The Hills Have Eyes (2006)

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Released 24-Oct-2006

Cover Art

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Details At A Glance

General Extras
Category Horror Main Menu Audio
Audio Commentary
Featurette-Making Of
Music Video-"Leave The Broken Hearts" By The Finalist
Rating Rated R
Year Of Production 2006
Running Time 103:57
RSDL / Flipper RSDL (33:02) Cast & Crew
Start Up Ads Then Menu
Region Coding 4 Directed By Alexandre Aja
Studio
Distributor

Twentieth Century Fox
Starring Maxime Giffard
Michael Bailey Smith
Tom Bower
Ted Levine
Kathleen Quinlan
Dan Byrd
Emilie de Ravin
Aaron Stanford
Vinessa Shaw
Maisie Camilleri Preziosi
Robert Joy
Laura Ortiz
Ezra Buzzington
Case ?
RPI $29.95 Music Luis Guajardo
Farbood Nivi
Tomandandy


Video Audio
Pan & Scan/Full Frame None English Dolby Digital 5.1 (448Kb/s)
English Audio Commentary Dolby Digital 2.0 (192Kb/s)
Widescreen Aspect Ratio 2.35:1
16x9 Enhancement
16x9 Enhanced
Video Format 576i (PAL)
Original Aspect Ratio 2.35:1 Miscellaneous
Jacket Pictures No
Subtitles English for the Hearing Impaired
English Audio Commentary
Smoking No
Annoying Product Placement No
Action In or After Credits No

NOTE: The Profanity Filter is ON. Turn it off here.

Plot Synopsis

    The Hills Have Eyes (2006) is Alexandre Aja and Gregory Levasseur’s interpretation of Wes Craven’s original 1976 script. In this instalment the cannibalistic mutants come courtesy of the nuclear test program that was conducted in the New Mexico desert during the 1950s.

    The nuclear environment provides the opportunity to introduce a nuclear test village into an otherwise sterile desert setting. The opening credits play over nuclear explosions and images of deformed foetuses, grotesquely displayed in glass jars. All of the footage is real, the deformed foetuses the product of Chernobyl and Hiroshima, or the use of Agent Orange during the Vietnam War.

    The opening scenes of The Hills Have Eyes (2006) introduce the Carter family. This typically American family is on vacation, travelling from Cleveland to California, to celebrate Bob (Ted Levine) and Ethel’s (Kathleen Quinlan) 25th anniversary. They are accompanied by their children, Lynn (Vinessa Shaw), Brenda (Emilie De Ravin) and Bobby (Dan Byrd), as well as Lynn’s husband, Doug (Aaron Stanford), and their infant granddaughter, Catherine (Maisie Camilleri Preziosi). Sharing their large trailer home are pet dogs, Beauty and Beast, and a couple of birds.

    Bob’s decision to travel via the desert doesn’t sit well with the rest of the family, who only see the desert as being hot desolate nothing. Welcoming the opportunity to take a break they pull into a service station located on an isolated stretch of road. Here the alcoholic service station attendant gives them directions for a short cut that they decide to take. Don’t these people realise they are starring in a horror movie?

    Wheel spikes placed across the detour cause a tyre blowout, resulting in an accident that breaks the front axle of the SUV. Bob and Doug set off in different directions to look for help. Bob returns to the service station and quickly realises that all is not as it should be, while Doug stumbles on (SPOILER ALERT: highlight with mouse to read) the surreal scene of a large bomb crater filled with cars, boats and caravans.

    It isn’t long before the mutants start picking off the family members one-by-one, in rather disturbing fashion. The Hills Have Eyes (2006) is a non-thinking slasher movie that has plenty of cheap scares and is sure to please those looking for graphic depictions of murder, mutilation, gun shot wounds and dismemberment. The movie also contains a confronting rape scene and is well deserving of its R rating.

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Transfer Quality

Video

    The video transfer is excellent.

    The transfer is presented in an aspect ratio of 2.35:1 and it is 16x9 enhanced.

    As you would expect from a recently released title, the transfer is sharp and shadow detail is good. Blacks appear black and there is no low level noise.

    The predominantly earthy colour palette is frequently punctuated by vibrantly coloured objects such as clothes, cars and blood – plenty of blood.

    There are no MPEG artefacts or film artefacts to be found anywhere. Aliasing is almost non-existent, although it can be seen on the rocks at 33:07. The archival footage used during the opening credits is quite grainy, but given the age of the footage this is to be expected. 

    English subtitles are available for the Hearing Impaired and on both Audio Commentary tracks. The subtitles are well placed and easy to read, accurately reflecting the spoken word.

    This is an RSDL disc, with the layer change occurring at 33:02. Despite being well placed, the layer change was noticeable on my equipment.

Video Ratings Summary
Sharpness
Shadow Detail
Colour
Grain/Pixelization
Film-To-Video Artefacts
Film Artefacts
Overall

Audio

    The audio transfer is also excellent.

    There are three audio tracks in total. I listened to the default English Dolby Digital 5.1 (448Kb/s) audio track, as well as, both English Audio Commentary Dolby Digital 2.0 (192Kb/s) tracks. 

    The dialogue was generally clear and easy to understand, although the mutants are a little more difficult to understand due to their deformities. There are no audio sync problems with this disc.

    The musical score by Tomandandy has a distinctly western flavour that suits the open desert scenes and isolated nuclear test village.

    The surround channels are not used as often as they could have been, but when they are they produce some powerful audio effects. For example the discovery of the bomb crater at 33:40 and the gun shots at 58:03.

    Like the surround channels the subwoofer plays a prominent roll, reinforcing the on-screen action. The explosion at 93:25 makes its presence felt.

Audio Ratings Summary
Dialogue
Audio Sync
Clicks/Pops/Dropouts
Surround Channel Use
Subwoofer
Overall

Extras

    The usual collection of audio commentaries and “making of features” can be found on the disc.

Menu

    The menu is presented in an aspect ratio of 1:78:1 and it is 16x9 enhanced. Consisting of animated and still images, the themed menu is accompanied by a Dolby Digital 2.0 audio track.

Movie Trailers (11:24)

    The obligatory anti-piracy ads are followed by 11 minutes of trailers. Thankfully all, including the anti-piracy ads, can be skipped through. The trailers include; Ice Age 2, X-Men: The Last Stand, Kokoda, The Ringer and Basic Instinct 2.

Audio Commentary

    There are two audio commentary tracks.

    The first includes Screenplay Writer/Director Alexandre Aja, Screenplay Writer/Art Director Gregory Levasseur and Producer Marianne Maddalena.

    Though they hand out the usual praise for all members of the cast and crew, their enthusiasm for the production is quite obvious and genuine. 

    The second commentary track includes Producers Wes Craven and Peter Locke. Together they discuss the production issues in a light hearted, rambling sort of manner. Occasionally they even succeed with their attempts at humour.

    English subtitle streams are provided for both audio commentary tracks.

Surviving The Hills: Making Of “The Hills Have Eyes” (50:24)

    The Making Of “The Hills Have Eyes” is presented in aspect ratio of 1.33:1. The featurette is accompanied by a Dolby Digital 2.0 audio track and English subtitles. 

    The cast and crew discuss the location of the shoot and the design of the various sets. Many of the movies stunt secrets are revealed, along with their philosophy on the use CGI - if only more production teams would follow suit. Unfortunately the scene-by-scene format results in a little too much plot being revealed.

Music Video: “Leave The Broken Hearts” (3:36)

    The music video clip Leave The Broken Hearts, by The Finalist, is presented in aspect ratio of 1.33:1 and it is accompanied by a Dolby Digital 2.0 audio track. Leave The Broken Hearts plays over the closing credits of the movie. 

Web Links

    A simple text page that encourages you to log on to www.foxmovies.com.au.

Censorship

    There is censorship information available for this title. Click here to read it (a new window will open). WARNING: Often these entries contain MAJOR plot spoilers.

R4 vs R1

NOTE: To view non-R4 releases, your equipment needs to be multi-zone compatible and usually also NTSC compatible.

    The Region 4 version of this disc misses out on;

    The Region 1 version of this disc misses out on;

    The Region 1 and Region 4 versions of this disc are comparable, unless foreign language support is important to you.

Summary

   The Hills Have Eyes (2006) will appeal to those who like confronting images and plenty of gore. While it certainly delivers the essential ingredients of a classic horror movie, the wafer thin plot prevents it from reaching any great heights. In fact, without the inclusion of the nuclear test village, complete with its surreal test dummies and 1950s furniture, The Hills Have Eyes (2006) would have simply been just another gore fest. Recommended if you’re not too squeamish.

    The video transfer is excellent.

    The audio transfer is excellent.

    The Making Of “The Hills Have Eyes” is a quality inclusion that should be watched only after viewing the feature as it contains many spoilers.

Ratings (out of 5)

Video
Audio
Extras
Plot
Overall

© Aaron Devereaux (read my bio)
Friday, September 08, 2006
Review Equipment
DVDPioneer DV-533K, using Component output
DisplayInFocus Screenplay 7200 with ScreenTechnics 100" (16x9) screen. Calibrated with Digital Video Essentials (PAL). This display device is 16x9 capable.
Audio DecoderBuilt in to Amplifier. Calibrated with Video Essentials.
AmplificationDenon AVC -A11SR
SpeakersJamo D6PEX wall mounted Speakers and Powered Sub (7.1)

Other Reviews NONE
Comments (Add)
R4 with Unrated cut? - Gizmo35 (The Biography ain't much to look at.)
R4 with Unrated Cut - reply - Anonymous
Details of cuts - Greg
Better than I expected - Sam