Thursday, March 09, 2006

Tommy scored some free passes for The Hills Have Eyes today and he and Joey were cool enough to invite me along. I'm always up for a horror film, especially a free one. Horror movies have been seeing something of a revival since around 2000. The great thing is that with horror being so popular in these times, creative teams are actually taking care to progress the horror genre since it died in the 1980's. (Lets face it, nothing good came out of the 90's). Now the big studios still pump out, on average, unoriginal, mediocre horror films, but every now and then you run into a real gem. The Hills Have Eyes is no gem, but it is a good example of the direction that big budget horror is going. It's not a bad place.

The film culls America's fear of the isolated back country and the deformed. The basic plot is that a nuclear family, stranded in the new Mexico dessert on a trip to California, is terrorized by a clan of monstrous cannibals who are a result of US nuclear bomb tests. One of the elements that distinguishes this film from other back-country-murder-fests is that our protagonists are a family, not a bunch of horny teens like in Texas Chainsaw or the poorly executed Wrong Turn (Well at least wrong turn has Jeremy Sisto. He's a bad ass in my book.) I think this makes us care a little bit more about the characters in the story than we would otherwise. I think it's a very natural device to use, using a family as the protagonists, because we automatically assume a connection between the characters that would otherwise take minutes, (tens of minutes I say!) to develop properly. In any other horror film, I really don't know what kind of a connection Scott Whats-his-name has with his girlfriend. Is he really in love with her? Maybe he's just saying that to get her in the sack. Looking back on it, if most of my exgirlfriends were taken out by a raving slasher I think I could get over it. My point is, I don't care if a couple is killed if they are only dating. Screenwriters take note.

Something else this film has going for it is its use of gore. If you are a gore fanatic, then you probably have to go to the independent films to quench your blood lust, lets face it, most movie audiences just can't take more than about a second of full frontal gore, but I think you'll be surprised with this film. The film makers do push the audience in this one. Let me tell you they fucking loved it too. The audience was cheering when the bad guys were getting theirs.

So this film reminded me of some media you should check out:

One of the characters in the film reminded me of Aphex Twin's video for drukqs. If you are looking for some gnarly film just do a search for Aphex Twin on video google.

Also check out Skinny Puppy's video for Worlock. The video is made entirely of gory scenes from horror films. Click on link #2. This doesn't work with the Firefox browser so you'll have to use (fuckin') IE.

Oh, and if you want to see a film that leaves you with a sick feeling in your stomach, check out Irreversible. This is a film that creeped me out that I almost don't want to watch again. Good stuff.

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