrofoam container.
  • Bobby prepares to urinate in some brush, but Brenda calls him on that. We then see him in an outhouse and hear him urinating. After being startled in there, he complains about getting some urine on his hand.
  • We briefly and partially see what look like bloody animal parts in a dimly lit outhouse.
  • Bobby a dead dog that has had its belly cut open (briefly seen, with lots of gore).
  • A mutant girl touches Bobby's head after he's fallen and then has some blood on her fingertips (we see a little on his head), but some blood then drips down onto his face from a mutant above them that's eating a severed dog leg.
  • Bob finds the above severed ear in the container.
  • A man commits suicide with a shotgun blast to his head (we see the violent, bloody impact as well as a quick shot of the bloody and headless body).
  • A mutant grabs a man in the front seat of a car and bashes him back and forth against the windows, bloodying them and him. We then see that wounded person being carted and then dragged away (he's still bloody).
  • Bobby's mom tends to bloody wounds on his head.
  • Doug cuts down a bloody and charred corpse and it lands on the ground.
  • A mutant grabs a pet bird from its cage, bites off and spits out its head and then pours blood from the body into his mouth.
  • A woman prepares to strike a mutant on the head with a large rock, but is shot backwards across the trailer (with bloody results).
  • A woman stabs a mutant in the leg, but he then aims his gun down toward her head. After a moment, he fires and blood splatters all over a window in the trailer. We then see that woman who's barely alive and she had a large, gory and bloody hole in her head, while there's a large pool of blood on the floor around her (she then dies).
  • The family dog grabs a mutant by the neck, killing him (with bloody results).
  • Doug has blood all over his shirt.
  • We see a bloody and severed mutant arm.
  • We see some blood on rocks in the desert.
  • Brenda has bloody scrapes and abrasions on her face, as does her brother.
  • A mutant is dragging a bloody corpse along the ground.
  • After being knocked out, Doug finds himself in a large and blood-stained box filled with many bloody body parts. He panics and eventually breaks his way out.
  • Bobby and Brenda carry and then place dead and bloody family members into their truck.
  • As the film progresses, Doug gets bloodier with each subsequent confrontation with the mutants.
  • We see a bloody and charred corpse with a flag post impaled in the top of its head.
  • A mutant cuts off some of Doug's fingers with an ax (with bloody results).
  • Doug kills a mutant (with very bloody results). He then does the same to another (with similar results, including gaping wounds to the heads).
  • Bobby follows a bloody trail and hears eating sounds around a corner. He then spots a mutant man tearing at a human corpse (a family member) and pulling out some bloody flesh or organ.
  • Doug fights a mutant with the latter hitting him with the heavy ammo belt (with bloody results). Moments later, Doug then hits the mutant with a shotgun several times before shooting it twice (with bloody results). The mutant seems dead, but then gets up (with blood running from its mouth) and grabs the shotgun. But the mutant girl then races toward him, sending both off a cliff edge to the rocks below, killing both (we don't see the impact, but do the bodies and blood on the rocks below them).
  • Brenda slams a pickaxe into a mutant's head, killing it (the mutant was already impaled on some wreckage).
  • DISRESPECTFUL/BAD ATTITUDE
  • The mutants have bad attitudes for attacking, killing and eating others (as well as kidnapping Doug's baby).
  • Bob tells Bobby to leave Doug alone, joking that he's democrat who doesn't believe in guns.
  • FRIGHTENING SCENES
  • Scenes listed under "Violence," "Blood/Gore" and "Jump Scenes" may be unsettling, suspenseful or scary to viewers, especially those with low tolerance levels for such material (and once the tension and then violence start, they don't let up).
  • The sight of the disfigured mutants (sometimes to disturbing extremes) might be unsettling or scary to some viewers.
  • During the opening credits, we see various archival, black and white images of deformed body parts and babies.
  • The gas station attendant slowly walks around with his shotgun at the ready, calling out a name and heading for a dark mine entrance.
  • We get a glimpse of a figure up in the hills watching the stranded family.
  • Bobby goes out by himself looking for his missing dog. He then hears it squealing in the distance and when he finds the dog, it's dead and has had its belly cut open (briefly seen, with lots of gore).
  • We see the shadow of figures passing by the gas station at night as Bob arrives there.
  • Hearing voices in the dark, Bob randomly fires here and there.
  • Brenda goes looking for Bobby in the dark.
  • The family hears noises outside the trailer at night and Bobby goes out and slowly (and nervously) walks around with his gun drawn.
  • As Brenda sleeps with headphones, we see the POV of a mutant as he approaches her and then caresses her head. When she wakes up and panics, he grabs and puts his hand over her mouth, sounding aroused about the situation. Another mutant then pulls him away, saying that you have to be a real man for that (presumably referring to sex/rape). After hitting and manhandling her, he then smells his fingers (in a sexual manner).
  • A mutant man opens Lynn's shirt (we don't see anything) and then sucks on her breast (we see his head down there and this is part sexual and part feeding on his part since she earlier was breastfeeding her baby).
  • A woman prepares to strike a mutant on the head with a large rock, but is shot backwards across the trailer (with bloody results), mortally wounding her (she dies a few moments later after going into shock).
  • Doug makes his way to and then into a dark mine, with the family dog and his flashlight leading him (he's following a bloody trail on the ground).
  • Doug finds a former U.S. Government fake town (used in nuclear testing) where the various 1950s style mannequins are still in their places, including some kid ones on swings. He then slowly makes his way through this town, trying to avoid a large mutant from seeing him and the family dog, and then trying to find his missing baby.
  • Doug spots his baby inside a house and then slowly creeps in to try to retrieve the girl and then get out without a mutant hearing or seeing him.
  • One mutant gives the radio command to another to kill Doug's baby. We then see it approaching the baby in a house with a meat cleaver, all as Doug frantically searches outside for it. But when the mutant pulls back the blanket, a pig is there instead.
  • Having set up a detection device (a fishing line), Bobby and Brenda get nervous when it's activated. They then slowly go to investigate (during the day), with Bobby holding his gun at the ready.
  • Bobby follows a bloody trail and hears eating sounds around a corner. He then spots a mutant man tearing at a human corpse (a family member) and pulling out some bloody flesh or organ. That mutant then chases after Bobby who shoots back at it while fleeing, hitting it twice, but it keeps coming and throws an ax that lands near him.
  • GUNS/WEAPONS
  • Shotguns/Handguns/Various axes/Miscellaneous objects used as weapons: Carried and/or used to threaten, wound or kill others. See "Violence" for details.
  • IMITATIVE BEHAVIOR
  • Phrases: "F*cking perv," "This is so f*cked," "Watch your f*cking mouth," "F*ck your sister" (nonsexual), "F*ck Big Bob too," "We're so f*cked," "(Mother) F*ckers," "I don't f*cking care," "Shut the f*ck up," "You're a f*cking p*ssy," "What the f*ck do you want from us?" "This is such bullsh*t," "Where the hell is everybody?" "Jackass," "What the hell /do you care/happened?" "Jeez," "Put a cork in it," "A little hippie chick," "Pissed off," "Nuts" (testicles), "Twisted to hell," "Praise the Lord and pass the ammunition," "A total drag" and "Bitch stuck me like a pig."
  • It's possible some of the violence and scare tactics might be enticing for some kids to imitate.
  • A spiked chain suddenly pops up across the dirt road (to flatten truck tires).
  • Bobby and Brenda set up a trap (propane gas inside the trailer with a row of matches to ignite it when a door is opened). A mutant then trips it, and starts to flee, but a huge explosion engulfs him and rips apart the trailer.
  • JUMP SCENES
  • A bloody figure suddenly appears in the point of view of a researcher in a radiation suit and mask.
  • The family's dogs are suddenly at the trailer window.
  • A person startles another in an outhouse (an eye suddenly seen at a hole in the wall).
  • A spiked chain suddenly pops up across the dirt road.
  • Bobby is suddenly at the window as Lynn peers out it.
  • A figure suddenly passes by in the foreground of a shot (accompanied by sudden music on the soundtrack).
  • Some large birds suddenly take flight.
  • Doug suddenly surprises Bobby who then points his gun at him.
  • A figure passes by in the foreground of a shot.
  • A mutant suddenly passes by.
  • A mutant suddenly hits Doug (briefly seen in a flash image).
  • A mutant grabs Brenda through a window.
  • MUSIC (SCARY/TENSE)
  • An extreme amount of suspenseful and ominous music plays in the film.
  • MUSIC (INAPPROPRIATE)
  • None.
  • PROFANITY
  • At least 21 "f" words (2 used with "mother"), 6 "s" words, 1 slang term using female genitals ("p*ssy"), 8 hells, 7 damns, 1 S.O.B., 3 uses each of "God" and "Oh my God," 2 each of "G-damn" and "Jesus" and 1 use each of "Jesus Christ" and "My God."
  • SEX/NUDITY
  • In some archival footage, a woman shows a little cleavage.
  • We see Brenda in her bikini top -- that shows some cleavage -- as she sunbathes (there are several views of her).
  • Lynn breastfeeds her daughter, but we don't see anything explicit.
  • Bobby jokes about how Freud would have interpreted his mom's obsession with rattlesnakes (presumably a penis reference as the others call him on that).
  • As Brenda sleeps with headphones, we see the POV of a mutant as he approaches her and then caresses her head. When she wakes up and panics, he grabs and puts his hand over her mouth, sounding aroused about the situation. Another mutant then pulls him away, saying that you have to be a real man for that (presumably referring to sex/rape). After hitting and manhandling her, he then smells his fingers (in a sexual manner).
  • A mutant man opens Lynn's shirt (we don't see anything) and then sucks on her breast (we see his head down there and this is part sexual and part feeding on his part since she earlier was breastfeeding her baby).
  • SMOKING
  • Doug smokes once (and jokingly offers one to Bobby who reaches out for it before Doug won't let him have it), while the gas station attendant has a cigar stub in his mouth.
  • TENSE FAMILY SCENES
  • As various family members die (in horrific and/or grisly ways), the survivors grieve for them (this includes kids losing parents and people losing spouses).
  • Doug worries about his baby that's been kidnapped by the mutants.
  • Bobby and Brenda carry and then place dead and bloody family members into their truck.
  • TOPICS TO TALK ABOUT
  • Nuclear testing and its effects on the environment and people.
  • Genetic defects in humans.
  • Cannibalism.
  • Summoning courage to get through adverse situations.
  • VIOLENCE
  • One or more mutants attack several scientists/researchers in the desert with pickaxes, stabbing them in the heads and bodies (with bloody results), with some being thrown into rocks, etc. We then see a vehicle driving away and dragging the bloody bodies behind it.
  • During the opening credits, we see all sorts of archival footage of nuclear bomb testing, with resultant explosions and damage to buildings, mannequins, forests and more.
  • A spiked chain suddenly pops up across the dirt road and Bob's truck drives over it, flattening the tires. The truck and trailer behind it then go out of control, with the truck eventually crashing into something (everyone's bumped around, but all are okay).
  • Bobby goes out by himself looking for his missing dog. He then hears it squealing in the distance and when he finds the dog, it's dead and has had its belly cut open (briefly seen, with lots of gore).
  • Bobby slips and ends up falling a bit of a distance to the hard ground below him, knocking him out.
  • A man commits suicide with a shotgun blast to his head (we see the violent, bloody impact as well as a quick shot of the bloody and headless body).
  • A mutant grabs a man in the front seat of a car and bashes him back and forth against the windows, bloodying them and him. We then see that wounded person being carted and then dragged away (he's still bloody).
  • Using a remote device, the mutants set a tied-up man on fire and the others race to try to put him out with a fire extinguisher, but it's eventually too late (although the man is alive when it starts). Once the fire is out, Doug cuts down the bloody and charred corpse and it lands on the ground.
  • A mutant grabs a pet bird from its cage, bites off and spits out its head and then pours blood from the body into his mouth.
  • One mutant hits another (who had Brenda pinned to her bed with his hand over her mouth) on the head with his gun, kicks him on the floor and then holds that gun to the second mutant's head. The first one then hits Brenda on the head (bloodying her).
  • Lynn sees that a mutant is holding her baby, prompting her to hit the mutant with a frying pan. She then goes to do the same again, but he grabs her arm and holds a gun on the baby.
  • A woman prepares to strike a mutant on the head with a large rock, but is shot backwards across the trailer (with bloody results), mortally wounding her (she dies a few moments later after going into shock).
  • A woman stabs a mutant in the leg, but he then aims his gun down toward her head. After a moment, he fires and blood splatters all over a window in the trailer. We then see that woman who's barely alive and she had a large, gory and bloody hole in her head, while there's a large pool of blood on the floor around her (she then dies).
  • Bobby shoots at two mutants who race away from the trailer (he misses).
  • The family dog grabs a mutant by the neck, killing him (with bloody results).
  • A mutant suddenly hits Doug (briefly seen in a flash image).
  • One mutant comes at Doug with an ax, followed by another, with both barely missing him with their strikes. The family dog then bites one of those mutants on the arm and won't let go until he hits it several times.
  • A large mutant blasts through a wall and grabs Doug by the neck, lifting him from the floor that way. It then throws him aside and tries to get him with an ax, but Doug jabs the broken end of a baseball bat into the mutant, wounding it. The mutant then hits Doug and throws him through a wall, still trying to hit him with an ax, eventually cutting off some of Doug's fingers. Doug then holds what looks like an ice pick to the mutant that holds his ax to Doug's neck and head, with Doug then seemingly giving up. But Doug then jams the pick into the mutant's foot. He then pulls a small flag pole from another victim's head and stabs the mutant, through the neck, before hitting it in the head with an ax, killing it.
  • Doug slams an ax into a mutant's leg and back before slamming the pointy end down into his head, killing him.
  • We hear the sound of the family dog killing one of the mutants.
  • Bobby follows a bloody trail and hears eating sounds around a corner. He then spots a mutant man tearing at a human corpse (a family member) and pulling out some bloody flesh or organ. That mutant then chases after Bobby who shoots back at it while fleeing, hitting it twice, but it keeps coming and throws an ax that lands near him.
  • A mutant grabs Brenda through a window.
  • Bobby and Brenda set up a trap (propane gas inside the trailer with a row of matches to ignite it when a door is opened). A mutant then trips it, and starts to flee, but a huge explosion engulfs him and rips apart the trailer.
  • A mutant jumps down on Doug, hitting and grabbing him until Doug head-butts it backwards. The mutant then repeatedly tries to strike Doug with a long ammo belt (with bullets in it). Doug then grabs the mutant's leg in some fashion that causes it pain, but he knocks Doug back and then clips him with the heavy ammo belt (with bloody results). The mutant then goes for Doug's baby, but a mutant girl kicks that mutant back. Doug then hits the mutant with a shotgun several times before shooting it twice (with bloody results). The mutant seems dead, but then gets up (with blood running from its mouth) and grabs the shotgun. But the mutant girl then races toward him, sending both off a cliff edge to the rocks below, killing both (we don't see the impact, but do the bodies and blood on the rocks below them).
  • Brenda slams a pickaxe into a mutant's head, killing it (the mutant was already impaled on some wreckage).



  • Reviewed March 7, 2006 / Posted March 10, 2006

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