Film / The Hills Have Eyes (2006)

The Remake of the 1977 horror film by French director Alexandre Aja, who is also responsible for High Tension.

A typical American family is on vacation. They are soon stranded in the middle of desert when their RV breaks down thanks to sabotage and end up being terrorized by a family who are mutated from nuclear fallout by government testing in the area.

A sequel was released in 2007. There's also The Hills Have Eyes: The Beginning, a prequel/interquel graphic novel.

This film has examples of:

  • Adaptational Attractiveness: Inverted. While not "attractive" in the traditional sense of the word (and Pluto being outright deformed by inbreeding), the mutants in the original film are nowhere near as disfigured or hideous as their remake counterparts.
  • Adaptational Badass: Lizard, formerly "Mars", manages to put up a much better fight with Doug in the climax.
  • Adaptation Distillation: Oddly, the film is a case of both this and Adaptation Expansion. While it adds an extended sequence in a nuclear testing town and adds considerable depth to the characters of the Carter family, it also greatly dials back and Flanderizes the mutant characters, who barely have any dialogue, and are portrayed almost entirely as soulless monsters, besides Ruby. Also, it reduces the role of Fred, the gas-station man.
  • Adaptation Name Change: In the original film, Doug's last name was Wood. In here, it's Bukowski, which is a Polish name which literally means "of the beech [tree]". Thus in a way he is still called "Wood".
    • The character of Mars is now named "Lizard".
  • Adaptation Personality Change: Bobby largely kept his feelings bottled up in the original movie, but he's much more outwardly emotional here.
  • Anyone Can Die: The promotional comic for the film plays this trope shockingly straight when Doug, the undisputed walking badass Papa Wolf of a man, and his baby both bite the dust. This was most likely done in order to demonstrate how much the new family does not fuck around. See below for further complaining on the subject and Canon Discontinuity for peace of mind.
  • Attempted Rape: Subverted, Lizard stops Pluto from raping Brenda but Lizard goes through with it
  • Ax-Crazy: Lizard, Pluto and Papa Jupiter.
  • Big Bad: Papa Jupiter and his children. Ruby does a Heel–Face Turn.
  • Chekhov's Gun: A pig seen at the gas station at the start of the film. Ruby switches it with the baby and makes a break for it
  • Creepy Gas Station Attendant: He sends travelers in the direction of the mutants, and in exchange is given any valuables the victims had on them. By the events of the film, years of guilt have caught up with him, and he commits suicide by blowing his brains out with a shotgun in an outhouse.
  • Crucified Hero Shot: Literally, in both. And on a Joshua tree, no less.
  • Danger Takes a Backseat: "Daaaaddy..."
  • Dropped a Bridge on Him: Doug (And his baby, for that matter) in the comic tie-in/prequel. Not perfectly fitting of this trope, but they may as well have killed him off in the opening panels. It's made all the more frustrating to witness when considering the fact that the last time we saw him, he was practically a death machine who could probably vaporize all of them by simply dropping his pants.
  • Flanderization: The mutants, though particularly Pluto, are now more monstrous-looking.
  • Hypocrite: Brenda refuses to look for Bobby's jacket on the saying it stinks, but she later puts up her dusty bare feet in their table and their mom has to call her on it.
  • It Runs in the Family: Granted, because of the fallout there's no choice in the matter.
  • Kill 'em All: This was the mutants' plan in the original, in here, it becomes Doug's.
  • Kill It with Fire: Big Bob's fate, combined with crucifixion.
  • Mutants: In the original film, the mutation of Papa Jupiter and his children is only subtly hinted to be the result of fallout (though casting Michael Berryman as Pluto is a rather... strong hint); in the remake, it's outright stated.
  • Red Right Hand: Papa Jupiter was going to have a parasitic twin growing from his torso, but it didn't make the final cut.
  • The Dog Bites Back: Literally, in this case. Doug's family had two German Shepards, Beauty and Beast. The mutants killed Beauty offscreen. Beast goes on to personally kill Goggle, and later Big Brain. The latter had, moments before, been smirking after ordering Lizard to kill the kidnapped baby out of spite. His death was neither graceful nor quick.
  • Took a Level in Badass: Doug Bukowski, the bespectacled pacifist telecommunications worker who, near the end of the movie, goes on a bloody rampage through the hideout of cannibalistic mutants to save his baby daughter.
  • Villainous Breakdown: Pluto suffers this when Lizard stops him from raping Brenda.
  • The Worf Effect: Big Bob (played by Ted Levine who is famous for playing tough guys) dies first and without putting up much of a fight.