6.4/10
22,830
201 user 125 critic

The Hills Have Eyes (1977)

On the way to California, a family has the misfortune to have their car break down in an area closed to the public, and inhabited by violent savages ready to attack.

Director:

Writer:

Reviews
Popularity
3,302 ( 32)

Watch Now

From $2.99 (SD) on Amazon Video

ON DISC
1 win. See more awards »

Videos

Photos

Learn more

People who liked this also liked... 

Horror | Thriller
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 3.7/10 X  

A group of bikers, heading to a race, become stranded in the desert and find themselves fighting off a family of inbred cannibals who live off the land.

Director: Wes Craven
Stars: Robert Houston, David Nichols, Virginia Vincent
Crime | Drama | Horror
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 6/10 X  

Two teenage girls head to a rock concert for one's birthday. While trying to score marijuana in the city, they are kidnapped and brutalized by a gang of psychotic convicts.

Director: Wes Craven
Stars: Sandra Peabody, Lucy Grantham, David Hess
Horror
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 6.4/10 X  

A suburban American family is being stalked by a group of psychotic people who live in the desert, far away from civilization.

Director: Alexandre Aja
Stars: Ted Levine, Kathleen Quinlan, Dan Byrd
Comedy | Horror | Mystery
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 6.3/10 X  

Two adults and a juvenile burglar break into a house occupied by a brother and sister and their stolen children and become trapped.

Director: Wes Craven
Stars: Brandon Quintin Adams, Everett McGill, Wendy Robie
Horror | Thriller
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 5.7/10 X  

An aspiring writer is repeatedly gang-raped, humiliated, and left for dead by four men whom she systematically hunts down to seek revenge.

Director: Meir Zarchi
Stars: Camille Keaton, Eron Tabor, Richard Pace
Action | Horror | Thriller
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 5.1/10 X  

A group of National Guard trainees find themselves battling against a vicious group of mutants on their last day of training in the desert.

Director: Martin Weisz
Stars: Daniella Alonso, Jacob Vargas, Michael Bailey Smith
Shocker (1989)
Comedy | Horror | Thriller
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 5.4/10 X  

After being sent to the electric chair, a serial killer uses electricity to come back from the dead and carry out his vengeance on the football player who turned him in to the police.

Director: Wes Craven
Stars: Michael Murphy, Mitch Pileggi, John Tesh
Horror
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 7.5/10 X  

Two siblings visit their grandfather's grave in Texas along with three of their friends and are attacked by a family of cannibalistic psychopaths.

Director: Tobe Hooper
Stars: Marilyn Burns, Edwin Neal, Allen Danziger
Fantasy | Horror
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 6.5/10 X  

An anthropologist goes to Haiti after hearing rumors about a drug used by black magic practitioners to turn people into zombies.

Director: Wes Craven
Stars: Bill Pullman, Cathy Tyson, Zakes Mokae
Edit

Cast

Cast overview, first billed only:
John Steadman ...
...
Peter Locke ...
Mercury (as Arthur King)
Russ Grieve ...
...
...
Brenda Carter (as Susan Lanier)
...
Brenda Marinoff ...
...
Martin Speer ...
James Whitworth ...
...
Lance Gordon ...
Cordy Clark ...
Flora ...
Edit

Storyline

A family going to California accidentally goes through an Air Testing range closed to the public. They crash and are stranded in a desert. They are being stalked by a group of people, which have not emerged into modern times. Written by Paul Popiel <marekp@interlog.com>

Plot Summary | Plot Synopsis

Taglines:

They burned the father, killed the mother, and raped the sister! See more »

Genres:

Horror | Thriller

Certificate:

R | See all certifications »

Parents Guide:

 »
Edit

Details

Country:

Language:

Release Date:

22 July 1977 (USA)  »

Also Known As:

Blood Relations  »

Filming Locations:

 »

Box Office

Budget:

$230,000 (estimated)
 »

Company Credits

Production Co:

 »
Show detailed on  »

Technical Specs

Runtime:

| (cut)

Sound Mix:

Color:

Aspect Ratio:

1.85 : 1
See  »
Edit

Did You Know?

Trivia

Bobby's (Robert Houston) handgun is a Colt M1911A. See more »

Goofs

Despite stabbing him several times after Mars has been bitten by the rattlesnake, the knife that Doug uses always shows a clean blade. See more »

Quotes

Lynne Wood: What the hell was that?
Mama: Sounded like some sort of animal.
Lynne Wood: Yeah well, if animals around here are smart enough to run radios we're up shitcreek without a paddle.
Mama: You know you never used language like that before you moved to New York City.
See more »

Connections

Referenced in The DUFF (2015) See more »

Frequently Asked Questions

See more (Spoiler Alert!) »

User Reviews

 
They don't make 'em like this anymore!
14 September 1999 | by (Orangeville, Ontario, Canada) – See all my reviews

Wes Craven is a director who did a lot to revive interest in the horror genre, but he also did a lot to ensure that we were unlikely to get our horror the way we used to. While I personally have nothing against his mega-successful "Scream" franchise and have enjoyed both films immensely, I feel sad knowing that Craven will never be able to recapture the awesome low-budget effectiveness of his earlier works. He has developed his directorial skills a LOT since then, but any horror fan will tell you that slicker does not necessarily mean scarier. Now that Craven has successfully broken free from the genre that has provided him with a living for over a quarter century (and has moved on to directing inspirational films with Meryl Steep!), we will never see another film like his "The Hills Have Eyes", which is raw, intense horror at its best. The film doesn't quite have the same impact as Craven's earlier "Last House on the Left", but it is a more skilful piece of work, and is still one of the most frightening genre flicks ever made.

Like all great horror films, the plot requires very little description. The upper-class, white-bread Carter family are on a road trip to California and decide to take a detour through the desert to check out a silver mine that the parents received as a silver wedding anniversary gift. They ignore the warnings of a crazy old man they encounter at a gas station who warns them to stay on the main road, and end up wishing they'd listened to him after their trailer becomes trapped in the middle of nowhere with a broken axle on the car. It soon becomes apparent that they've stumbled into an area that is populated by a family whom the Carters would never have to worry about encountering back home in Cleveland. The members of this family are named after planets in the solar system (Jupiter, Mars, Pluto etc.) and are able to survive life in the desert by praying on unsuspecting travellers like the Carters. After a night of unbearable hell, the Carter family has lost some of their members and most of their supplies and decide to take revenge once daylight hits. They end up acting more violent and psychotic than the villains.

Not even David Lean has used the desert to better effect. Craven's direction here is top-notch, and does a terrific job at conveying the isolation of his location and the helplessness of the whole situation. He takes his sweet time building up the mutant family's attack on the Carters, so that the tension almost becomes unbearable. By the last act, the film is less concerned about the heroes finding their way out of the desert, but about whether or not they are going to end up stooping to the level of their enemies. Of course, these themes of vengeance and family were covered by Craven before in "Last House on the Left", but this time around, he ensures that they will reach a wider audience by presenting them within the confines of a more straightforward genre film. The main factor that prevents this film from being superior to "Last House" are the villains, who are somewhat cartoonish and not quite as memorable as Krug & Company. However, they still do provide plenty of menace, and like the "Last House" gang, exude a certain likability when they're not acting vicious, especially Michael Berryman, who steals every scene he's in as the dim-witted Pluto. All in all, "The Hills Have Eyes" is an unforgettable experience and one of the best films of its kind. Even though videotape copies of "Hills" have been in the darkest depths of moratorium hell for years, every horror fan should go out of their way to check it out. Especially since we just don't get them like this any more...


42 of 47 people found this review helpful.  Was this review helpful to you?

Contribute to This Page