I was first introduced to filmmaker Alexandre Aja when I saw High Tension (aka Haute tension) in 2003 and subsequently became obsessed with a subgenre known as New French Extremity, a style marked by subversion and nihilism. High Tension caught the eyes of American studio execs, and the French native was tapped to helm the remake of Wes Craven’s The Hills Have Eyes, released on this day back in 2006.
At a time when remakes were almost universally loathed, Aja rewrote the book by both remaining true to the source material and upping the ante significantly. The final product was shocking, disturbing, and absolutely stunning, a harrowing tale of survival that pulls no punches. The movie includes rape, kidnapping, violence against animals, and a scene where a man is burned alive. It’s a film that almost hurts to watch, yet completely engrossing, with a draw that brings many back for multiple viewings.
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The success of The Hills Have Eyes made Aja a hot commodity and he has gone on to make more American films than he ever did overseas. His Director’s filmography includes: Mirrors, Piranha 3D, Horns, and The 9th Life of Louis Drax. He wrote the screenplays for P2 and 2012’s Maniac and his producer credits include The Pyramid and The Other Side of the Door.
If you have never experienced Aja’s The Hills Have Eyes, and you have the ability to endure extreme violence, check out the trailer and synopsis below.
Official Synopsis: A suburban American family is being stalked by a group of psychotic people who live in the desert, far away from civilization.
The script for The Hills Have Eyes was written by Aja along with Grégory Levasseur; the film stars Ted Levine, Kathleen Quinlan, and Dan Byrd.