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Double Matinee - Wolf Creek and
The Hills Have Eyes

 

Liz runs from Mick's compound in Wolf Creek
Liz runs from Mick's compound in Wolf Creek

Kristy trying to escape in Wolf Creek
Kristy trying to escape in Wolf Creek

Brenda kicks butt in The Hills Have Eyes
Brenda kicks butt in The Hills Have Eyes

Mutant Pluto in The Hills Have Eyes
Mutant Pluto in The Hills Have Eyes

What better time than the Fall to spend a lazy day on the couch catching up on your movie watching - that is, when you're not out visiting pumpkin patches or haunted houses. We have two good movie recommendations for your home double matinee: Wolf Creek and The Hills Have Eyes. Both involve nice, ordinary people being hunted and having to fight for their lives.

Wolf Creek (2005) is based on a true story and set in the Australian Outback. Three 20-somethings, Kristy, Liz, and Ben, meet up on vacation and decide to drive through the Outback together on their way home. Along the way they stop at Wolf Creek National Park, a desolate spot if there ever was one - no other people or phones around for miles. After they have their fun and return to their car, it doesn't start. They decide spend the night in their car in the hope that someone will come along the next day. In the middle of the pitch black night, a local named Mick comes by. He offers to tow them to his place to fix the car and they reluctantly agree. Huge mistake. Mick's plan doesn't really include fixing their car. It includes torturing and killing them. 

As the movie unfolds, it is very suspenseful and gory. The desolation of the Outback adds to the feelings of desperation and terror of the main characters. You feel the torment and terror of Kristy, Liz, and Ben and want them to live against the odds they face. Once in the clutches of Mick the movie is fast-paced. As with a lot of true crime stories, it does not have a "happy" ending, causing the movie to stay with you long after it's over.

The Hills Have Eyes (2006), by contrast, is mindless fun. It's a remake of Wes Craven's 1977 classic of the same name (Craven produced this new version) in which a family traveling in a trailer to California through the New Mexico desert is deliberately misled to a "shortcut". This route takes them down a desolate dirt road to nowhere where they are menaced and brutally attacked by a group of cannibals, mutated by atmospheric nuclear tests conducted from 1945 to 1962.

The movie is suspenseful, action-packed, and the mutants are creepy. I felt really sorry for the family, as their desperation and fright really come across in the movie.

The cast is first-rate. Aaron Stanford plays Doug, the unlikely hero and son-in-law to Ted Levine's Big Bob Carter, the patriarch of the family. Stanford, most recently the title character of television's underrated "Traveler" (and Pyro from the last two X-Men movies), starts the film off a bit wimpy, but really shines when push comes to shove. Levine is wonderful as always. From his role as the killer in Silence of the Lambs to his role on television's fun "Monk", he brings a real presence to the big and small screens.

In March of this year, The Hills Have Eyes 2 was released, written by Wes Craven and his son Jonathan. It centers on a group of National Guard trainees who battle the mutants on their last day of training in the desert.


Do you think we got this totally wrong? Agree with us? Or just want everyone to know your thoughts? Then start a discussion of these movies in our forums!

Reviewed by: Hauntmistress, 9/10/2007

 
   

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