Sunday, March 12, 2006

The Hills Are Alive With...

Emilie de Ravin is Lost in the Hills
What can one say after seeing Alexandre Aja's remake of "The Hills Have Eyes," Wes Craven's classic freaky shocker. Ironically, Craven is the producer of this remake. Aja has decided to create an homage to horror-with-a-message flicks. Well, since he decided to go THERE... (spoilers follow, unless of course you've seen the original):

It opens with a montage of nuclear explosions intercut with stills of deformed fetuses, babies and children. We then 'fast forward' to the All American Family: father, mother, a son, a daughter and their other daughter and her husband and baby. The patriarch and wife are gun-toting Christians. The older daughter and son-in-law (and by association, the baby) are peace loving yuppies, though the daughter still shows her conservative roots by wearing the most drab and inappropriate dress one could possibly wear while driving through the New Mexico desert. The remaining two 'kids' (inc. Emilie de Ravin from "Lost") are BORED with it all and we are led to believe they are edgy, since she actually sun bathes in a BIKINI! He wears a BLACK t-shirt! Gasp! So, we get some tedious bits of political infighting within the family, as well as a moment of "We're NOT going to pray now, are we?!" from the rebellious daughter.

Surprisingly, the conservatives are the first to bite it (or be bitten, as the case might be), but then the rest of them adopt the methods of the deceased in order to survive. Of course, our peace loving yuppie (Aaron Stanford of "X2" and "Tadpole" fame) is motivated to extreme acts of violence in order to avenge his wife and protect his baby, including a nearly ridiculous killing by implanting the American flag into a mutant's skull. Ah, now THAT'S exercising some Family values!

Unfortunately, the mutants are used as simple monsters. With the possible exception of 'Ruby' (who is the 'Red Riding Hood' symbol amongst the 'wolves' of both sides in this fable), they might as well be zombies, instead of a generation of victims from the nuclear testing fields, which I thought was the point Aja was going to make, at least according to his prologue. That's too bad. By not following up on at least that point, there really aren't any characters to have any empathy for. We simply sit there and watch the carnage pile up on both sides: monsters and neo-war hawks. Not that I mind a good, senseless bloodbath (it makes me laugh!), but if you're going to attempt to make a point with it, well then, you're treading in deeper waters.

Also, Ms. de Ravin proves to be as annoying in this as she is in "Lost."

Maxxxxx gives it a "Ssssshhhhhhit!"


JimmyD said...


Anonymous said...

Silly booby. What did you expect?