By the time he got to THE HILLS HAVE EYES, Wes Craven was clearly more confident behind the camera. Much more tonally consistent and more adept at building tension, this gritty horror film about a family stranded in the desert at the mercy of bloodthirsty in bred cannibals is a classic of 70s horror.
The middle class trip to the dark side of America. The happy family is headed to the California dreamland, but ends up in the dirty backyard of the military, somewhere in the desert. Craven’s second film is fierce and full of rage. It’s not really scary - the unnecessary jump scares are its weakest moments - as it is intimidating and grotesque, filled with the amorphous fears of the middle class.
I always thought of Wes Craven as the light and fun master of horror, so I was surprised to find that this is one of the most brutal, no holds-barred horror movies of the 70's. What really sets it apart is the horror relating to the loss of family. It really gets to you seeing these characters agonize over the loss of their loved ones in unexpected and unimaginable ways for almost the entire running time.
Brutal uncompromising horror exploitation where innocents get killed even if they are nice and have family. It is a bleak and terrifying film that don't shy away from it's subject matter with fast pace and a lot of gruesome twists and deaths. The second and really last of the old independent Wes Craven where he let all morale and logic be thrown out of the window for films that shocked and were hard to swallow.
Dans la digne lignée du classique "Massacre à la tronçonneuse", une oeuvre en tous points intéressante par la qualité de son suspense, un certain humour au second degré de son scénario et sa remarquable cruauté... www.cinefiches.com