Written by / 9/01/2015 / No comments / , , , ,

WES CRAVEN'S THE HILLS HAVE EYES

year: 1977 cast: Suze Lanier, Michael Berryman, Dee Wallace rating: ***
THE (original) HILLS HAVE EYES is generally known as a classic horror film. Because of the blood, guts, and killer cannibals, but especially since Wes Craven, who’d later scare us on ELM STREET and make the next generation SCREAM with delight, wrote and directed. Thus the plot has the usual horror elements: a trailer-traveling family gets derailed in the middle of nowhere and, like the title implies, they’re not alone.

Poster Artwork
The setting is fitfully spooky: the surrounding valley of sharp canyon cliffs where just about anything is possible, especially after the antagonists show themselves in the bright daylight – perhaps too bright for a movie meant to keep us on edge in a genre where darker is better. The Neanderthal hillbillies are liken to a group of mutant hippies had they wandered into the Town of Bedrock after hearing The Beatles White Album.

Michael Berryman, the iconic staple of horror films who, suffering from Hypohidrotic Ectodermal Dysplasia – a rare condition leaving him with no sweat glands, hair, fingernails or teeth – is anything but a victim to his fans: he can really act and steals the show as Pluto, the intrepid scout of the hill-dwelling psychos.

Dee Wallace of THE HOWLING and E.T. gets taken out before the real stuff occurs – leaving her boyfriend, brother, and screaming little sister, played by Suze Lanier, to carry on in this low budget thriller with surprisingly little payoff, leaving the best scenes to the last twenty minutes when the protagonists deliver their own style of creative revenge.
Michael Barryman as Pluto in THE HILLS HAVE EYES
Suze Lanier has a bad feeling
Dee Wallace has the same bad feeling
Michael Berryman is the bad feeling
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