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Moriarty Has Eyes For THE HILLS HAVE EYES!!

Hi, everyone. "Moriarty" here with some Rumblings From The Lab...

Before I even begin to discuss Alexandre Aja’s remake of Wes Craven’s THE HILLS HAVE EYES, I should lay some groundwork.

I’ve always felt that the early films of Wes Craven were better in theory than they were in execution. I like LAST HOUSE ON THE LEFT and HILLS HAVE EYES when I read descriptions of them. I like the films they are trying to be. When I watch them, though, they always strike me as porn-grade trash, poorly acted and barely competent. I have trouble sitting through them, and when I return to the classic horror films of the ‘70s, those aren’t the ones I take off the shelf. I’ve always felt that with some films, like the original TEXAS CHAINSAW MASSACRE, the budget turned into a benefit, giving the films a gritty reality you can’t fake. With those early Craven films, they just felt really, really cheap. I think the original HILLS has its moments, and I think it’s got some atmosphere, and there are a few performances that sort of click, but overall... I’m not overly reverent towards it.

And I take horror seriously. I love the genre. I respect the genre deeply because you’re able to do anything with it. You can deal with any subject. You can tackle any taboo. You can make movies that strip away all the excess baggage and bullshit we all carry around with us, movies that strip characters down to their essential humanity. When a horror film works, I find it to be one of the most exciting things to see. The great ones work on us at an almost chemical level. They’re intoxicating.

Because of that, I take the classics of the genre very seriously, and the current trend to remake anything and everything as long as it’s got a recognizable title makes me a little crazy. And, yes, I know I’m a big fat honking hypocrite because I’m working on RACE WITH THE DEVIL, so you don’t need to inform me like you’re breaking the Watergate story and you just learned a secret. I’m not opposed to remakes across the board... but they worry me, especially when a clumsy piece of junk like the TEXAS CHAINSAW remake gets overpraised and accepted as somehow acceptable or even comparable to the original.

One last bit of precursor: HAUTE TENSION made me mental. I thought it was a skilled bit of survival horror all the way up until it went totally batshit in the last ten or fifteen minutes. Boy, did I hate that twist. I hated it because it made it impossible for me to recommend the film to people. It just seemed like such a blatant “fuck you” to an audience that I couldn’t tell people to go see it, no matter how much I respected the technique of director Alexandre Aja.

So, having said all of that, I have to say... I loved THE HILLS HAVE EYES, and I think this is easily the new gold standard of horror remakes. Aja steps up and takes his place as one of the most important new voices in horror with this film, turning exploitation fare into something akin to... dare I say it... art.

This is not a subtle movie. In fact, if I had to boil it down to one word, I’d describe it as “unbridled.” There’s a sense as you’re watching that the people who made it genuinely want to hurt you, and they don’t care what they have to do in order to make it happen. I am shocked that the MPAA gave this film an R rating in its current form, and all I can figure is that we’ve turned some sort of corner in terms of leniency towards onscreen violence right now. This is one of the hardest R-rated films I’ve seen in a long time, maybe even since the halcyon days of the early ‘80s.

From the very start of the film, Aja exhibits a sure hand and a great sense of control. He sets the film up quickly, painting in broad strokes. He’s helped enormously by his likeable cast, playing a family taking a cross-country trip. “Big Bob” (Ted Levine) and Ethel (Kathleen Quinlan) are the oldest, and “Big Bob” is a retired police detective, a bit of a ball-buster who particularly loves to harass his son-in-law Doug, played by Aaron Stanford, unrecognizable here even if you’ve seen him in X2 or TADPOLE. He’s married to Lynn (Vinessa Shaw, so memorable as the hooker who Tom Cruise almost sleeps with in EYES WIDE SHUT), and the two of them seem to be diametric opposites from Levine and Quinlan. Like I said... the film’s not terribly subtle, and the Republicans vs. Democrats thing was an early warning flag for me. I was afraid that the subtext would become text and completely overwhelm the film.

Nope. We get just enough time to meet daughter Brenda (Emilie De Ravin) and Bobby (Dan Byrd), the youngest, as well as their twin German Shephards, Beauty and Beast, and then the family makes a wrong turn and ends up in the middle of nowhere. They’re just following the directions given to them by the attendant (Tom Bower) at the gas station where they stopped, but somehow, they end up with all their tires flattened and the axle on their Airstream snapped. They don’t even realize they’ve been set up by the attendant, and they certainly can’t imagine what they’ve been set up for.

The thing about this film is, yes, we’ve seen all these story elements over and over at this point. There have been so many movies over the years that have ripped off the original, which you could argue is simply a riff on the same formula that TEXAS CHAINSAW MASSACRE used, that no one is going to walk out of this film commenting on how wonderfully original the story is. What works is the way Aja gradually turns up the heat on his characters. He relies a little too heavily on jump scares in the first half hour of the film, but by the time he has “Big Bob” confront that attendant, only to watch the guy blow his own face off with a shotgun, Aja’s got everything in place, and he just cuts loose. And from that point on, as we hear whispered voices all around Levine in the darkness saying, “Daddddddddy,” the film never slows down again.

There’s a scene in the movie ROMPER STOMPER, a race riot, that starts very small but keeps getting bigger and bigger, accelerating right past where you think it’s going to stop. The first time I saw it, my heart rate doubled and I broke a sweat. It terrified me because it felt like the film had hopped the tracks, like anything could happen. There’s a similar scene in this movie, maybe halfway through, in which the mutants who are hiding in the hills finally attack the trailer for the first time. They use “Big Bob” as a diversion in a moment that’s directly out of the original film, but Aja plays so rough in that trailer that I wasn’t sure I was going to stay seated to watch it unfold.

And for those of you still skeptical, I’ll use one spoiler to illustrate what I’m talking about: Aja points a loaded gun in an infant’s face while someone sexually assaults the infant’s mother.

In. Fucking. Sane.

In fact, the middle of the film is so brutal that it mutes some of the impact of the third act. The film goes where it has to go, and it saves some of its most deranged moments for the last twenty minutes or so. Once the mutant family takes center stage and we venture out of our world and into theirs, there’s a pretty radical shift in tone. Desmond Askew is outrageous as a chair-bound member of the family that should look vaguely familiar to Chris Cunningham fans. Robert Joy and Michael Bailey Smith handle the lion’s share of the physical business, and they’re both suitably intimidating. KNB contributes all of the physical make-up effects, but some of the most unsettling stuff appears to also utilize digital gags. It’s a great mix, because it’s hard to tell what’s what. The score by tomandandy is outstanding, just the right degree of assault on the audience, as great as the work they did on KILLING ZOE.

But none of that would matter if we weren’t invested in the Carters, the human family that is the entire point of this film. So often, these horror remakes forget to do the one thing that is of utmost importance when doing this. We have to care about these people, or all their suffering means nothing. If it’s just violence porn, then it fails. If all you care about is gore and killing and the dumb animal release of it all, you’ll get your fill of that here, but Aja and his co-writer Gregory Levasseur get it right in the right ways. By playing so rough, by unseating us from the familiar, they make this film effective. They allow us to genuinely fear for the Carters. It really is that simple. The film succeeds completely as a horror film, eclipsing Wes Craven’s original in the process, because it respects the fundamental truths of the genre. It is flat-out no-shit straight-from-the-tap fear, and that is a precious commodity for a horror fan who feels a little lost amidst a glut of pretenders.

"Moriarty" out.

Readers Talkback
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  • March 10, 2006, 7:06 a.m. CST


    by Jay Jay

    Dammit! Blew my big chance!

  • March 10, 2006, 7:19 a.m. CST

    Oh man, this sounds even better than the trailer looked

    by Roguewriter

    Thanks for a solid study, Mori. This one goes straight to the top of the must-see list, even if I'm forced to hide my eyes part of the time. What can I say, I'm not the strong-willed 19-yr-old I once was! Say, Mori, anything impact you differently about horror flicks now that you're a proud papa? I always had folks tell me I'd see things juuuuust a bit differently with my own little guy running around this crazy world... and they're right. There's this subtle shift. Stuff that hasn't been truly scary since I was in my own pre-teens is scary again -- especially real-life psycho storylines like HILLS or TEXAS CHAIN SAW. Granted, not a lot of opportunities for being waylaid by crazy mutants in the modern world... but we live in a world full of loons and headcases. Just wondering if parenthood adds another layer of tension to anyone else's enjoyment of modern horror films...

  • March 10, 2006, 7:23 a.m. CST


    by Ken Luxury Yacht

    ...can't wait to give this a look see. In fact I was planning to be seeing this right now, but got far too drink last night, so will have to catch a later showing. Damn that Tuaca... but god bless this film!

  • March 10, 2006, 7:35 a.m. CST

    It's spelled Yacht

    by Jay Jay

    But it's pronounced "throat wobbler mangrove."

  • March 10, 2006, 7:36 a.m. CST


    by drew mcweeny

    ... loaded gun... in an infant's face. I could barely believe what I was seeing, and I had to keep myself from standing up and leaving. Yeah... stuff affects me differently now. But Aja's great at hitting lots of those types of nerves so that it won't just work for me that way.

  • March 10, 2006, 7:50 a.m. CST

    Yes! That's what I wanted to hear.

    by Psyclops

    A friend of mine went and saw it last night and he enjoyed the hell out of it, but this review has me really excited. I am so ready for a no holds barred horror experience, something to rattle the teeny bopping crowd responsible for making WHEN A STRANGER CALLS the #1 movie last month. Bring it on.

  • March 10, 2006, 8 a.m. CST


    by TheBoyFromUlster

    Man, I can't wait for this! Going tonight to see it. I'm not even a big fan of Horror films, in fact I would go so far as saying it is one of my least favorite kind of genre (apart from rom-coms!) I like good, well made films and this looks the part. Dunno about the buzz word at the minute

  • March 10, 2006, 8:16 a.m. CST

    God, What a Horrible World

    by SamuelLappDance

    But then again I guess it always has been. Applauding a film for putting a loaded gun to an infant?! THAT is what passes for true daring in the Bush-Cheney decade?! Threatening to blow off a baby's head while the mother is being sexually assaulted by a mutant who we're supposed to feel sorry for because his dumb-ass parents or grandparents didn't move away from where they were testing atomic weapons?! That's not daring. That's just stepping down to the next rock layer. That's just showing that the MPAA is the most laughably ineffective agency in Washington. We'll give an R rating to a film with a baby being threatened with a revolver, her mom assaulted and then murdered, her aunt raped and brutalized, her dad having his fingers hacked off, her grandmother blown away, and her grandfather crucified on a cactus and burned alive. But if you show a man naked from the waist down for more than 10 seconds ... NC-17 rating and no distribution. If you show two people making love in a way that is believable ... NC-17 and no distribution. You can pull the nipples off a woman with a pair of pliers and it will get an R rating and be shown on 3,000 screens across North America. But if you show a man (or a woman) kissing that nipple for more than a few seconds ... NC-17 and no distribution. These are disturbing times, getting more disturbing. Global carnage, both real and staged and filmed. And it's being applauded, bottled, packaged, sold, and purchased.

  • March 10, 2006, 8:45 a.m. CST

    Thanks, Mori -- yeah, that's a cringeworthy image...

    by Roguewriter

    I got shaken up at the sight of the gun zeroing the baby in the DAWN OF THE DEAD remake -- and that was in spite of my eye-rolling at the delightfully goofy CGI zombie-baby FX... As for SamLapp's comments (et al) about the lowest-common-denominator psychology of modern horror films, I find myself wanting to agree on a superficial level, especially as someone who is now starting to understand why my dad always said "Just wait til YOU have a kid." But the truth goes deeper than that. Horror as a genre is a unique cultural mirror unlike any other in any medium. Yes, there's exploitative sleaze out there. But even in the most meritless, socially irresponsible horror storytelling, there are almost always deeper truths worth exploring: subtle exposures of the things we fear as individuals and (more often) as a culture or society; a spotlight on social inequality or injustice; the purposeful exploding of stale cultural mores; and the challenge to explore the darker side of the human condition... to see not just what we fear, but ourselves in a completely shadowless light. Who are we when we're naked and exposed and helpless? What does powerlessness reduce us to? At its most basic level, all horror storytelling in this vein (ordinary folks whose world shatters because they stumble across monstrous antagonists of one breed or another) is a study of empowerment, and a sign of the times. In the late 1960s, and continuing into the early 80s, horror movies began robbing the once-solid family unit of power (see THE EXORCIST, of course), giving power instead to the formerly hapless heroine (HALLOWEEN et al), usually a shrinking violet who blossomed into a survivor and took on whatever menace has decimated her pals. Message? The nuclear family is on shakier ground every year... and feminism is the new and undeniable social trend. That was then, this is now. Who do we fear? EVERYONE AROUND US. Neighbors. Road-ragers on the highway. The weird guy at work who appears fifteen seconds from postal. Republicans. What are they doing to us? Brutalizing our sense of safety and security. What better catharsis for this gestalt dis-ease than to see this faceless menace emerge into the light, a slouching, monstrous mutant brute, just as we always knew the true face of fear would wear? Sure, the horrific violence visited on most of the characters in these films plays into those fears, meaning even while we're screaming or groaning or whatever we're also thinking "I knew it... I always knew it... I knew this sort of thing could happen..." The payoff is the finale, the re-empowerment of whatever survivor finds the inner strength to take on the enemy and vanquish him/it on his/its own terms. Normalcy (sorta) is restored; good guys win. The question, exiting the theater, is always: "Could I do that? Could I endure that? Could I survive?" Don't underestimate the importance of horror -- even exploitative snuff horror -- in helping a listless, untethered, spiritually troubled society ponder issues of merit. With popcorn. ;)

  • March 10, 2006, 8:57 a.m. CST


    by PhilConnors

    First of all, I agree with the thrust of your post. But the question is, why is violence so acceptable to us while sex is still taboo? It has to stem from our Puritanical roots. After all, the symbol of the dominant religion in this country for the past 200 years is an implement of torture. One of the most successful horror films ever is the Passion of the Christ. And then you throw in the fact that we are spreading freedom and happiness around the world by bombing the hell out of it, and it's a recipe for embracing violence.

  • March 10, 2006, 8:58 a.m. CST

    Seriously, have we lost our way in this world?


    The last thing I'm gonna do is say that horror movies or entertainment in general is responsible for the decline of our morals in this world. However, I think I'm one of the few people out there who does not suscribe to the theory that horror is "art". Yeah there is a lot more censoring going on nowadays and I don't agree with the fact that nakedness gets a harsher rating than violence in films,(fact is most of the time I feel better after seeing someone naked as opposed to seeing someone getting stabbed in the eye) but really. Do we take anything positive away from movies like this? A lot of movie reviewers that I hear and read like to say things like, "well it's just a reflection of the darker side of humanity and it makes us realize that we don't need to be that way" (that's my personal paraphrase)but that always just sounds like an excuse to me. Just some of my thoughts feel free to disagree. By the way I agree that having children changes the way you look at everything. After my baby was born I watched SAW and the thing that bugged me the most in that movie was the way they treated that little girl. That's one other thing that bothers me. What are they doing to these kids by making them act in stuff like this. Even if they never see the movie as a whole when it's finished, kids are a lot smarter than we give them credit for. I'm just sayin'.....AND THUS I HAVE SPOKEN AARONIUS THE 1ST! (sorry chickengeorge)

  • March 10, 2006, 9 a.m. CST

    Stay Frosty

    by Vitaly Chernobyl

    Toys for Guns promotion - give all kids guns and let them whack each other before they gang up on us and take over the world!! Soylent Green!!!!

  • March 10, 2006, 9:02 a.m. CST

    Redemptive violence

    by PhilConnors

    In other words, there's a deep seated religious belief in western civilization that violence is good for us.

  • March 10, 2006, 9:08 a.m. CST

    Understood, Rougewriter. But...

    by SamuelLappDance

    I highly doubt there are enough good filmmakers out there to make motion pictures that would adequately explore these issues. More likely, we'll get the inevitable second wave of imitators who will have no command of character, plot, or atmosphere but will instead be committed simply to getting the next most shocking imagery pass the MPAA and into cineplexes. And THAT will be what will kill this trend. And if you are an observer of the business end of films, these so-called "torture pornos" are still pretty much packaged and marketed to gore hounds and guys age about 14 to 29. They have nowhere near the artistic merit and crossover promise of a "Silence of the Lambs" or "Seven." And no one is gonna buy or rent the Unrated DVDs in a few months for any great social reason. They'll rent or buy simply to see the even more graphic stuff that the MPAA patted itself on the back for forcing the filmmakers to edit out, not realizing that they are creating a secondary market that gives these aggressively dire and ugly films a second life to be seen by a heck of lot more children because--let's face it--Best Buy, Circuit City, Tower, and Virgin Megastores will sell whatever to whomever regardless of age. That said, I found your response intelligent and compelling. And I thank for replying in such a thoughtful manner.

  • March 10, 2006, 9:12 a.m. CST

    Bing! Right again, PhilConnors! =)

    by Roguewriter

    "In other words, there's a deep-seated religious belief in western civilization that violence is good for us." Well... I wouldn't limit that to western civ... I don't think too many folks in Burbank deeply ascribe to the belief that blowing one's self to pieces along with a busload of infidels assures one a place in paradise. And if you go farther back, violence is the norm, not the exception. To quote Mr. John Lesley Stephenson, he of Whitechapel and later vaporized in 1970s-era San Francisco: "The evidence of human history is that we live in a cosmic charnelhouse. Mankind hunts; we're hunted. That's how it is. That's how it shall always be." It's not that violence is good for us -- it's that violence is INEVITABLE. It's built in at the genetic level, and therefore inescapable. Hand a simple bushman an empty Coke bottle, and eventually he'll brain another member of the tribe with it. What can we do about it? Avoid complacency and forgetfulness. Avoid forgetting everything that happened, the blood that was spilled and the ideals fought for, to make our modern lives the comfortable, somewhat overweight idylls they are (relatively speaking; your mileage may vary). Violence is part of life. You can become its victim, or you can stand against its inevitable onslaught. Revel in humanity's one true gift, the one that elevates it above the rest of the animal world: its capacity to rise above, to seek nobler ideals, to nurture the better angels of our nature.

  • March 10, 2006, 9:16 a.m. CST

    It Should Also Be Said

    by SamuelLappDance

    I'm a father of a little girl and an owner of dogs (who also are fodder in the "Hills" remake). I am also a horror fan on a certain level in that I love stuff like vampire and werewolf films, the Hammer works, cheesy-cool '80s flicks like "Fright Night" and "The Blob" remake. I do believe the horror genre is capable of delivering powerful experiences. Unfortunately, I also believe that there just aren't enough talented people who love the genre and are actively working in it to elevate it for any sustained amount of time.

  • March 10, 2006, 9:31 a.m. CST

    I'm in (slight) agreement with Samuel

    by Kung Fu Hustler

    I love horror movies, but when I went and saw "Wolf Creek" over Christmas, I was appalled and contemplated walking out of the theater. There was no artistic merit or even point to that story. Don't trust strangers when you're stranded because they will take you to their torture village and methodically kill you. Just because you can do something, Mori, doesn't mean you have to, and I'm supposed to applaud the torture of a character because the filmmaker had the balls to show some crazy shit? That said, the horror genre is my favorite -- I just think it's better than the "torture porn" crap we've been getting since the TCM remake.

  • March 10, 2006, 9:34 a.m. CST

    Sadly, Samuel, I concur...

    by Roguewriter

    ... especially in regard to who's buying the uncut DVDs. I loves me some zombie movies, to be sure, but for the life of me I don't understand the mindset that Just Has To Own LAST HOUSE ON THE LEFT or Gregg Araki's THE DOOM GENERATION or grindhouse popcorn splatterfare like THE DEVIL'S REJECTS (entertaining because of the terrifically weird characters and the endless subtextual possibilities, but not a keeper!). Nihilism and gore for its own sake is a disturbing trend... but what worries me more are all the badly lacking social forces in today's society: problem-choked schools, overworked and underavailable parents, and a growing national crisis in terms of defunded, understaffed or outright canceled city/community programs supporting, nurturing and inspiring young people. These institutions once did a far better job of balancing kids' natural youthful affection for the taboo and the obscene (or even just the scary and kewwwwl) with healthy physical and mental pursuits and a real-world anchor to humanity and social responsibility... What also worries me (like you, I believe) is that a few truly disturbed, irreparably socially damaged individuals out there are completely missing any subtext and focusing purely on the sick and demented aspects of B-horror fare (hell, Oliver Stone himself admitted he blew it with NATURAL BORN KILLERS, because it was obvious way too many enthusiastic fans missed his intended point completely). It's gonna happen. I can't argue that. And sadly, the marketers of such product seem gleefully unaware they're huckstering most effectively to these damaged souls. The forgotten value of horror cinema is universally forgotten, in that respect.

  • March 10, 2006, 9:35 a.m. CST

    America VS The World

    by PhilConnors

    Roguewriter, I was trying to look at why America is different from other parts of the world where they tolerate sexuality more than violence in art. I think it might have to do with the fact that basically we have the cultural heritage of religious fanatics who believed that God chose to torture and murder his own son as atonement for the sins of mankind. The fascination with martyrdom definitely carried over to Islam though.

  • March 10, 2006, 9:39 a.m. CST

    Hey, Moriarty. I have a question.

    by cyanide christ

    Do you grade this movie on a curb. What I mean is, is it good because horror movies have been pretty tame and this one just looks better compared to those? Or is it a good horror film that holds its own and creates its own space in the horror genre? Great review as usual. Thanks for your time.

  • March 10, 2006, 9:42 a.m. CST

    I saw it on Monday... I disagree

    by stlfilmwire

    The music was overbearing, and the first 40 minutes was nothing more than an episode of Survivor. There was no real character build. Their conversations did nothing but remind me what each character represents. However, I will admit that I was encouraged by how they are "handled" as time ticks on. Yet in the end, it didn't really do it for me. Mori liked the film and yet the cheap audio scares at the beginning were so horrible that even he acknowledged how terrible they were. I didn't care for the family one bit. Great FX, nice direction... but it stops there. I'd rather see Alexandre Aja

  • March 10, 2006, 9:49 a.m. CST

    Mori... The Chainsaw Remake is quite good if....

    by Mr. Profit

    You look at it as a sequel more than a remake. The original has a different feeling, gritty, raw, and implied violence that makes you feel as if you have seen more that what you actually saw. But the acting is weak save for how fucking terrified the actress who played Sally was, and how she was pretty gully when throwing herself out of two fucking windows. But the remake was a good film. The pacing is quicker because it's not 1974. Audiences are used to overexplanation and being spoon fed crap like "When A Stranger Calls" and have short attention spans. The slasher sub-genre of Horror needs to be more like a rollercoaster now. Big beginning, good kills in the middle, with a satisfying ending. Pure Popcorn. That's how I took it. I didn't sit there and pick it apart. I can't be an elitist horror snob all the time :) TCM 2003 was serious, a welcome change from all the post Scream bullshit we have had to endure. To me, the remake of TCM was only a "Remake" because people would go see it more than they would see "The Texas Chainsaw Massacre Part 5: The Saw Is Family". Also High Tension is a brilliant horror film. The ending is a bit much, but the ending doesn't ruin how bad ass the film was before it. And again I rave about it all the time, but the Score for High Tension is creepy, haunting, bad ass, and fucking beautiful. I am seeing Hills tonight, hopefully it will be a good film. Fingers crossed for the future of R Rated Horror.

  • March 10, 2006, 9:54 a.m. CST

    Sure, Americans carry an armload of religious baggage.

    by Roguewriter

    On top of that, you're talking about a culture plagued with guilt for two spectacular periods of history: the genocide of the original American peoples and the enslavement of African blacks. I don't care what the insensitive bozos OR the pop-shrink nonfic writers out there say, we've never recovered as a culture from either of those events (I'd add Hiroshima, but I think most Americans believe we were justified... however horrible the event itself) primarily because we're founded on a quiet sort of Judeo-Christian love ethic; that, in turn, conflicts desperately with the unspoken horrors of Christianity, from the bloody carnage of the Old Testament to the brutal martyrdom of Jesus and the relentless nightmare scenarios promised the unrepentant in Revelations. And yeah, we're all kinds of f**ked up about sex. And addicted to a soul-blighting cycle of victimization, litigation, I'm-okay-you're-okay psychology and delightfully violent video games where you can punch hookers and shoot cops and old ladies and then run away. We're a cultural study in contradiction, desperate for forgiveness -- yet nobody seems willing to face up to the things we really seek forgiveness for, nor to take the harder step: to forgive ourselves and move on. And have a somewhat higher opinion of our thighs and penis sizes.

  • March 10, 2006, 9:59 a.m. CST

    That should have read...

    by Roguewriter

    ..."spectacularly EMBARRASSING periods of history," sorry!

  • March 10, 2006, 10:13 a.m. CST

    "the early films of Wes Craven were better in theory"


    This whole paragraph makes me not only want to see THE HILLS HAVE EYES but indicates that you're the right man for the job with RACE WITH THE DEVIL. God somebody finally said it: Wes Craven's early stuff was bad and frustrating because you could see how it would be brilliant, IF ONLY....

  • March 10, 2006, 10:14 a.m. CST

    Mori - "Home Invasion" inspiration v review...

    by genro offense, but I've seen a number of people become jazzed over something because of a similar personal project they're working on. They way you right about the camper assault...

  • March 10, 2006, 10:31 a.m. CST

    America The Violent? In Movies? SO WHAT


    India loves nonsensical, upbeat musicals. Why? Because it's the exact opposite of their lives and that's what they want to watch. I know this because I've asked. Chinese movies tend to incorporate the serious to the silly to the romantic--the whole emotional range in each film because people are poor and when they pay for a movie they want to get as much for their buck as possible. Or so sayeth Q.T.. So why do we like fear and gore and action? Before 9/11 the answer was that real nation-wide tragedies don't happen here. We didn't have ethnic cleansing. We had killer bees. Since then, and thanks to Bush, we've had nothing but fear pumped at us and so I think our fascination with this stuff has mutated. Now we seek release from that fear by giving it a face and watching it die. Plus PG-13 horror sucks ass. Horror, like all cinema, is an art, but only in the hands of an artist. That it's a genre many aspiring filmmakers use to make low-budget calling cards isn't its fault. That big studios often treat it as purely a money-making venture is also not its fault. Those facts make it harder to seperate the fool's gold from the real, but sift away, lil' miner. There's gold in them thar hills (have eyes).

  • March 10, 2006, 10:35 a.m. CST


    by Yoda's Ball Sack

    This sucked monkey balls. Remember the final scene from Return of the Living Dead where the town was nuked? This movie should have had the same ending.

  • March 10, 2006, 10:44 a.m. CST

    Insightful, valiens...

    by Roguewriter

    Another valid commentary: we become fascinated with lifestyles/situations/scenarios we typically don't face ourselves, and that fascination can easily turn to obsession and/or exploitation when we're abruptly faced with it in real life (i.e., 9/11). You also nailed what I was trying to say about transmogrifying and vanquishing our real-world fears VIA the movies. And I had to LOL at the killer-bees comment! ;)

  • March 10, 2006, 10:46 a.m. CST

    Why nakedness gets a harsher rating than violence

    by performingmonkey

    It's because the violence isn't real, but the nakedness is. Sure, sex is simulated, but when you've got two people writhing and moaning on top of each other it might as well be real. Conservative people find this much more uncomfortable than seeing someone get shot. I'm seeing this, come on, who isn't? You fucking pussies.

  • March 10, 2006, 10:49 a.m. CST

    AARONIUS... the point of a horror movie is

    by BrucecampbellsRH

    NOT to make you feel "good" or better. The point of art is to elicit an emotional response. Hence, if a horror flick makes you feel something like sorrow or fear or anger or whater, it has done its job and has value. I just don't get people who walk out of a movie and say they hated it because it made them feel bad. Ain't that the point? Why the hell do I want a horror flick that makes me feel good? The poitn is to be ferocious, dangerous, limit-exceeding, taboo-busting, make your balls shrink unpleasant. Movies like that "re-sensitize" you to violence, undoing 100 years of mindless violent entertainment in America. Sure, some horror movies are fun and cool, but those are not really horror. HORROR... should horrify, can't be any plainer than that. And no that does not excuse any violent cinematic endeavor. My point is only that complaining abotu horror that is unpleasant is like complaining about porn making you want to have sex.

  • March 10, 2006, 10:57 a.m. CST

    I'll also echo valiens' RACE W/ DEVIL comment...

    by Roguewriter

    Given that it's a remake I once dreamed of doing myself as a spec (tagline: "It's gonna be a Hell of a trip!" Take THAT, "Who will survive and what will be left of them?"!!) I gotta say I'm really psyched to see what you do with RACE WITH THE DEVIL, Moriarty. So where the hell will we have to go to sneak a peek at THAT script?! =)

  • March 10, 2006, 10:58 a.m. CST

    Yes, religion is to blame!

    by bah

    All the world's ills are due to religion! Start up the camps! Pfff. Religion is a misappropriated motive for inevitable violence. Religion is no more responsible for murder than Jodie Foster is for Reagan's shooting.

  • March 10, 2006, 11 a.m. CST

    Mad, mad world indeed / SamuelLappDance: Full agreement

    by andrew 13

    I completely agree with your words. This is a mad, mad world indeed. A girl's breasts are a mortal sin, the literal slaughtering of a family is not. I already posted my opinion concerning flicks like TEXAS CHAINSAW MASSACRE or HAUTE TENSION or this one. To sum uo my argument: We are at the brink of ignoring any human dignity. Is it art to show how fingers, arms, legs, heads and other parts of the human body are chopped off? Is it art to turn down any respect for the human? No! It is not. Violence for violence sake is no art at all. It is disgusting and deeply inhuman. One could also discuss this in a more subtle, intellectual way: Moriarty said that horror was a favoured genre of his, because it allowed the display of all facets of human life. The horror-movie-world as a super-world for human feelings, longings, conduct, love, hate, the whole cosmos. Great. Has anyone considered that it is very easy to pick out a single human or social trait or occurrence and then throw into a horror story? And then all these fanboys will agree: --- Well, the slaughtering happened in a mall, so its crackling, serious consumation criticism (aka Great, we got the message)!!! --- Well, the slaughtering was executed by some outlaws/diseased; so it's all about social exclusion and discrimination (aka Great, we got the message). IMO the real task for a FILMMAKER still is to protray the real world we live in. That's why we need motion pictures; because they serve as the only medium that can really convey reality in the most direct way. If the filmmaker needs the alien / Jason / Freddy to show is our world, he just has no good ideas dammit.

  • March 10, 2006, 11:14 a.m. CST

    And Last House on the Left could benefit from a Remake.

    by Mr. Profit

    Then let someone with balls make it. Last House was very scary to me because the villains were fucking real and I saw it when I was a teenager. I lived in the South Bronx during the Crack epidemic and I learner very early how truly fucked up people can be. So the fact that the killers in Last House were real people and not a guy in a mask stalking kids stuck with me. Remaking Last House would be a good idea, then you can fix all of Craven's mistakes. Mainly the retarded way he tried to dull the effect of the violence and brutality with the two bumbling cops and that ugly chicken coop lady with the fucked up jibbers. Last House reinforced in a lot of people I knew growing up who saw it the fact that you shouldn't blindly trust everyone. Because the girls in the film meet their demise by going to a stranger's house. It also helped Craven that Krug Stillo was a bad bastard. If they do remake it though, they need to have "Wait For The Rain" play sometime during the film. Anyhow, Craven is flawed as a filmmaker. And I do commend Mori for saying that shit outloud. He is no horror master. His only good movie was Nightmare 1, but even that film was surpassed by Parts 3 and 4 of the series in my opinion. Part 3 (Written but not directed by Craven) utilized the dream aspect more. It was more fun to watch, and the acting was way better than part 1. And Part 4 is very enjoyable. The SFX are good. And it was the 1st truly mainstream big budget blockbuster Freddy movie. And if you ask people to name their favorite Freddy death, you always hear about Debbie's roach transformation. But Craven is smart in letting better filmmakers remake his previous lesser known works. Too bad John Carpenter (A true horror master in my opinion) has fallen off so fucking horribly. Because the John Carpenter I love would not have let them remake The Fog so fucking terribly.

  • March 10, 2006, 11:22 a.m. CST

    Is anyone else tired of this?

    by Knightsong

    Is anyone else getting tired of the "in-you-face violence/gore" stuff. For me movies like Hellraiser and Chainsaw Massacre were never frightening. To me watch horribly disfigured people torture people for 2 hours is more of a dietary suppliment than scary. I think what people have forgotten is how scary what you don't see can really be. It seems like what the whole horror genre has degraded to is a race between film makers to create the next twisted freak gore fest with no real effort to try and put the viewer on the edge of their seat. Our minds are incredible things, able of putting together all sorts of images with just a few visual clues. I think film makers should step back and start creating stories that are so good that half the scares are the ones we give ourselves.

  • March 10, 2006, 11:53 a.m. CST

    I Am, Knightsong!

    by Deandome

    I dunno...I used to LOVE gore/horror movies in my teens thru myearly 30s. The Hellraisers..Elm Sts. (not so much Fri. 13ths...I got tired of the typical teen slashers)...Reanimators...Phantasms...Blood Diner...Living Deads... "Quality Kills" ruled...the more creative, the better. And these days, I still like stuff like The Ring/Grudge & general horror. Maybe I'm just getting too old, but I have ZERO interest in seeing the new breed of SADISM flicks. Saw...Last House...Hostel...the Rob Zombie stuff (even though I heard so much good stuff 'bout Devil's Rejects)...even the last Silence o/t Lambs. I just have no interest any more in seeing people tortured. Call it it fagging out in my old age. Hell, I think it's odd, as overall my tastes are NOT stuck in the 80s/90s. But honestly, I think 'sadism flicks' deserve their own label & shouldn't be grouped in (and SULLY) the fine genre of "horror". Like Knightsong says, dismembering people isn't scary or suspenseful, it's just distasteful, and it's a cheap substitute for REAL horror!! Speaking of distasteful...did you see the last Invasion with the attempted self-abortion scene? Man, that was one of the creepiest things I've seen on TV in a LOOONG a good way!! Hats off to Shaun Cassidy & ABC for having the balls to do that in the current JesusLand environment.

  • March 10, 2006, 12:34 p.m. CST

    The issue isn't what we go to for entertainment

    by PhilConnors

    Because frankly, America has got at all. The issue is what the moral police classify as "obscene" entertainment. Violence is completely acceptable - pretty much anything goes even on network TV these days! But show a nipple and you've got an R rating. Pathetic. And the "violence is an escape from our peaceful lives" hypothesis is ridiculous. America is the most violent developed (read: wealthy and industrialized) nation on earth. And for the guy who mocked my reference to Christianity, you're an idiot. What else has influenced the moral police if not their religion?

  • March 10, 2006, 12:57 p.m. CST

    I'm afraid I'll start a shitstorm, but I got a question

    by OurManInMontr

    First off, let me say I'm pleasantly surprised to find such an interesting talkback under a review for THIS movie! Big thanks largely go to SamuelLappDance and Roguewriter. Now, I'll try to ease into this, and get people to understand that I'm asking respectfully and am definitely not doing this as looking down on America or Americans in any way. Back when I first saw 'Bowling for Columbine', I was so very proud to see that segment on Canada, and how we don't own so many guns, and how we register those we do (on principle, at least...), and how many of us will, even in this century, feel safe enough to leave our front door open. Of course that somewhat 'fairy-tale-ish' portrait isn't an accurate depiction of all Canada (unfortunately) can be, mostly if you move towards larger urban centres, and smiling, polite Munchkins is not quite an appropriate depiction of Canadians either. As you can perhaps guess, I operate from Montr

  • March 10, 2006, 1:01 p.m. CST


    by cyanide christ

    Sorry, it was still pretty early in the morning when I typed that. I didn't think I was being monitered by the grammar patrol. Does it really make that big of a diiference? You obviously knew what I meant. I guess some people feel the need to point out petty mistakes to make themselves feel smarter. Anyhow, I will try to do better for your sake. I'm sorry I ruined your day with one of my posts.

  • March 10, 2006, 1:01 p.m. CST

    the film turns on a dime...

    by Cuchulain

    ...let in the proceedings. Up to that point it's everything Moriarty described. Then the two male characters left turn into absurd variations of Rambo and McGyver with no context, unleashing hell upon every mutant in sight. At that point it ceases to be scary and begins pandering to the audience's need to cheer for bloody carnage. It's entertaining to see medieval axes take apart mutant heads as if they were watermelons but the film pulls its punches in the process, and that prevents it from being anywhere near as memorable as it could have been had the filmmakers stuck with the tone they established over the first two acts.

  • March 10, 2006, 1:03 p.m. CST

    Pet peeve regarding reviews of remakes

    by Immortal_Fish

    Please contrast and compare the original against the remake. What's changed? What's new? What's gone? Mori at least offers one nugget in pointing to Big Bob's demise, but that's as far as he goes, still leaving questions. Is the remake better or worse for the changes/additions/deletions? Example -- For all the recent talk about this film, not a single mention of Beast pulling a Rin Tin Tin. I thought this was sudden and forced in the original, offering an opportunity for improvement in the sequel.

  • March 10, 2006, 1:03 p.m. CST

    its spelt GRAMMER !!!!!

    by misnomer

    Using spelling/grammar as a way to debunk someones argument should really be a last resort. *not that I've read said argument* Just saying that I used to get seriously bothered by other peoples basic spelling errors...but there really is no point. It's kind of like getting angered at a retard for being slow. Plus, I know some very insightful and articulate people who simply just cannot spell. weird,huh? As for this movie-and talking about how age effects us- since I hit the 20's, gore just really turns me off. *not that it ever turned me on ; )*

  • March 10, 2006, 1:10 p.m. CST

    Tell me, Anchorite

    by OurManInMontr

    Do you have any kind of a particularly hard time taking a shit? Such a fertile TB and THAT's all you come up with? My grandma's looking for a date; interested?

  • March 10, 2006, 1:13 p.m. CST

    I'm not tired of it at all, and here's why...

    by Uncooked_Meat

    I mean, I know this is the obvious thing to say but - it's not real. And I think that's part of the thrill of it. The fascination doesn't come from the real-ness of it, it comes from the unrealness of it. When you have movies that are painful to watch, for me anyway, the interest in it is akin to our interest in science fiction. It's so far from what we know and see in our daily lives, it becomes interesting. It's not the same thing as action movies, where you think (to paraphrase Dane Cook) "God, I'd love to be part of the heist in Heat, that'd be so cool". Instead, it's almost fantasy, and I don't mean fantasy in the sense that torture and mutilation is something I fantasize about, but that it's fantastical, almost otherworldly. Frankly, I am FAR more disturbed by those who are interested in the old "faces of death" movies, and those who want to see the real thing. But those who want to watch lunatic, fantastical representations of things that don't resemble our every day lives - I guess I don't see anything wrong with it. Honestly, I have a pretty weak stomach for this type of stuff, but I don't necessarily begrudge those who like it. Unless it's Hostel, in which case it just flat out sucks.

  • March 10, 2006, 1:21 p.m. CST

    Yes, yes...

    by chaos731

    ...these are the same issues, arguments, and moral/political/geographical/ethical positions that have been done OVER and OVER again for literally centuries. Sure, at first it was about graphic and exploitative woodcuts and paintings by the likes of Albrecht Duhrer, Heironymous Bosch, and Francis Bacon, whose imagery fascinated the masses and inflamed the anger of the so-called moral superiors at the time. And that, my friends, is why horror entertainment (in any form) is not only art, but important, relevant art. Sure, most of the purveyours of this art form don't realize that they're creating art, and it's usually not art for its own sake, but that doesn't diminish the fact that it's art. The creation of Art is NOT, nor has it ever been, in ideal circumstances, a conscious act on the part of the creator. The label "art" is projected onto a given work by its AUDIENCE. Therefore, just about everything that can be, ostensibly, interpreted as "art" has plenty of supporters as well as detractors. Truly relevant art is something that either captures the zeitgeist of an era, evokes specific emotional reactions through the use of technique (whether it's intentional or not), or provokes discussion...even heated discussion (that's certainly the case here, it seems). Anyway, it's always arguable that this remake is "art", but that is the very thing that makes it art. Surely, a single film, or even an entire genre of films, cannot be held responsible for the downfall of Western Civilization as we know some of the more cynical folks here would have you believe. Likewise, a single film or genre of films should never become the panacea or scapegoat for the ills of the world. Films do not create evil...even the most evil of films ("August Underground's Mordum", anyone?)

  • March 10, 2006, 1:25 p.m. CST

    If all you care about is gore and killing.....

    by cookylamoo

    Yeah, that's about it. I'm totally jaded by now.

  • March 10, 2006, 1:28 p.m. CST

    Didn't they show more violence in EVERY type of film...

    by Mr. Profit

    In the 70's and warly 80's? Why is everyone coming down on gore now. I'm no gore hound. I disliked the Saw movies and had no interest in Hostel. Seeing cut up limbs with no fucking build up or reason is retarded. But still, I can recall seeing a nasty fucking movie called Cannibal Holocaust back in the day. And that shit was just plain gross and I havent seen anything nasty like it since. Even fucking Gremlins was edgy for it's time. GREMLINS.... You'd never see a Gremlins movie made in 2006 made the same way. Why is everyone reverting into pussies? I bet if they remade The Neverending Story Atreyu's horse would live.

  • March 10, 2006, 1:29 p.m. CST


    by Mr. Profit

    Dont want the spell check gestapo to come get me.

  • March 10, 2006, 1:32 p.m. CST

    The Hills Have No Soul

    by SamuelLappDance

    Wow, I logged off the ol' computer for a while and didn't realize I was part of (and partly responsible for) such an interesting Talkback. Roguewriter, we do seem to be together on a number of key things, most notably the absence of stability, safety, inspiration, and alternative outlets for aggression for today's youth. And you and others may be correct that this newfangled "sadism theater" may be a partial response to that, dramatizing a certain helplessness on the part of the under-30 set. But, again, I think this is giving this kind of "cinema" a bit too much credit. Mostly, these cheapie torture flicks are a response to current box-office economics. These kinds of movies can largely be made for between $1 million and $15 million and they can make their money back (and then some) in a single weekend. And because the gore and violence quotient is obscenely high, you'll have plenty of sites like AICN praise the thing because it doesn't wimp out. But, sadly, we will see fewer legitimate horror films with new and interesting premises that have the power to grip, surprise, enthrall, and (yes) unnerve us. I regrettably saw "The Hills Have Eyes" in a preview earlier this week. What was most disturbing (besides the treatment of women, infants and animals on screen) was the audience's reaction not during, but afterward. Most came out of the thing saying stuff like "It was OK" or "Eh, it could've been darker." I wanted to grab them and yell, "THEY PUT A FREAKIN' GUN TO A BABY's HEAD! THEY SHOT-GUNNED HER MOMMY and GRANDMA! A DOG WAS MUTILATED! A BIRD HAD ITS HEAD BIT OFF!" In the words of Admiral Kirk, "Haven't ya got any goddamned feelings about that?!"

  • March 10, 2006, 1:35 p.m. CST

    Profit, you spelled "early" wrong

    by Uncooked_Meat

    I know this because I am a picky, whiny, condescending prick with way too much free fucking time on my hands.

  • March 10, 2006, 1:38 p.m. CST

    Good discussion btw...

    by BigTuna

    Maybe because I recently entered my 30's, but to have a filmmaker simply trying to shock people with grotesque images isn't "Art" or creative in anyway.

  • March 10, 2006, 1:39 p.m. CST


    by OurManInMontr

    I feel pretty much everything you just said is perfectly true and well put. 'The Hills Have Eyes', original or remake, is art. The question is 'is it deserving of the development, the craftsmanship, the spotlight, the venue and ultimately the attention it has gotten/gets/will get? In 1961, as you probably know, italian artist Piero Manzoni put out 90 cans containing each 30 grams of his faeces as a piece called 'Merda d'artista'. The 'oeuvre' was intended as a comment on the market of art at the time (still valid today, IMO). "In a letter to a friend, he explained that his motivation for tinning his faeces was to expose the gullible nature of the art-buying public." The point was taken and/but/yet they still go for insane amounts of money.

  • March 10, 2006, 1:48 p.m. CST

    Also Keep in Mind...

    by SamuelLappDance

    In none of my posts have I advocated banning these films or censoring them or anything like that. I guess I am just expressing one man's (and, yes, one parent's) reaction to seeing the cruelty quotient ratcheted up every year in pop culture. And not just the new breed of torture flicks. But all of the sad and often gruesome fates dramatized on the "CSI" shows, the "Laws and Orders," their various imitators, "Without a Trace," "Cold Case," and so forth. I'm ready for a new trend, a new decade, a new president, a new drug.

  • March 10, 2006, 1:54 p.m. CST

    SamuelLappDance: Amen to that!

    by OurManInMontr

    I may be a one of the upstairs neighbors, but we get the same shows, movies, fashions, trends, role models... and I'm a little desperate for some more positive stuff from major media outlets.

  • March 10, 2006, 2:09 p.m. CST

    Also Keep in Mind...

    by SamuelLappDance

    You know, it's funny you responded. On my drive home from the theater after seeing "Hills" this week, the Canada section of "Bowling for Columbine" flashed thru my mind and I briefly pondered a move "upstairs." Apologies for our exported sleaze.

  • March 10, 2006, 2:10 p.m. CST

    OurManInMontreal, I don't have an answer for you...

    by Roguewriter

    ... but I suspect it's because Canada has more forests, and you know, everyone's calmer and happier when they're around more trees. =) Seriously, I don't know -- FAHRENHEIT flummoxed me on that issue as well. If there's any thread of sense to it, maybe it goes back to what I was saying about America's great historic evils: Native American genocide and African slavery. What if the nation as a whole may be viewed with the same insight that is applied to addictive personalities struggling with a history of abuse and related traumas -- the idea that over time many addicts will embark on a cycle of radical self-destruction spawned by sickness and remorse and self-loathing. What if America is so poisoned by past ills it continues to roil and groan and hurt itself like a live, unhappy thing, fractured by explosions of violence and abuse, numbed by despair and poisoned by a growing ennui that expresses itself as stress, divorce, racial disharmony, cardiac events, suicide. There is no psychological root issue more destructive than shame, and no one more self-destructive than a person trapped in a cycle of shame. Maybe that's us as a nation, too -- unable to forgive, unable to share, unable to humble ourselves, unable to admit powerlessness and a need for a new way of living.......... and how we got here from THE HILLS HAVE EYES, I'll never know. Have a good weekend, friends. =)

  • March 10, 2006, 2:15 p.m. CST

    Anchorite, poor boy,

    by OurManInMontr

    the thing is you're like some grumpy old man, standing in front of a nice sculpture, or painting, or some form or other of street amusement and all you can say, while everyone around you is engaging in animated conversation regarding the displayed entertainment, is something along the lines of "The paint is chipped on that corner there." or "His shoelace is untied." You are pointless and saddening. Get a girl or jerk off to something, it does the body (and mind) good.

  • March 10, 2006, 2:15 p.m. CST

    We should all move to Vancouver and be potters...

    by Roguewriter

    ... like Lance Henriksen, who still does the occasional (bad, very bad) direct-to-Sci-Fi-Channel movie but mainly lives in the wilderness with his family and throws pots and probably just generally is damned cool doing it. I wouldn't mind having Lance for a neighbor. And I like bears and moose. Maybe Canadians aren't as hopelessly screwed up as Americans yet because some of you can still occasionally step outside your door and see moose? The more I think about this nature-as-salve-for-spiritual-wounds thing, the more I like it. Canada it is!

  • March 10, 2006, 2:26 p.m. CST

    Mostly it's the beer that keeps us Canucks calm ;-)

    by BrucecampbellsRH

    More seriously tho, I think definitely the way Americans are taught their history has something to do with it but I am not sure since i'm going on suppositions here. You know, that "we are the greatest power on the planet" thing that warps the objectivity from the start. We are not taught that about our Canadian history. Oh, don't get me wrong, they try and shove the "best place on Earth to live" down our throats too, but it's done more on the basis of health care, freedom, yes, expansive wilderness etc. and not "we beat those, and then we beat those and then those". Or maybe there just fewer people and we're not constantly running into each other (yet). To come back to the subject at hand, I must admit being dismayed by the overwhelming number of people so seem to want some kind of sanitizing of horror entertainment. My motto has always been simple: Don't like it? Don't watch it, but don't knock it either. Art, like most everything else in life, is subjective.

  • March 10, 2006, 2:27 p.m. CST

    Anchorite: I take it back. Well, no, but...

    by OurManInMontr

    ...see? When you actually get involved in the discussion, you are very pertinent and insightful. Nice post and I agree: though I probably never will see 'The Shaggy Dog', I was disconcerted to read (part of) the talkback, thinking "What a sad world ours is becoming, when good feelings are thus spat upon, for no good reason." Violence, or its depiction, has its place and can be thrilling, but so should smiles, on occasion. And AICN should belong to neither sadists, nor goody-two-shoes.

  • March 10, 2006, 2:29 p.m. CST


    by chaos731


  • March 10, 2006, 2:31 p.m. CST

    Mori, the baby/gun shot is so short...

    by LaudnerGomez're making it into a huge deal, and scaring people away. This isn't RUNNING SCARED where it's 120 minutes of gratuitious child abuse and exploitation. This is one split-second shot. The HILLS remake is near-perfect, and you could be hurting it by pointing out a trivial detail and embellishing the power of the moment.

  • March 10, 2006, 2:32 p.m. CST

    communication may only be 10% verbal in the real world

    by HypeEndsHere

    but it's 100% verbal online. if you are not familiar with the english language, fine. but type is all we've got here, my man. yes, we know what he meant by "grading on a curb". as a matter of fact, the statement made two points clear: 1) he was asking if Mori was grading on a curve...and 2) he's a dolt. (or, it was early in the morning. benefit of the doubt...). so in summation, yeah, language is important. so fuck Hugh.

  • March 10, 2006, 2:40 p.m. CST

    Thanks Roguewriter and BrucecampbellsRH, but...

    by OurManInMontr

    ... you see that the answer is somewhat elusive? I think BrucecampbellsRH touches on something, saying that it might stem from how we're respectively taught to see ourselves as nations and our histories and place in the world from the get-go... Bears and moose aside, I don't think nature has much to do with it, unfortunately. There may be about 9 times more Americans than there are Canadians, but you guys still have a whole hell of a lot of room to move around. And Roguewriter, you're welcome any day, mang! The weed is killer, the beer is 5% (and 6,9%, and 8% and 12%! Try Unibroue's 'La Fin du Monde'), the food is good (you can actually buy Brie in a supermarket), when we elect a conservative Prime Minister, we give hime a minority cabinet, but the water is most definitely cold, though...

  • March 10, 2006, 2:47 p.m. CST

    Using rape to get scares is weak!

    by Lance Rock

    Not to mention totally misogynistic.

  • March 10, 2006, 2:49 p.m. CST

    Chaos731, good note...

    by Roguewriter

    ... It's true indeed that horror blooms anew every time things get a little nutso, and as good an indicator as any that it's time for all of us to take a long hard look at the world around us and do what we can to make life a little easier for our neighbors (sorry, ya know, about our runaway government, creating a global ill will toward America we haven't seen since, well, since the glorious David Hasselhoff's international sensation KNIGHT RIDER was canceled...) ;)

  • March 10, 2006, 2:49 p.m. CST

    Oh, all right, Anchorite,

    by OurManInMontr

    I'll give you one point, but dare I repeat: "[...]all you can say, while everyone around you is engaging in animated conversation regarding the displayed entertainment, is something along the lines of "The paint is chipped on that corner there." or "His shoelace is untied." There were already several very interesting topics being discussed on the talkback and the one you cared to bring up seemed, to say the least, underwhelming. To each his own, I guess. No hard feelings?

  • March 10, 2006, 2:51 p.m. CST

    SamuelLappDance, pwn me now.

    by BannedOnTheRun

    Yeah, well said, and I've got to agree to an extent. It is porn. Hostel was supposed to be the last word in "Hard R" horror, but that was last month. Am I a prude? Maybe, in my old age. When I was a kid all I had was Videodrome and Blue Velvet and Henry, Portrait of a Serial Killer. Am I a better person for soaking it all up? Nah. I had friggin' Asteroids on the Atari, and now kids have Pyramid Head raping deformed monsters in hi-res. And I admit it: I'm as curious about it and fascinated by it as ever... but damn, what else could have been put on that film? Hey, look at me, I'm Steve Martin in Grand Canyon all of a sudden. Sorry.

  • March 10, 2006, 2:53 p.m. CST

    A Canadian beer named for Mori's CIG-BURNS flick?!

    by Roguewriter

    Is there really a beer called "La Fin du Monde"??? Wasn't that the mysterious apocalyptic flick in CIGARETTE BURNS? Damn, Canadians DO have more fun...

  • March 10, 2006, 2:55 p.m. CST

    Canada Has No Warrior Ethic

    by UglyBastard

    The reason that the US is more violent than other western nations is that the US still has a warrior subclass. There is a direct lineage between 'Gangs of New York' and 'Boyz in da Hood'; both were about warriors.

  • March 10, 2006, 2:57 p.m. CST

    From Art and Society to actual MOVIE talkback...

    by CrumbumSnotrag

    I know I'm a little late to the dance but I want to cut a rug anyway. I think all of the socio-political issues that we're discussing are more side effects than anything else. As many have already said, there's been violent and nihilistic art for centuries upon centuries. I think we have to address this from a more practical standpoint. It may sound blasphemous but I think we give filmmakers far too much credit on this site. They are not always smart people and, more importantly, they are not always (or often) smart ARTISTS. Anyone who saw HIGH TENSION and felt that it was the work of an honest, thoughtful filmmaker has been rufie'd by technique. Aja is not a smart artist. No smart artist could perpetrate HIGH TENSION on an audience. The film has absolutely nothing to say. It's like fucking your ugliest friend; you can try to convince yourself it's more than just high-concept masturbation, but it ain't. And, without sounding arrogant, I can't see anyone making a real argument for the contrary. "It's about duality and the nature of love." Please eat a thousand dicks. HIGH TENSION is the all-too-common "polished turd" in horror cinema. Aja is no better than Marcus Nispel or Rob Zombie. You can tell me to go fuck myself and claim that these movies "rule" (my favorite AICN hyperbole; simple, bold and empty, as if "The Devil's Rejects" can acheive some sort of fanboy sovereignty just by sheer force of will.) but we all know, deep down, that these movies are empty calories. The filmmakers are the problem, here, gang. Let's put the blame where it lays. I don't believe that filmmakers have a societal responsibility to be positive or nice or respectful to women or animals. I do believe that all filmmakers have an ARTISTIC responsibility to earn it! To fucking work for it. To work on the story and strive for something truth. Aja doesn't give a shit about truth any more than Michael Bay. Not every European on a modest budget is a genius. The point is, THIS is why we're all feeling a horror hangover lately. We've been binging on junk food. You can only eat so many Twinkies before you start to shit blood. Our bodies and minds want thick, juicy steaks (or a thick, juicy slab of vegetarian lasagna, if that's your thing). I haven't seen the "Hills" remake yet, I might go today. But I'll tell you his: I will be 100 percent behind the creative decision to put a gun in a baby's face if I think it's a CREATIVE DECISION and not just some cheap bullshit. I think, SamuelLapp, that's maybe what those audience members meant by "it wasn't dark enough"--cheap thrills without merit. Mere unpleasantness disguised as artistic expression. Look at the body of work. America's not full of trigger-happy obese cannibals because we watch too many horror movies. We are trigger-happy obese cannibal CONSUMERS and these half-assed filmmakers just want our dough. Aja's not brilliant, he's not even good. And stringing together a mess of sick, inherently-unpleasant images does not make you a maverick. It makes you a lazy, stupid artist.

  • March 10, 2006, 2:57 p.m. CST

    Thanks for the Spoiler Mori, and I am not being snarky

    by Bones

    Hearing about the gun-to-baby/rape-the-mother sequence is all I need to hear to avoid this movie. Why do people like this sh*t again?

  • March 10, 2006, 2:58 p.m. CST

    Thanks for the comments, Anchorite!

    by OurManInMontr

    Come back any time, mang! I'm getting older now, but as far as I know, the nightlife is still as exciting as ever. I bet I could make just about anybody want to move here by taking them to a Canadiens game (except for maybe the Superbowl and World Series, you can't find more atmosphere at a sporting event anywhere; and that's EVERY game!), then down to Little Italy for dinner, and back to downtown for a round of clubs and a nice finish at one of many upper-class, contact-allowed titty bars. Sorry for the brochure ;) I likes me my town!

  • March 10, 2006, 2:59 p.m. CST


    by chaos731

    Canada has no warrior ethic/class? Then what do you call Bob & Doug MacKenzie? They're warriors for those sick of finding mice in their bottles of Elsinore beer! Fighting for the working man every step of the way! They're true heroes! Hooray MacKenzie Brothers, way up there in the Great White North, eh?!? had to be done. I love Canada. I have relatives in Calgary...nice place. I went on my honeymoon in Montreal. Nicer place, still.

  • March 10, 2006, 3 p.m. CST

    hehe your secret's out Mori

    by BrucecampbellsRH

    You got that movie title from our own brand of beer. Oh and that's why you hate Paul Haggis too... he's Canadian eh? ;-) And RogueWriter, yes there is such a beer, the same company also makes one called Maudite which means damned.

  • March 10, 2006, 3:07 p.m. CST

    Canada has no warrior class?

    by Roguewriter

    You don't see many American athletes playing their sport til they don't have an original tooth left in their heads, do you???? ;)

  • March 10, 2006, 3:07 p.m. CST

    CrumbumSnotrag, the simple fact is

    by BrucecampbellsRH

    a horror fan will usually find merit (artistic or otherwise) in somethign he likes and no merit in somethign he dislikes. And since appreciation or art is subjective, it's easy to say something morally repugnant has no merit, but that doesn't make it true. A kdi today will see HILLS and for him, it'll have the impact that TCM or the original Hills has had on the generation before. But who the hell are you (or me, or anyone else here) to judge what has merit for everyone else?

  • March 10, 2006, 3:10 p.m. CST

    that's appreciation of

    by BrucecampbellsRH

    ... and "something"*

  • March 10, 2006, 3:11 p.m. CST

    BrucecampbellsRH Sorry I disagree.......


    How many horror directors do interviews and say "Yes my main goal with this film is to make people feel bad." That just doesn't happen and I think the main reason is that they (the director or writer)believe that they are in most cases trying to tell an interesting story. Nobody I ever met has said "hey man you need to see (fill in the blank) it made me feel horrible!" Also I think you are completely wrong about movies like this re-sensitizing us to violence. Films like this de-sensitize us. When I was younger and I saw ALIENS for the first time I was scared to death. Eventually, I had another opportunity to sit down and watch the film again and wasn't frightened at all. Since then I have gradually seen movies become more and more violent, and you know what? It takes a lot more to shock me now. Again you don't have to agree with me but I'm asking where do we draw the line? I think it keeps moving, and I don't believe that mankind is getting better.

  • March 10, 2006, 3:13 p.m. CST

    Devil's Rejects had a similar scene

    by Tall_Boy

    where the main characters are doing all kinds of nasty stuff to a lady infront of the others. But that movie worked because by the end they became the heroes and it subverts the scene like that. It makes you feel conflicted. Thats why I liked the movie so much more than modern "torture and maim" horror movies because it had a different slant on it. I'm gonna go out on a limb here and say that you aren't supposed to feel anything for the dirty stinking muties in "Hills" - which makes the scene seem cheap.

  • March 10, 2006, 3:14 p.m. CST

    Violence and Art

    by FluffyUnbound

    Euripides was the first to use a special-effect shock horror scene in a drama, in Bacchae. What did it mean? Why was it art? Well, to Euripides it was because his protagonist thought he had everything all figured out; he thought that his reason, his politics, his military might made him the master of everything he surveyed; and he thought that there was nothing man could not deal with. But there was something dark out there, something hiding in the shadows up on the mountain, that decided to show him that wasn't so. Euripides called it "the god" but we could call it whatever we want. Either way, the same story structure still can work as art today, because if there was ever a society made up of people who could stand in for Pentheus, it's ours. And when you put Mr. & Mrs. America into a station wagon and send them into the middle of a slasher film, you're teaching them the lesson of humility before fate all over again. That doesn't mean slasher films are art; most of them suck. But it DOES mean that slasher films CAN be art. I have to acknowledge that, even though I am not entirely sure I agree with Euripides on this one; but disagreement with an attempt at a profound point is different than thinking such an attempt is not art.

  • March 10, 2006, 3:14 p.m. CST

    Violence and Art

    by FluffyUnbound

    Euripides was the first to use a special-effect shock horror scene in a drama, in Bacchae. What did it mean? Why was it art? Well, to Euripides it was because his protagonist thought he had everything all figured out; he thought that his reason, his politics, his military might made him the master of everything he surveyed; and he thought that there was nothing man could not deal with. But there was something dark out there, something hiding in the shadows up on the mountain, that decided to show him that wasn't so. Euripides called it "the god" but we could call it whatever we want. Either way, the same story structure still can work as art today, because if there was ever a society made up of people who could stand in for Pentheus, it's ours. And when you put Mr. & Mrs. America into a station wagon and send them into the middle of a slasher film, you're teaching them the lesson of humility before fate all over again. That doesn't mean slasher films are art; most of them suck. But it DOES mean that slasher films CAN be art. I have to acknowledge that, even though I am not entirely sure I agree with Euripides on this one; but disagreement with an attempt at a profound point is different than thinking such an attempt is not art.

  • March 10, 2006, 3:16 p.m. CST

    you almost did the right thing.

    by mocky_puppet

    "... loaded gun... in an infant's face. I could barely believe what I was seeing, and I had to keep myself from standing up and leaving." maybe next time, dad.

  • March 10, 2006, 3:16 p.m. CST

    Moriarty - a question about the infant?

    by Ed_Lauter

    As a father I have come to despise seeing small children being scared or crying in films. Cuz, you know, you can't fake that shit! If a child cries on screen it's real - it's snuff, simple as that. I can't believe that we have all kinds of rules that protects animals from being exploited in film (a good thing of course), but seemingly none protecting children from being hurt. And yes, I love horror movies, I kinda liked Hostel, though it was not nearly as extreme as people want you to believe, but hurting kids for entertainment, or even "art", that sucks. I haven't seen the Hills Have Eyes remake, but Moriarty - as a father - can you tell me that the infant-"actor" was not hurt in this shoot - if "only" mentally?

  • March 10, 2006, 3:18 p.m. CST

    Tip o' the hat to FluffyUnbound...

    by Roguewriter

    Better late than never, sir! Well said. I hereby nominate you to moderate next week's sure-to-get-unruly forum praising the hidden subtleties of KRULL!

  • March 10, 2006, 3:18 p.m. CST

    Bruce, you're better than that, aren't you?

    by CrumbumSnotrag

    "All opinions are subjective" is a weak and basic argument. We all know that. Why the fuck are we wasting a work day discussing this in the first place? It's about opinions, man. "Who the hell are you..." Grrr. Who the hell are you? Norma Rae? Go back and read my post again. It's my opinion. Just mine. Never said it wasn't. Cliches are not trump cards.

  • March 10, 2006, 3:23 p.m. CST

    "Appreciation of art is subjectve".

    by CrumbumSnotrag

    Just to appease all the sticklers. That's the quote. Sorry, Bruce.

  • March 10, 2006, 3:24 p.m. CST

    Another poor Horror film

    by monkeybrow

    Am I the only one sick of films like this that totally do not understand what makes a "good" horror film...hacks like the makers of this piece of trash and Eli Roth should actually sit and watch "Aliens" and "The Exorcist" to get a clue...

  • March 10, 2006, 3:30 p.m. CST

    Stating opinions vs stating "facts"

    by BrucecampbellsRH

    "Aja is not a smart artist. No smart artist could perpetrate HIGH TENSION on an audience. The film has absolutely nothing to say. It's like fucking your ugliest friend; you can try to convince yourself it's more than just high-concept masturbation, but it ain't. And, without sounding arrogant, I can't see anyone making a real argument for the contrary." Looks like stating a fact to me bud, sorry.

  • March 10, 2006, 3:39 p.m. CST

    Bruce, let it go, dude.

    by CrumbumSnotrag

    I only wrote "I think..." or "I believe..." about five times in the post before that quote. Sorry if not putting a qualifier in front of EVERY GODDAMN SENTENCE suddenly turns opinions into facts for you. Are you seriously wasting time on this? And am I seriously wasting time responding? This argument is beneath us. At least I THINK it's beneath me and I BELIEVE it's beneath you, as well. But that's just MY OPINION. Was that clear enough for you? Sheesh. I'm going to lunch. NO POSTS TIL I GET BACK.

  • March 10, 2006, 2:44 p.m. CST

    I'm not a Constant Gardener, but I sense a few plants.

    by stlfilmwire

    I don't mind, but I wish they would introduce themselves. The conversation seems a little more in-depth than normal.

  • March 10, 2006, 2:44 p.m. CST

    A thought about HIGH TENSION...

    by Roguewriter

    I watched it at home on DVD with a handful of my wife's undergrad college students, and it was one of the most enjoyable movie experiences I've had in recent years. Not because of the film itself, but because I had forgotten that a great deal of the fun of the slasher subgenre is watching in a group, mocking, shrieking, laughing at yourselves for shrieking... Different case, I'm sure, watching something like that alone on the couch at 4 a.m. (and 38 yrs old instead of 19!), unable to sleep because of work-stress-induced insomnia -- such films hold almost no appeal for me anymore under those conditions. Ahhhh, youth! I know I'm wearing rose-colored glasses on this issue, but I think it's worthwhile to note that horror films always, to some degree, provide young people with an excuse to scream and laugh and neck and celebrate their own youthful "immortality" or convincing illusion thereof...

  • March 10, 2006, 2:47 p.m. CST


    by zarandimoviefan

    The sun has fallen over here in the UK. Might go and watch The Descent - a classssss British act.

  • March 10, 2006, 2:53 p.m. CST

    grading on a curb

    by cyanide christ

    Geez, I can't believe how many posts that comment inspired. Come on people, I had just gotten to work and was still half asleep. I am not a dolt, I just type faster than my brain thinks in the morning. And by the way, the use of "wtf" is also dumbing down the English language. And yes, the image of Moriarty grading on a curb is quite funny.

  • March 10, 2006, 3:14 p.m. CST

    Self mutilation as "art"

    by PhilConnors

    I recently learned that avant garde artists are turning to self mutilation (for real) as their art. And artist will go up in front of an audience and start slicing into themselves. They believe that everything has been done before, nothing's shocking, etc, and since the primary purpose of art is to get a reaction from the consumer, it necessitates more extreme measures.

  • March 10, 2006, 3:25 p.m. CST

    Moriarity, you can thank "Passion of the Christ"

    by Omegaman

    for horror movies being able to push the limit of gore and violence. Because conservatives defended that film so strongly, they have no room to criticise anything that Hollywood does anymore with violent content. They control the government too which is why before "Passion" Hollywood had to be careful not to push things to far. But conservatives gave up their right to criticise or censor violent horror movies after Passion of the Christ. Now all we need is a Biblical message movie with explicit sex too (Sodom and Gammorah, maybe?), have liberals make alot of noise about it being discriminatory, racist, homophobic, etc... and have the conservatives defend it and weve taken away their right to call for censorship of sex and nudity too. Thanks Mel Gibson, liberals have no idea how your film expanded filmmakers rights to push the edge.

  • March 10, 2006, 3:27 p.m. CST


    by OurManInMontr

    just wanted to say it's pretty funny cause your "I'm going to lunch. NO POSTS TIL I GET BACK." actually seems to be working! And chaos731: great post (the long-ass one that made your fingers hurt), thanks. I admit I'd been a lazy bitch and skipped it at first. I guess we're in pretty much total agreement, though, since what you wrote in it could actually be summed up by that bit I'd put on the earlier post about Piero Manzoni putting his shit in tin cans and selling it as 'Art'. Tin can, movie screen, CDs, doesn't matter, it's all art, but if you think it's shit, like many on this TB have so eloquently put: don't buy it, right? Well, the Hills may have eyes, but so do I: this will be a drunken rental at best. A'ight, peace everyone! And good job; most fun I've had with a talkback in a while!

  • March 10, 2006, 3:40 p.m. CST

    Gun in an infant's face? AWESOME!

    by jollysleeve

    The only way this coulda been awesomer is if they raped the infant! Then we could all jerk off to it and pretend our response has absolutely no reflection on our worth as human beings. I'm gonna watch this again and again because I still have the mentality of a junior high kid and I think I'm proving something to someone somewhere when I pattern my lifestyle on a perpetual state of rebelliousness..... What? No, I'm not being sarcastic!

  • March 10, 2006, 3:41 p.m. CST

    Next time you do a horror movie review.....

    by cookylamoo

    Just tell me how many woman are in it, how they die and are they naked at the time. The rest is Meh.

  • March 10, 2006, 4 p.m. CST

    an infant doesn't comprehend the threat of a gun!

    by HypeEndsHere

    that's stupid!

  • March 10, 2006, 4:13 p.m. CST

    Which showbiz mom

    by BannedOnTheRun

    ...can we thank for scoring that casting coup? "Look, honey, you were in a movie when you were a baby!"

  • March 10, 2006, 4:15 p.m. CST

    Sex vs. Violence... the reason behind it all.

    by Kraken

    Here is the deal people. The world is still mostly controlled by men. That's not a good thing, but right now in our times that is still a fact. MEN ... who don't want to go to a movie and have their woman see a man make love to a woman the way a woman wants to be made love to. They don't want their women thinking about that "oh, that's sexy, why doesn't my man have a body like that? Why doesn't he do that in bed for me?" ... those MEN then think, oh man, we better censor that shit or my woman will go looking for that in another man, or even worse, she'll expect ME to be a considerate lover. And God forbid they show another man's schlong, because holy shit, what if it's 1/2 an inch bigger than mine (the screen does add 10 lbs. and 3 inches I hear) then my woman will start thinking about bigger dicks instead of mine! FUCK THAT! So, we now can explain why so many people use religion and their "morals" to cover for their small penises and lack of love making skills. But why show violence? Because, what woman is going to watch an action film or horror film and think "man, why can't I get beaten and tortured like that?" so see people, that's a safe subject for the small penised, selfish lovers of the MPAA. Now, that can also work for women as well, especially about the sex. They don't want their men to look at another naked woman and think "wow, what a pair of tits, or what a nice ass" and also "man, why doesn't my woman ride me reverse cowgirl while pouring hot wax on me?". I find that people that are trying to censor most things are doing so out of insecurity. Violence doesn't make us feel bad about ourselves because it's something that can't shine a mirror on us and make us think we might not be as good as someone else. So therefore it gets looked over and not censored as much (except by parents, but then, shouldn't they be watching their kids anyway not us?). I'm sure there is also a small percentage of people that actually care about what children see in theaters... but I'm telling you right now, most of this censorship comes from the insecurity of the people screaming for it. They will NEVER admit it, but it's there, and they know it. You'll notice that people that call for true freedom in this world, are themselves truely free from their own insecurities.

  • March 10, 2006, 4:18 p.m. CST

    SODOM & GAMERA!!!!!

    by Roguewriter

    That's THE... MOST... BRILLIANT idea ever for a Christian/geek crossover movie -- a completely modern, CGI'ed, Michael-Bay produced epic recounting of the Biblical tale about the terrible wroth of God... except the manner in which God unleashes his wrath on Sodom is to send in A GIANT FLYING ROCKETFOOTED TURTLE. Final shot, Lot and his daughters beam as Gamera whisks them to a safe vantage point and drops them off, then Lot turns and see his wife reduced to a pillar of salt: "NO-OOOOOOOOOOO!" Cue the mournful, strangely overproduced Meiko Kaji tune and roll credits. RAKE IN DAT CHEDDAH!!!!

  • March 10, 2006, 4:28 p.m. CST

    Kraken, if you are right, we are doomed forever...

    by Curt Jurgens

    and I think you are. Because I never seen it arued like that in mainstream media.

  • March 10, 2006, 4:31 p.m. CST

    ...seen it argued like that...

    by Curt Jurgens

  • March 10, 2006, 4:36 p.m. CST

    I had no idea where you were going with that, Kraken.

    by CrumbumSnotrag

    But it's certainly an interesting argument with a lot of valid points worth exploring. Or should I say, "IN MY OPINION, it's an interesting argument". I think the only problem with your argument is that it might be TOO advanced at this stage. I think you're on Step 12 and the problem people are on step -2. It's gonna take years of therapy and thousands of hours in the sensory-depravation tank to get to the point where they're ready to admit even the most basic insecurity. But I wholeheartedly agree that the world would be a better place if we stopped worrying about our dicks so much. I love my dick. And I love horror films. I even love BruceCampbellsRH and his hackneyed "opinion vs. fact" b.s. And, above all, I love America. Oh, and tits. Tits and America. God Bless Tits.

  • March 10, 2006, 4:36 p.m. CST

    WHOA...Wait a sec about this America/Violence thing...

    by CondomWrapper

    and the remake of The Hills Have Eyes. This film was directed and co-written by a Frenchman. Americans aren't the only ones who love violence in their films, but we're sure fucked up about sex.

  • March 10, 2006, 4:50 p.m. CST


    by Omegaman

    heh, not exactly what I had in mind, but I like it. Sounds very entertaining, like thered be alot of shit blowing up, people ruunning from burning buildings, naked, gays running from bathouses, lol etc... all the while Gamera is laying waste to Sin City. I'd definitely be there opening day.

  • March 10, 2006, 4:50 p.m. CST

    Americans vs French

    by Kraken

    That's right, and Aja is French and in his French film it shows a girl pleasuring herself because the French are confident in their love making skills. Where as in his "American" film, he wouldn't be able to get away with showing something like that because what if our girlfriends/wives saw that and thought (wait,... why is she moaning like that... what's an orgasm?). See, it's okay to show a mutant rape a girl in HILLS because we don't have to feel too insecure about that... at least I hope it hasn't gotten that bad yet out there. The more secure we become in ourselves the less likely we'll try to keep the other people in this world that are secure in themselves from showing it.

  • March 10, 2006, 5:05 p.m. CST

    Nope, can't be true, Kraken.

    by FluffyUnbound

    You know why? Because I have a small peeper and am selfish in bed, and I absolutely LOVE movies with a lot of nudity and sex in them. And they don't make me feel bad or self-conscious at all. The last thing I am thinking about is what OTHER people are thinking of on screen nudity. That self-centeredness is, undoubtedly, one of the things that contributes to my selfishness in bed. So I, and presumably others like me, are protected from the kind of self-consciousness you're talking about by the very symptomology you claim we suffer from. So it's a self-corrected problem.

  • March 10, 2006, 5:18 p.m. CST


    by drew mcweeny

    ... oh, it's no secret. When the film hits DVD in a few weeks, listen to the commentary track. We heap much praise on that lovely beer.

  • March 10, 2006, 5:37 p.m. CST

    gun in baby's face

    by Zadrock

    HOLY SHIT!!! I have a 2 month old daughter and that scene f'ing killed me. Before she was born I always said that I wish someone would make a horror movie with balls and kill a small child. Aja killed the little brother in "High Tension" but he didn't show it and the ending killed the movie for me. I bitched about shit like that and now I hope that I never see it. That's probably the strongest reaction I've ever had to a single scene in a horror movie though, so hell, it worked. I really dug the movie as a whole but could have went without ol' neck-fats' monologue.

  • March 10, 2006, 6:03 p.m. CST

    babies on film

    by Ed_Lauter

    Of course infants do not understand the threat of a gun, but how do they make them cry or look scared for the scenes? Do they read the script to them and ask them to act really scared? Naahh, how DO you make an infant cry? Easy just take away mommy and wait, roll a few minutes and do it again. Well, if that didn't work, how about starving them a bit, just a little bit, or maybe just an itsy-bitsy pinch on the arm? Infants make GREAT actors, I'm sure...

  • March 10, 2006, 6:16 p.m. CST


    by Audets70

    Okay, first you guys claimed Kong was the second coming when it was just laughable and now you are gonna say a CLICHED remake is horror art? REMAKES ARENT ART, they are what UNoriginal directors make cause they cant think of their own ideas. I never saw the Original HHE...yet...but this movie was so stupid. SPOILERS may follow. It was total cliche. Emelie De Ravin is that cliched part in every movie where shes a lame party girl that becomes a screaming psycho and dooes nothing of importance. The scene you say is FUCKING INSANE........the guy licks the top of Vinessas tit, that aint that bad of assualt. I wish you guys would tell everyone the real deal on these films. Heres some minor problems. The MOUNTAIN MEN are not established AT ALL! They are briefly scene until the town scene and then they are only there to be killed off. One has 2 sentences to explain why they are the way the are! You get more charachter development in WRONG TURN and that movie had the gorgoeus Lindy Booth in it too! This film has the hottie Vinessa Shaw, but shes really nothing more than a glorified extra for thwe most part. Half the family is offed in ONE scene and the promise in the trailer that NO ONE survived is a complete lie!!! And some things with the family. If 'Pyro' and Vinessa were so in love, why was he talking so much shit behind her back? Why did Ted Levine slam him for being a democrat 2 seconds after proudly proclaiming he was a hippie in the 60s? Why did the son(bobby) hide the fact someone gutted their dog, as duh, it wouldve made a red herring. Its likt the thing with LOST that annoys me! If people would just stop hiding damn secrets in these films, theyd make it out better! Emelie joins Maggie Grace for a BAd remake trend coming out of LOST stars!!! This movie WAS filmed nicely and had decent gore, but it was boring as hell. When you said he directed High Tension, a NO SHIT hit me! Its the same lame movie!!!! Save your money, as this thing sucks! ITs 90 minutes and it felt longer than the English Patient! If you read Roger Eberts review about it being a CLICHE fest, he is right on the money!

  • March 10, 2006, 7:20 p.m. CST

    About the Director ALEXANDER AJA

    by Elnegrodiablo


  • March 10, 2006, 8:05 p.m. CST

    hey, Black Devil

    by HypeEndsHere

    CAPSOFFMOTHERFUCKERYOUSEEHOWTHISSHITISHARDTOREAD? (i frequently stretch the backtalk. i just hope i didn't stretch the talkback.)

  • March 10, 2006, 8:40 p.m. CST

    This movie was just okay.

    by MattCG

    It wasn't the second coming of horror like everyone's screaming in the face of anyone who'll listen. It's nasty, it's violent and kind anever really comes together, which is mostly the fault of the dumb as dogshit characters that go out of their way to make every horror movie mistake in existence. THEY EVEN GO LOOKING FOR THE FUCKING DOG FOR SHIT'S SAKE! But, get past that and get past the fact the new Pluto couldn't carry Michael berryman's balls in dumptruck, and it's just ok. It's better than shitsucking "TCM" remake, I'll give it that much.

  • March 10, 2006, 9:07 p.m. CST

    Hey Anchorite!

    by SeedyAl

    Christian is supposed to be spelled using a capital "C."

  • March 10, 2006, 9:30 p.m. CST


    by frank cotton

    been reading the customer reviews for it on AMAZON, sounds like it is THE horror film to be reckoned with. anyone here seen it yet?

  • March 10, 2006, 9:40 p.m. CST

    To state the obvious...

    by LordEnigma

    Horrour is like Hip-Hop. Both are rather stagnated in where they have gone over the last decade, and when someone declares something new and original in either. They are usually fanatics, that fail to notice that these advances are really just slightly better versions of the same crap that keeps being recycled over and over again. Is Kanye really adventurous? Or is he just doing something slightly better than other people? Is this movie really that good of a horrour film? Or is it just the same old shocking bullshit, using the same pedestrian rules, but pulls a gun on a baby? Nothing new, same old shit, but let's just ignore this simple fact.

  • March 10, 2006, 10:19 p.m. CST

    Saw it tonight. It was fucking wack.....

    by Mr. Profit

    Seriously, badly paced, boring, and I didn't give a shit about the family. The film was horrible. I had major hopes for it. IT also wasn't as bad ass with the gore as people keep saying. I have totally seen worst. I am so shocked. This movie was so bad. The score was god awful and the only great looking scene was where Aaron was stuck in the fridge. That looked awesome. Everything else was corny, stupid, badly acted, and badly directed. I am embarrassed for Aja and Craven.

  • March 10, 2006, 10:25 p.m. CST

    Hey, frank cotton...

    by crazyeyezkillah

    you oughta read The Descent by Jeff Long. Now that would make a great horror movie. And it's availiable on, too.

  • March 10, 2006, 10:34 p.m. CST

    I saw it with 2 friends...

    by Mr. Profit

    And we all love horror films. But man, we were all pissed off at the end. It was a total waste of time and money, people were laughing in the theater when things weren't supposed to be funny. The rape scene was a disturbing, but it was ultimately gratuitious since Emilie DeRaven doesn't get to exact any sort of revenge at the end. The little brother turns into MacGyver at the end. And Aaron is such a fucking pussy that you want to beat him. When shortie tells him "Mr. Do You Wanna Play With Us?" any other person in that situation whould have laid both kids out after all the shit he went through. And anyone in their right mind would have cracked that dude with the huge head in the wheelchair's cabbage upon seeing him. The set up was lame. They mentioned the Anniversary stuff like 4 times. The main mutant looked like Chunk from The Goonies, and then someone in the theater yelled "Hey You GUYS!" in a retarded voice when he was onscreen that it just confirmed it. The political undertones were ridiculous. I am a registered Democrat, and guess what, I love guns. It's my right to own one. And I enjoy shooting a gun when I go upstate. And the whole American Flag impaling was just so corny. The movie is horribly paced. And when the "action" starts it's just all awful and boring. The whole sucking her breast milk would have been disturbing, had I not read of a real life situation where some Dominican's escaping their country tried that same shit on a chick on the raft. I feel cheated. It was a total waste of my time and money. I loved High Tension. But this shit was so fucking lame that it made the TCM Remake look like a fucking masterpiece.

  • March 10, 2006, 10:44 p.m. CST

    saw "the descent"

    by mrtorrance

    ...saw it. you can rent the dvd from suspect video in toronto. i thought it was pretty cool. i remember telling people about it for a week or so after i saw it. its a "smallish" movie - like don't get too excited about it. claustrophobics beware. and i really can't get their "discovery" out of my head. so cool. when its available absolutely buy/rent it. hope that helps. this is my first post.

  • March 10, 2006, 10:49 p.m. CST

    No shit, huh, Mori?

    by OurManInMontr

    I'd always wondered how far the wonderful line of beers from Unibroue (yes, 'broue' is 'brew' in french, so pronounce it UnibrEw, not UnibrOw) were reaching and, thus, how many strange people were able to partake in the immense joys they provide. The brewery was founded by a very popular singer, and obviously beer lover, from my neck o' the woods, but it was sold to Sleeman last year, which no doubt opened new avenues for its beautiful products. If you peruse the TB again, please tell me where you get it and how long it's been available. Just curious.

  • March 11, 2006, 12:25 a.m. CST


    by drew mcweeny

    ... the only time I've ever had it was at the FanTasia Film Festival in... you know it... Montreal. Have I mentioned how much I love your city?

  • March 11, 2006, 3:58 a.m. CST

    Holy Schnikeys

    by paralyser-pro

    I just spent nearly 2 hours reading this talkback. Great stuff, everyone!!

  • March 11, 2006, 9:08 a.m. CST

    Aaaaaaaaaaaw!... that's cute!

    by OurManInMontr

    If I had some more soul, I'd be yelling something like "Montr

  • March 11, 2006, 9:35 a.m. CST


    by BannedOnTheRun

    Not really. Just thought I'd pep things up in here.

  • March 11, 2006, 12:31 p.m. CST

    Raping a mother in front an infant held at gunpoint?

    by JohnGalt2005

    Now THAT"s entertainment! I find it depressing that movies like this find large audiences. Why do we need this shit?

  • March 11, 2006, 4:32 p.m. CST

    best talk back ever, eh

    by Bulldoggie

    Mori, I remeber suggesting you stop by my condo, (it overlooks the club you shot your M.O.H. episode at) for a few beers in an old talkback. I'm really glad to say your episode was far and away the best one. The deal with the beer is that it's a trappest-style beer. Trappest is a belgium generic term refering to non-taxable food stuffs (beer & cheese) made by monks. It's triple fermented; meaning that prior to corking it, they sprinkle a little active yeast into the bottle. The effect is not unlike champagne in that it's bubbbly (alcohol) goodness hits the brain faster. If you enjoyed the Canadian ones try Chamey, Duvel or Leffe. OurmaninMontreal- I moved to Vancouver 3 years ago from San Francisco where I drank la Fin du Monde for about 8 years- they have it everywhere!

  • March 11, 2006, 4:41 p.m. CST

    oh yeah, the Hills . . .

    by Bulldoggie

    From what I can gather from the bad reviews and the over-the-top-gushing reviews that I've read is that it's a very faithful remake of the original. The original being a so-so survival "horror" movie that looked like it had the same production values that the big-box porno video of the era had. That said, I'll be lighting-up a 4 paper joint & hope for the best sunday afternoon on my way to the theater.

  • March 11, 2006, 5:54 p.m. CST

    all you idiots...

    by Koyaanisqatsi

    who claim this remake is a total cliche and all that, let us not forget that the things about films that become cliches do so because they tend to work. I'm willing to bet that no producer or director or writer ever sat down and said to themself, "man, I hated that horrible scene in that movie last night, I mean just fucking retarded. I must carbon copy that shit right into my next film." All that being said, I haven't seen this particular film yet but am completely stoked about seeing it. Now, getting to the real (and surprisingly well behaved) discussion at hand, I agree with Uncooked_Meat in that the real attraction is the fantastical nature of the violence in a lot of the films people see. Most people don't run up against extreme cases of it in normal life so it holds an attraction to us as something unknown and unexplored. Let's face facts here, violence can get someone's point across with great ease if the necessity to portray it in whatever medium is there. It's human nature to react strongly to it. Another way to look at it is that films are meant to be seen as a whole experience with a real and somewhat definable impact, so ideally every visceral spilling of entrails or serene walk in a meadow should contribute 100% to the overall reaction to the film. Ex: There are scenes of great violence and gore in Silence of the Lambs, and while the violence is memorable itself it is merely because of it's place in the grander purpose of the film. The verbally and emotionally violent scenes in the movie are 20 times more powerful than any of the blood and guts moments. Am I comparing this remake to Silence of the Lambs? Not at all. Am I saying that filmmakers have a responsibility to use whatever their ideas and statements are in a way that makes sense within the film itself. Hell yeah they do or in they're in the wrong fucking business. Anywho, will I see The Hills Have Eyes? Yes. Will I enjoy it? Yes. Do I think Moriarty's review makes it sound like a insane horror-movie version of A History of Violence type message? Yes. I'm there. postscript: copy everything I just said but substitute the word "sex" for violence and it still works. Works like gangbusters.

  • March 11, 2006, 8:34 p.m. CST

    It was mediocre at best - no DEVIL'S REJECTS

    by LilOgre

    Seriously boring for the first HOUR - and not in an ominous kind of way - just boring. Then 10 minutes of insanity that is viscious but includes a band of killers that look like they stepped out of the Road Warrior and are completely unbelieveable. For the record, I do find leatherhead scary and in some weird way believeable but these villains - not for a second. And then another HOUR more of a revenge flick/STRAW DOGS rip-off complete with cracked Hoffman glasses. The last hour was actually the best, most interesting, and most intriguing portion of the film. Was it horrible - nah. But it was nowhere near as creepy and disturbing as DEVIL'S REJECTS.

  • March 11, 2006, 8:39 p.m. CST

    And Mori - LAST HOUSE is a classic! Period.

    by LilOgre

    Agreed that the original HILLS is not and maybe its just a personal thing for me, but LAST HOUSE ON THE LEFT is a classic. I saw it when I was 14 and totally into ANY horror movie I could see. IMHO scarier than the TCM original. Whenever I even think about "The Road That Leads to Nowhere" song I get creeped out. Its like an afterschool special that got hijacked by snuff filmmakers. That combination is just - disturbing.

  • March 11, 2006, 9:40 p.m. CST

    The Hills have EYES!!!!

    by Johnno

    EYES!!! I TELL YOU!!!

  • March 11, 2006, 10:01 p.m. CST

    A Sound of Thunder

    by Yoda's Ball Sack

    was a better movie than this. Seriously.

  • March 11, 2006, 10:40 p.m. CST

    This was very disappointing.....

    by Jarek

    I really like Aja and had hope for this, but it was really disappointing. There were a few tense scenes and "oh shit" moments, but beyond that I couldn't get past the terrible character decisions and the obviously weak setups for gore gags. Not to mention the terrible story exposition with the mutant in the chair.

  • March 11, 2006, 10:42 p.m. CST

    bruceCampbellsRighthand is back and feelin the love

    by BrucecampbellsRH

    I'm curious as to how many of the people bashing the flick have not even seen it and are commenting just on what Mori has written.... I went to see it Friday and first of all, the sexual assault is completely suggested, heck I Spit on your Grave was a lot more explicit 30 years ago. It's still disturbing but most of us horror fans have seen dozens of more explicit movies. The gore however approaches HOSTEL territory. The MPAA must be getting its hands on some great chronic (or La Fin du Monde). Let's just say HILLS is a nice little update to a very dated movie (hey same could be said for Kong, now that I think about it). And as some others have pointed out, this has been one of the more interesting talkbacks in ages. In my opinion, of course. ;-)

  • March 12, 2006, 12:22 a.m. CST

    Singing: The hills have eyes for the sound of music!

    by Orionsangels

    I can't believe nobody did that joke yet. what? that was kinda funny. don't look at me like that. you're making funny faces. hey you look funny.

  • March 12, 2006, 11:33 a.m. CST

    crying babies


    Babies cry all the time, you don't have to do anything special to get them to cry, and they cry whether momma is there or not. Have you ever been to a Wal-Mart? A movie with some chucklehead that thought surely his/her baby could remain completely quiet during a two hour movie? I doubt that when the child grows up that person will be scarred from having cried on a movie set as opposed to the hundred other places they cried when they were a baby. That being said, I thought the movie was ok, I didn't like it as much as Mori, but was alright.

  • March 12, 2006, 4:15 p.m. CST

    Um, wait a minute

    by Mr. N

    Guys, this movie was so-over-the-top that it can't even be labeled as 'gritty.' the premise is overdone and shitty, the fact that everything is given a way lessens the emotional punch of the motivation behind the freaks' attacks. It's disgusting and so brutal in the middle that you're too numb to notice the 3rd act.

  • March 12, 2006, 5:54 p.m. CST

    Hate to clutter up this...

    by Red Ned Lynch

    ...long string of silliness with some facts, but...pornographically violent American horror? Anybody here watched any German horror films? You guys forget what they've been doing in Japan the last few years? Back in the 70s the Italians were punching splinters through the eyes of shrieking women. Spain? The Netherlands? And how does a more free attitude about sex help you distance yourself from the need for pornographic violence? I don't know, maybe we could ask the Asian and European filmmakers who nail genitals to things and turn out 99.9% of the rape and nc bondage and s&m porn in the world? Maybe ask Coffin Joe down south of the border, or our European friend John Thompson who hangs grotesquely stuffed dead animals and dead animal parts from the ceiling while he has women brutalized beneath them. Cannibal Ferox, anyone? The list could go on forever. My tastes have mellowed a little since I've become a dad, but in my youth I lived for the next Fulci or D'Amato to show up at the drive-in or the old downtown theaters, even though I knew some of the goriest bits THAT THE EUROPEANS GOT TO SEE would be snipped out by censors protecting my fragile little mind against my fragile little will. The desire to see the forbidden, be it sex or violence, is universal and timeless. Sometimes we see things that make us recoil and decide we will see that no more. Sometimes our views change due to life experiences and what seemed all right at one time begins to seem offensive. But the desire for, and the history of this sort of thing is no more an American phenomena than it is anyone else's. Now about the puritan streak that reacts so badly to sex? Yeah, you've got a point there. And when you see those "defenders of morality" talking just think about Afghanistan during the 90s, where there was no suggestive anything, women were beaten for showing a glimpse of their ankle, and the righteous folks were burning Buddist nuns alive. And I'm not assaulting just religion with that. If history has taught us anything it's that the bad guys who live to hold power over others will use any tool you give them, from the security of the fatherland, to the rights of the workers, to the belief in a religion to acheive their ends. Don't blame a sneeze when you've got a cold. Blame the germs.

  • March 12, 2006, 7:23 p.m. CST

    Craven is THE horror master

    by Winkleboy

    There was a point made by some nugget saying Wes Craven isnt a master of horror! Are you sniffing glue through your ass buddy...? look at the horror directors of the 70s and look whose still making successful horror movies... Exactly. Im sick to death of people talking shit about scream. As a stand alone film (ignoring the rip offs) scream is as close as it gets to the perfect thriller. Craven is one of the reasons i went to film school and im pissed off with joeys talkin shit about him. Have some fuckin respect. Jus saw the hills remake tonight....fuckin awesome.

  • March 12, 2006, 7:23 p.m. CST

    Craven is THE horror master

    by Winkleboy

    There was a point made by some nugget saying Wes Craven isnt a master of horror! Are you sniffing glue through your ass buddy...? look at the horror directors of the 70s and look whose still making successful horror movies... Exactly. Im sick to death of people talking shit about scream. As a stand alone film (ignoring the rip offs) scream is as close as it gets to the perfect thriller. Craven is one of the reasons i went to film school and im pissed off with joeys talkin shit about him. Have some fuckin respect. Jus saw the hills remake tonight....fuckin awesome.

  • March 13, 2006, 12:17 a.m. CST

    And just what's wrong with "big dumb animal release"?

    by Zeke25:17

    Why else would you go to see a film like this? It ain't for deep, agonizing relationships expressed in British accents; it's for the revenge rush of seeing some fucking mutant monster who's terrorized and killed half of an innocent family get a pickaxe right through his fucking head! Some reviews have really gone nutso with the supposed political allegory in this thing; one wag mentioned that it's a pro-Iraq war diatribe, and yet another offered the suggestion that you might wind up rooting more for the mutants because the surviving humans (two of whom are still basically kids) actually become more monstrous than the "monsters" toward the end...all of which is 100% grade-A BULLSHIT (though, true, Craven's whole point with this film and Last House was that we all have the potential for monstrous and evil acts within us; yeah, yeah, I GET that). The closest thing to a "message" the film has, far as I'm concerned, is this: if someone fucks with you, you don't bother discussing the "why" of it; instead, you fuck them right back, and twice as hard. Most of us, of course, don't do that, either because we're scared or because we don't wanna get sued by the family of the bastard who invaded our house/space/whatever...well, here is a movie for anyone who's sick to death of political correctness and polite rules of society. They hit you, you hit back. Period, end of story. And while I still don't see that as somehow saying "right on" to Bush and Cheney and Condi and the rest of that merry crew, I gotta admit that seeing Bin Laden's head on a stake would be mighty nice. Oh, and regarding Saddam's farce of a trial: can't someone just jam an M2 plastique suppository up his ass and save us a whole lotta trouble?

  • March 13, 2006, 12:40 a.m. CST

    Couple more points, and a question about "Ruby"

    by Zeke25:17

    A horror film should always be an "R". ANYTIME horror is released with a PG-13 it should be avoided...though the scariest film I saw as a kid, Burnt Offerings, still creeps me out today and it was somehow granted a PG rating! Just goes to show that the MPAA is fucking insane--and btw, very good point above about how violence can get by with an "R" though sex is somehow horribly corrupting and must be given an NC-17 or XXX or whatever. One last thing: does anyone remember that old Life magazine cover featuring a closeup of a young, brown-skinned girl with amazingly piercing sea-green eyes? For some reason, once she started wearing the red sweat jacket with the hood, "Ruby" reminded me of that photograph...wonder if it was intentional on Aja's part; clearly, she is meant to be the only "noble" mutant (read: foreigner) in the story.

  • March 13, 2006, 12:47 a.m. CST

    My mistake, it was National Geographic magazine

    by Zeke25:17

    Here's a link to it. Tell me that's not "Ruby"!

  • March 13, 2006, 2:37 a.m. CST

    Michael Berryman for President!

    by Regis Travolta

    You can't forget him from the original Hills Have Eyes he played Jupiter. Why was he not invited to be in this remake? He's weird looking but I am going to nominate him for President on the 3rd party Freak ticket. Vote for Berryman!

  • March 13, 2006, 9:25 a.m. CST

    Exactly, Red Ned and Zeke

    by BrucecampbellsRH

    Hostel and HILLS redux (and perhaps SAW 2) are the first seriously violent US major releases in a looooong while (I'd say close to 20 years) and they still don't approach what is being made outside of your country. I don't get the overreaction... you know, different strokes and all, and no everyoen has to like the extreme stuff but we're still talking fiction here. Not like someone searching the net for Daniel Pearl's beheading video, now THAT is sick. But we're talking latex and glue kids. I agree with you Zeke, most horror should be rated R (or NC-17 even). Most PG-13 horror sucks, indeed (alsmot anythign from Dimension/New Line), but there are exceptions... RING and SIXTH SENSE come to mind. (I know I know it's trendy to hate on Sixth Sense nowadays but it still is a heck of a little flick, twist or no twist). Anyway I thought HILLS was very well-made, did it's job, had some tension and the hip, 70's vibe that seems so prevalent today in genre cinema. Is it gonna stand the test of time? No freakin way.

  • March 13, 2006, 9:29 a.m. CST

    To the language police

    by BrucecampbellsRH

    So sue me, I'm French Canadian and I type too fast, big deal.

  • March 13, 2006, 9:55 a.m. CST

    Gore Bore!

    by BloodySimple

    I have been reading talkbacks on this site for ages now and always piss myself at the insane arguments that spring up all over the place. It's obvious that this movie isn't for everyone, I think teens will get a real kick out of it as I did with stuff like the Evil Dead and Reanimator when I was young and Hopelessly obsesseed with finding the next big Gorefest as well as smoking too much, smashing things up and swearing for effect!(too many hormones I fear) Now I'm in my thirties and far less indistructable, I preffer my Horror movies to have a bit of depth like Se7en which was scary and creepy and stuck in your mind! As far as I can see recent Gorefests (I will call them this because i do not feel they deserve to be called Horror films) have little in the way of original content save for the constant one up manship in terms of graphicly violent setpieces, something that the Freddy films or Jason films did with their rotten tongues poking thru their decomposing cheeks. In the end I guess things will just continue to get more sick and twisted and kids will see things younger and become more de-sensitised to it all and as we all get older we will find issue with things and so the circle continues and I have no idea where it will all end up but for me I walked out of this movie, not because I was too scared! but because I wasn't scared AT ALL! It was boring for the most part, I have seen it all before and when the freaks attacked the Trailer and put a gun to the babies head I sat uncomfortably for another half hour thinking 'what am I doing here when I could be spending time with my baby son instead of sitting thru this badly made excuse for a Horror movie! I finally left when the idiot that went to find his kid had numerous chances to nail the Freaks with their backs to him and ended up getting caught before sticking a screw driver thru Chunks foot! just like Alabama in True Romance. Yawn! Anyway what do I know I'm 34!

  • March 13, 2006, 10:03 a.m. CST

    rubber crows

    by BloodySimple

    Just remembered being puzzled by the dodgy rubber crows in some of the shots in this film! Did anyone else notice them flapping up and down like the bats in the old Dracula movies or am I seeing things!?

  • March 13, 2006, 10:15 a.m. CST

    Just for the record, it's Sloth, not Chunk...

    by Roguewriter

    Chunk (a.k.a. Lawrence) was the awesome little fat Jewish kid with the spectacularly demented imagination who befriended Sloth, the disfigured hulk chained in the basement by his rotten mother and brothers. Gawd, I still love that movie... =)

  • March 13, 2006, 10:56 a.m. CST

    the goonies.

    by zarandimoviefan better than this film? I'd say so! The Hills was pretty cool tough. When the violence hits, it hits hard. I also loved the score - nice and retro. All my friends hated it.

  • March 13, 2006, 10:56 a.m. CST

    Yeah sorry! but you knew who I meant!

    by BloodySimple

    Chunk is my wifes most favourite movie character ever! He is kind of cute in a fat, greedy pig kind of way.

  • March 13, 2006, 11:21 a.m. CST

    Maybe they should rename it Ain't It Sweet News...

    by BrucecampbellsRH

    With all the daddy love going on here! Of course different things affect you in different ways depending on your age, your life experience and the people around you. Ok, you guys are now dads. Bravo, that is a mighty accomplishment (and I'm not being sarcastic... hell I'm still afraid to do it). I am just hoping that the balls it takes to have children are still required once the child comes into the world...

  • March 13, 2006, 11:39 a.m. CST

    pointless remake!

    by yeah i'm a jerk!

    this film was the same movie done over with better cinematography, and cheesy prosthetic makeup. and the ending really was inferior to the original. michael berryman rules! 'nuff said!

  • March 13, 2006, 12:12 p.m. CST

    For true fatherhood philosophy...

    by Roguewriter

    ... look no further than that much-maligned (over on the CBabbit MATRIX review TalkBacks, et al!) Keanu Reeves, whose doofus character nailed it in Ron Howard's PARENTHOOD: "You need a license to drive a car; hell, you need a license to catch a FISH. But they'll let any butt-reaming asshole be a father." One of the true failures of the modern world, especially when you skim the national news most weeks and find case after case of molestation, rape and infanticide. Horrific, the fact that parenthood is a completely voluntary and unmonitored activity. Unlike moviemaking, where every high-minded dingus in the universe blats ceaselessly about this offense against some group or that insult to some minority... criminy, if we spent a QUARTER as much time attending to our dysfunctional selves and families as we do about what's playing on TV or at the movies, the world would be a much less messed-up place... Two cents, right? You got change for a nickel? ;)

  • March 13, 2006, 3:50 p.m. CST

    "Best talkback ever?" No...

    by LaserMonkey

    ...there was one a few years ago when the WALKING TALL remake was announced that was comedy gold. That may be the best ever. As for this movie, I'm a father. 3 kids. One is an infant. In the film it is suggested that the gun is pointing at the baby BUT you do not see it pointed at the real baby, the infant actor. The gun is pointed at crumple of blankets where the baby is supposed to be. there is crying on the soundtrack. If they had really pointed a gun at the real baby for the purpose of entertainment I'd be appalled. But as it is it's, well, as subtle as this movie gets. Whether it's still morally bankrupt is your call but the scene didn't cross that particular line. However, there was a point in the movie where I thought that maybe....................SPOILER.. .................................. ................................. Aja was gonna let them really eat the baby and it was not gonna be saved. I did think that for a brief time............................... ................................... ................................... END SPOILER. The movie was ok for what it was, but the ending sucked and had way way too many genre tropes in order to artificially stretch out the drama. Aja might have a real classic in him. This ain't it, but it's a step. Certainly better than anthing Eli Roth or Rob Zombie has done to this point. It's just nice to nhave some name horror directors to look at and consider, especially when they are as devisive as those 3.

  • March 13, 2006, 4:11 p.m. CST

    NOTE: I may be remembering that scene wrong

    by LaserMonkey

    in my above post. I don't remeber seeing the gone actually in the face of the baby. Drew seems pretty sure that it was in his review.

  • March 14, 2006, 3:13 a.m. CST

    One thing that should be point out though

    by Vern

    This movie, if you're looking at the subtext (which is pretty out in the open, as Moriarty said) is just as disgusted by violence as Samuel Lapdance is. I'm not saying it's deep or nothing, but it is clearly a parable about The Thin Veneer of Civilization or whatever you want to call it. The family even has two dogs named Beauty and Beast, they might as well have one dog named The Duality of Man. Notice that Beauty's the one that gets killed and Beast is the one that kills. The movie shows how some theoretically civilized middle class people can turn into savages when pushed by actual savages. The triumphant music that plays as the heroes ax mutants to death is, in my opinion, supposed to be ironic. And I don't think it's a coincidence that an American flag (from a truck, no less) impales two different people. Of course, I think Wes Craven was a little more serious about these ideas than these two frenchmen are, but I was impressed that the movie was respectful of the original's themes. I liked this movie. There were a couple things that bothered me but overall it's a well played tune. No, it's not for normal people so I don't blame Sam for hating it. But if you like your horror with 4 stars of spiciness, this is better than most. (I didn't like HOSTEL too much myself, it was only okay. And I don't watch Cannibal Holocaust type movies. I did like WOLF CREEK though and thought it was pretty tame compared to what I expected from the reviews.)

  • March 14, 2006, 7:52 a.m. CST

    All I know is...

    by Roguewriter

    ... when it comes down to a choice between watching a subversive, gut-wrenching, "life is not as simple and safe as you think it is" splatter flick or something safe and treacly like FAILURE TO LAUNCH (or MUST LOVE DOGS, or whatever the title of the latest, interchangeable Schmaltzywood feel-good cine-biotic) I thank God I haven't yet succumbed to the desire to go with the latter. I know there's something deplorable about a movie that puts a gun to a baby's head... but it beats the ever-lovin crap out of watching Matthew McConnaughey get paid $10 million for smiling his sleepy smile at Sarah Jessica Placebo... Please God, don't let angry, weird, subversive filmmaking disappear altogether... some subtext would be nice now and then... but don't let it simply vanish into the ho-hum suburban somnolence of modern American life...

  • March 14, 2006, 8:03 a.m. CST

    One more thing...

    by chaos731

    I'm working up my own review of THHE, and I'll be posting it soon on my site (Google my the terms "Extreme Horror DVD" and you'll find my site right there on top, or thereabouts...I just don't like overtly pimpin' my site on other forums). Anyway, I think it's quite funny how people are getting all morally outraged by this film (and by Hostel, Saw 2, and others). Seems like the vast majority of those who are so outraged by THHE either A.) Haven't seen it or B.) Had no business seeing it in the first place. I mean, come on, people. If you go buy a ticket for a movie that all signs point toward being a brutal, nasty, unpleasant experience, then you should goddamned well expect brutal, nasty unpleasantness. I mean...seriously...what did you expect a bunch of cannibalistic, mutant, bloodthirsty, inbred, deformed maniacs to do? They chop, slice, shoot, rape, kill, maim, and otherwise hurt people Why are you acting all surprised? Rather than holding a loaded Magnum .500 to a baby's head, did you expect them to gently place the child on their shoulders and pat its back until it let loose with a little burpy, then tuck it in while singing it lullabys? Get real. It's called "horror" for a reason, and that reason might not sit too well with some people. You all have the right, of course, to be morally outraged at anything you want, but being all up in arms at a horror movie for being horrifying is just redundant. Oh, and redundant. Yes, there are taboos in our society, and perhaps they serve a purpose. Yes, it's "wrong" to point a loaded gun at a baby, but frankly, it's a friggin movie, and after analyzing that shot, at NO time do you actually see the barrel of the gun in the same frame as an actual child. There's a shot, lasting all of 10 to 15 seconds, of a gun being pointed at a bundle of blankets that seems to be emitting baby sounds, but guess what...I'm damned sure that it was a fake baby, and I'm even more sure it was a fake weapon. So, unclench, everyone. It's a horror movie. Go into it prepared...hoping to be horrified, in ideal circumstances, given that it's a horror film, and you'll be all set. That doesn't speak to the quality of the film. We can debate that until the cows come home, as it were. Being offended that you were horrified by a horror movie is a lot like being a professional have the undeniable right to do either, but both are equally pointless. By the way, THHE is NOT the second coming of jeebus or anything, but it's a taut little shocker with a fair amount of brains in its twisted head. There's a lot more going on in this flick than just blood, guts, and occasionally, stupid dialog. Comments? Thoughts?

  • March 14, 2006, 8:14 a.m. CST

    Nicely put, o chaotic one...

    by Roguewriter

    Looking forward to the review...

  • March 14, 2006, 8:16 a.m. CST

    BTW, can anyone tell me the origin of "jeebus"?

    by Roguewriter

    For the life of me, I have no idea where or when I first heard it, but it never fails to draw a chuckle from me. Is it an arcane movie reference that somehow slipped my radar?

  • March 14, 2006, 8:45 a.m. CST


    by chaos731

    From wikipedia..."Jebus According to Matt Groening, The Simpsons writers have an ongoing competition to write a line that "most represents Homer at his singularly most stupid." Most likely the current champion is Homer's faux term for Jesus, first mentioned in the episode "Missionary: Impossible". When asked to be a missionary, Homer replies that he "[doesn't] even believe in Jebus!". When the plane that is carrying Homer is taking off, he cries, "Save me Jebus!" There are several theories of earlier uses of this misspelling. One attributes it to Frank Zappa, of whom Matt Groening is a fan. The earliest says it was used by jazz performer Duke Ellington, in a throwback to his Catholic school days. He used it instead of Jesus so that the nuns couldn't beat him. He used it instead of Jesus for the rest of his life, which is how Zappa probably found it. In another animated show, Family Guy, Jebus appears as a typo on page 375 in The Bible. Historically, the Old Testament of the Bible mentions a people called the Jebusites, residing in Jebus, which was renamed Jerusalem after being conquered by the Israelites." Does that answer the question? :)

  • March 14, 2006, 10:01 a.m. CST

    Thanks, Chaos! Wikipedia, you are my new bible...

    by Roguewriter

    Fascinating -- I had no idea it had such potential root origins! Who knew Wikipedia was hiding real, valuable factoids amid the made-up entries about the JKF assassins and the existence of Sasquatch?! =)

  • March 14, 2006, 5:59 p.m. CST

    Hills remake

    by expert24

    Just saw the Hills remake this weekend and will admit just like TCM remake the trailer was way better than the actual film. I liked it but the stupid musical jump scares and the EXTREMELY dumb decisions the characters made upset me! For example, a kid see's his mom being eaten so he runs away while shooting at the villain chasing him with no weapon, WHAT! just shoot his ass! The chases and stalking scenes should have been trimmed because they go on too long! Aaron Stanford's character is very likable but he's bad ass only in sections not the entire last half. But for Hills avoidable ridiculous short comings Aja has made an intense little movie, not as intense as High Tension but slightly more intense than Hostel. At this point Aja will become the next John Carpenter who makes a couple good movies in the beginning but falls into making films unworthy of his talent. Hills is only recommended for horror fans who enjoy cheap thrills. I just wish they would have not been so faithful to the original that basically half of the movie is the same until after the trailor scene where it goes into new territory.

  • March 14, 2006, 6:59 p.m. CST

    Just saw it

    by Dodgy

    And while it looked good and was directed well (my GF was jumping in all the right places and hiding her eyes, and she loves gore) the characters didn't deserve to live. They did stupid things and wasted all their ammo, they might as well have been throwing water balloons. I kept thinking what a bunch of monkeys.

  • March 14, 2006, 7:48 p.m. CST

    I don't understand that one

    by Vern

    How come people expect characters in movies to always do the exact best thing in every circumstance? Dodgy and Expert, I promise you that if and when your trailer is invaded by mutant cannibals, you will freak out and do some stupid shit. This is a guarantee. Running away is not only believable, it is probaly what the human instincts would tell them to do. I agree the movie is flawed (so is the original) but it's not because the heroes aren't master survivalists. I mean come on. If anything they're way TOO smart with that explosive trailer contraption, but since that's straight out of the original I don't mind at all. Also Expert - dude, John Carpenter made a *couple* good films? Halloween, The The Thing, Assault On Precinct 13, not to mention all the funny action movies like Big Trouble In Little China, Escape From New York, They Live... and that's only mentioning the classic ones, he made all kinds of other good if not great ones in between. I liked Hills Have Eyes quite a bit but chances are against Aja ever being as accomplished as Carpenter.

  • March 15, 2006, 8:51 a.m. CST

    just ok

    by haywire666

    on paper this sounds like a masterpiece. it's not, its just like every other horror movie, There are just so many points where you say to yourself " why the hell did they do that?" why chase after the dogs? why spilt up? why take the advice of the attendant to take a short cut? why blow up your only source of refuge especially if you dont know how many more of them are left?, why leave people alive, if ultimately all you are gonna do is kill them eventually? why chase a guy who has stolen a dead body whilst leaving your living relative alone and unprotected? and then running away when they chase after you?what the hell was the motivation for the mutants to kill everyone? because of the government? please. have to say though.. props to pryo from x-men, didnt relaise that dude was him, had me completely fooled

  • March 15, 2006, 11:42 a.m. CST

    Someone threw up on me...

    by RichieRich

    At one point during the rape scene this girl sitting not directly behind threw popcorn (I thought) over the seats, some landing on my jacket but most landing on the guys two rows down. It turned out to be barf and it smelled awful. Just a bid of advice... if you're going to throw up point your head downwards and don't try to project it upwards and outwards onto others. Totally couldn't concentrate on the movie after that. Just felt lucky not to be sitting in the seat beside me else it would have hit me square in the head... good times!

  • March 15, 2006, 1:38 p.m. CST

    to satanic haywire

    by Vern

    I don't really get why any of those things bothered you. Most of the questions you asked seem self evident to me (why did they take a shortcut? Because it was a shortcut. Why did they split up? Because they didn't know they were being hunted by a pack of mutant cannibals and they wanted to get help with their vehicle situation. Why chase after the dogs? Because people tend to like their dogs and not want them to run off into the desert, etc.) But the one that really got me was when you ask what was the mutants motivation for killing. Their motivation is they like to kill people and steal their things. (They're also still cannibals, I assume, although I guess they didn't really show that for sure in this version.) There is that scene with the little speech by the guy in the wheelchair talking about their backstory, but that's the one really horrible and inexcusable part of the movie if you ask me. Maybe it worked better in French. The original also had a little bit of dialogue about "rubbing your life in my face" which sort of shows the class tension between the suburban Carter family and some freaks who live in caves. But I think the only motivation needed is that they're some crazy inbred fucks who prey on people in a desert near a nuclear testing ground. Anyway, sorry you didn't like it too much, but do you like other horror movies? It sounds to me like it would be hard for you to enjoy them.

  • March 15, 2006, 2:34 p.m. CST

    It's not just a few bads decisions

    by Dodgy

    It's every choice in the movie they make. *Spoilers* Fair enough you'd make some cock ups given that you'd not realise you were being conned, but all the tyres going at once wouldn't make you a little suspicious? Especially if you'd been a cop 30 years? I know finding my dog with it's chest torn out would make me consider warning a few people a lot more urgent than trying to spare feelings. I mean, whatever did it could still be wandering around. And the cop's reaction later on doesn't scream 30 year vet... And so many other things. How long ago was Scream?

  • March 15, 2006, 2:42 p.m. CST

    Just a few bads typos...

    by Dodgy

    And I do like horror movies, but it helps if the characters have a little wit about them. The best horror movies are those where the characters think a little, and find they still get screwed, so they think harder, and so on. It makes you WANT the characters to make it through, after all, they're trying. For the first part I was enjoying it, but stupid mistake after stupid mistake just makes me lose patience and empathy.

  • March 15, 2006, 3:28 p.m. CST

    Hills Talk back

    by expert24

    Alright Vern, I am a John Carpenter fan and own many of his dvds, including Escape from L.A., which many people dislike?, and Memoirs of invisible man, also disliked; I wasn't knocking Carpenter just simply pointing out that movies like Vampires and Ghost of Mars have disappointed me greatly and I wish he would return to original form. Maybe I was pushing it by comparing Aja to Carpenter but I meant that High Tension made such a incredible amount of dread and general unsettling images in my head that I wished he could have translated much of it to Hills; But artists can't always repeat the same thing twice as stated by John Carpenter so maybe the joke was on me.

  • March 15, 2006, 6:49 p.m. CST

    Horror = gore & violences

    by DarthBakpao

    pardon my English... There's something really really wrong when you define horror as lots of gore and violences... to me horror is all about scary and chilling atmospheres. That's what missing from Hollywood's movies today...

  • March 15, 2006, 7:02 p.m. CST

    Lately these movies have begun to go too far

    by NathanH

    Maybe I'm just getting older, but the 'new era' of ultra violent, anything goes, no holds barred, gore cinema is really getting to be too much. C'mon, raping a woman while you hold a gun to her infants face? Maybe it's the shit storm that seems to have envoloped the world lately. Katrina, Iraq, ect, but I just want to see something happy. I mean, whats next? Pissing on a nuns face while you disembowel her and sodomize her 6 year old grandaughter? It's getting beyond just trying to scare your girlfriend into holding your hand and entering the realm of what seems like it should be illegal, like Japanese rape porn or something. It's too much and it's getting old.

  • March 16, 2006, 9:06 a.m. CST

    D'oh Nathan

    by BrucecampbellsRH

    How could a nun have a granddaughter? ;-) Just kidding dude... but again... if you haven't seen the movie be aware what you have read is not precisely what happens, I mean it's not exactly that simple or explicit or even "rape" technically...

  • Aug. 23, 2006, 4:36 a.m. CST

    The UN-RATED version was heavy!

    by Fugazi32

    Got the DVD last night, haha.