Monday, September 18, 2006

Vehemently Undecided

My recent bout of insomnia continues, and last night I employed a new tactic in my fight to sleep again: watching a grisly horror movie, namely, the remake of The Hills Have Eyes.

I never saw the 1977 original, which I'm actually glad of, because knowing me, I would have sat there for almost 2 hours comparing both films with each other-I do that every time I watch a remake. As it was, the entire thing left me kind of....Empty, although, the film is presented in such a way, that most people who watch it are going to have one of two reactions: Disgust or glee.

The basic plot: A new take on Wes Craven's 1977 film of the same name, "The Hills Have Eyes" is the story of a family road trip that goes terrifyingly awry when the travelers become stranded in a government atomic zone. Miles from nowhere, the Carters soon realize the seemingly uninhabited wasteland is actually the breeding ground of a blood-thirsty mutant family...and they are the prey.

First of all, for whatever reason, there was a clip of This in the opening credits. Considering the LAST place I saw that, I feared it was a portent of things to come, and I fixated on it for the first 15 minutes. Also, later, I became convinced that I recognized Lizard the Mutant from somewhere, and spent about an hour trying to figure out where the hell I knew him from.

The movie itself? There's long stretches where practically nothing happens, mainly the first thirty minutes where we get to know the family. They're actually likable people (minus one), which is refreshing, because normally when I watch a horror movie, the people are so loathesome, they can't get picked off fast enough as far as I'm concerned. When the mutants finally do descend on the Carters, it's so fast and brutal (I coulda done without the rape and molestation of the 2 sisters, I'm just saying), I had almost forgotten until that point that it was a horror movie.

There seems to be some sort of message in the film, other than the obvious, "Atomic bombs are bad", but I can't exactly qualify what it's supposed to be. For example: Liberal Doug is anti-gun and a seeming pacifist, until his family is destroyed and his baby daughter is kidnapped by mutant cannibals. I'm sorry, what does that mean? Is this about how beliefs are transient, and that all men are inherently animalistic and capable of anything? Is that it? Feh.

Did I like it? Did I hate it? I really can't say, but I'll remember it for a good, long while, that's for sure.

(BTW: Lizard the Mutant=The Dude That Played Madonna's Boyfriend in Desperately Seeking Susan. I knew I remembered him from somewhere, I just KNEW it.)