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The Hills Have Eyes 4K UHD Review

“The Hills Have Eyes” is an unsettling Wes Craven film.

1977’s “The Hills Have Eyes” revolves around the Carter family comprised of parents Ethel and Bob, their 3 children Brenda, Bobby and Lynne along with Lynne’s husband (Doug) and daughter (Katy) and the family dogs Beauty and Beast. With a trailer in tow, the family is en route to L.A., but are wanting to check out a silver mine on the way. This is their mistake. Not only do they get in an accident, but they soon find themselves being preyed on by a desert dwelling cannibal family (Papa Jupiter, Mama, Pluto, Mars, Mercury and Ruby). Will anyone make it out alive?

Although undeniably inspired by “The Texas Chainsaw Massacre” (and certainly not on the same level), “The Hills Have Eyes” went on to inspire its own franchise thanks to the creative efforts of writer/director Wes Craven. With ‘Hills,’ Craven created a raw, twisted, and downright dark movie about nature, family, and survival. You never quite know where the movie is going as no one seems safe. Heck, a dog dies and a baby is kidnapped so anything seems possible in this horror movie which is what makes it so disturbing. Yes, the movie does have a derivative plot, an all too abrupt ending, a bizarre mutant kid backstory, and some questionable character actions by the Carter family, but as a whole this is still an intense slice of 70’s horror.

Cast wise, there’s a lot of unknowns here, but there are a trio of memorable performances with horror genre icon Michael Berryman (who is the face of the movie as he’s on the poster), Dee Wallace (Lynne), and John Steadman as the grizzled gas station owner who has a history with the cannibals. 

Note: Viewers have the option of playing the movie with or without the alternate ending.

Video/Audio:

Presentation: 1.78:1 2160p. How does it look? The 4K restoration maintains the grit and grain while providing a higher quality print.

Audio Track: Original Lossless Mono, 2.0 Stereo and 7.1 (theatrical only). How do they sound? The Mono track is a little scratchy for my taste, but the 2.0 and 7.1 tracks offer up more clarity. 

Extras:
* A double-sided poster.
* A booklet with credits, restoration info, photos, and essays by Brad Stevens and Ewan Cant.
* 6 lobby cards
* Alternate ending
* Original screenplay
* Image gallery
* US and German trailers and TV spots
* 3 commentary tracks- A cast commentary with Michael Berryman, Janus Blythe, Susan Lanier and Martin Speer, commentary by Wes Craven and Peter Locke, and commentary by scholar Mikel J. Koven.
* 19 minutes of outtakes.
* An interview with composer Don Peake from 2016.
* A 2016 interview with actor Martin Speer.
* A 54 minute making-of documentary with cast and crew interviews (including Wes Craven talking about his life and how ‘Hills’ came about) and film clips. 

November 23, 2021 - Posted by | 4K UHD Review | , , , , , , ,

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