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Face-Off: Wolf Creek Vs. The Hills Have Eyes '06

May. 13, 2013by: Mike Catalano
100%
I enjoyed hearing some love thrown towards Eli Roth's Hostel flicks on our last Face-Off. Although part 1 did come out as the winner, a lot of praise was still handed down to the under-appreciated sequel.

Today we are stretching our bounds for current horror inspiration by taking a cue from the independent survival horror flick, Black Rock, that will probably be opening in about three theaters this Friday. This has led to the positive realization that we've never done a survival horror-themed Face-Off. It is now time to remedy that as we put up two flicks about a bunch of white folk being terrorized in the middle of nowhere! So, pack your bags and load up the RV and get ready for WOLF CREEK VS. THE HILLS HAVE EYES '06!

Desolate Setting
Ah, the Australian Outback. Where it can be hot during the day and freezing at night. Such a long, sandy open stretch of nothing. A large amount of people actually do go missing here each year. Its tough terrain and sheer volume make it an ideal place for psychos to snatch, kill and dump any poor souls.
The vast New Mexico dessert, where you see nothing but dunes for miles either way. Add to that some large, shady caverns and other rock formations and you've got one shitty location for your car to break down in. Plenty of places for freaky mutants to hide and attack from and not another helpful soul within sight.
Killer Lead
The cackling, sadistic, Aussie Mick Taylor is the worst kind of pycho you could ever run into in the middle of nowhere. He's strong, brutal, and loves to torture and taunt his victims. And the worst thing of all: he's super nice and funny when you first meet him, causing many an unsuspecting tourist to trust him!
I think it's fair to say that although there are many mutants here, Papa Jupiter would constitute the lead. This dude's definitely a sadistic asshole, even though he seems to be the least mutated of the bunch (just a weird hair-lip). He's despicable for picking on and accosting young Emilie de Ravin. Yet, he doesn't seem to measure up to Mick!
Best Gore
The cool (and sick) thing about Wolf Creek is the acting and direction are so well done that the violence has a strong realism to it. There isn't non-stop gore, but whenever it does pop up, it certainly shocks. The harsh torture of Kristy truly turns the stomach. And Mick chopping off Liz's fingers before turning her into a "head on a stick" is one of the most horrific acts of violence I've ever seen in a horror flick.
Oh, the horror! This remake ups the ante of hardcore gore in the most glorious of ways! There are splattery gunshots, severed body parts, and axes and other sharp objects to the skull region. Not to mention some disgusting displays of cannibalism. With a horror visionary like Alexandre Aja at the helm, we are treated to top notch carnage candy that is shocking and relentless.
Surviving Hero
Ben is the one who does make it out of Mick's clutches alive, however, his inclusion in the film's final frames didn't quite play out as I expected. After Liz and Kristy are put through Hell, I was really hoping for Ben to come in and save the day or at least give Mick some sort of comeuppance. He does do a great job of getting free from his horrible crucifixion and saving himself, though. I suppose the filmmakers were going for a realism aspect here with giving their male hero no one to really save, but this is still a movie and don't you want the viewers to get some sort of kick-ass entertainment aspect?
My friends, here we have small, nerdy Doug. For the first half of the flick, we see him as a nebbish, weak shell of a man. Then... the unthinkably horrific happens. His wife is murdered and his baby daughter is kidnapped. After the evil mutants' carnage force him to become the patriarch of his family, something happens. He goes after them with his trusty dog, Beast. This leads to a violent confrontation with the massive mutant, Pluto. The battle is completely one-sided and after Pluto chops off two of Doug's fingers, we feel the worst is about to happen. Then, one of the most incredible transitions into horror movie heroism happens! Doug pulls out a screwdriver, stabs Pluto in the foot, yanks a stick attached to an American flag out of his burnt father-in-law's head, stabs it through Pluto's neck, and finally axe's the bastard in the head. I could watch this scene over and over. It's so damn inspiring! Doug goes on to take back his daughter and reunite with his surviving family. Awesome!
Intense Moment
Oh man. Liz has just seriously, possibly mortally, injured Mick and is seemingly on her way to escaping his lair along with Kristy. She's in one of the bad guy's stolen cars and is about to drive her way to freedom when... Oh shit! Mick's in the back seat with a huge f*cking knife! Even though it's pretty clear that Liz is now f*cked, nothing could have prepared us for the ungodly manner with which Mick disposes of her. I only have to say four words: "Head on a stick."
The original Hills had a rape scene in it, so you know people were already aware that some form of physical assault was coming with the remake. However, nothing could have prepared us for the kind of attack that took place once Papa Jupiter and Pluto entered the Carter family's RV. I have a very tough time watching abuse towards women and what transpires with the Carter mother and two daughters is very hard to take.
The Hills Have Eyes
Well, it was a close fight, but it seems that The Hills Have Eyes was able to survive and come out as the victor. I'm very curious to hear what you, our coveted AITH-ers, think of this one. So, don't wait another second! Start spitting them bullets below! And feel free to send any future Face-Off ideas to me at mikecatalano@joblo.com.

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2:10PM on 05/14/2013
THE HILLS HAVE EYES definitely . WOLF CREEK was a predictable piece of torture porn (hate the term ) that while entertaining to a degree , lacked the chills and thrills of Aja's vision of Craven's classic .
THE HILLS HAVE EYES definitely . WOLF CREEK was a predictable piece of torture porn (hate the term ) that while entertaining to a degree , lacked the chills and thrills of Aja's vision of Craven's classic .
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10:12AM on 05/14/2013
Hills Have Eyes for sure. All around it is a better horror movie.
Hills Have Eyes for sure. All around it is a better horror movie.
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8:25PM on 05/13/2013

Great comparison, but I despise The Hills Have Eyes.

This was a great read, and a great comparison, but The Hills Have Eyes really pisses me off. It demonstrates the unfortunate idea that people with visible deformities are supposed to be feared. This would fly as a politically-correct statement in the 20s perhaps, but nowadays we are smarter than this. It makes me so sick that people praise The Hills Have Eyes for being "good horror" and "super scary" because of its "terrifying villains."

They are terrible villains, yes, but I feel like
This was a great read, and a great comparison, but The Hills Have Eyes really pisses me off. It demonstrates the unfortunate idea that people with visible deformities are supposed to be feared. This would fly as a politically-correct statement in the 20s perhaps, but nowadays we are smarter than this. It makes me so sick that people praise The Hills Have Eyes for being "good horror" and "super scary" because of its "terrifying villains."

They are terrible villains, yes, but I feel like too much stock is put into making sure they look as deformed as possible. Wrong Turn has a similar approach to the physical appearance of its villains, and... honestly, I think most horror movies from the last decade do the same thing. It's so unfortunate, especially because I personally feel that the scariest villains are the ones that look somewhat normal.

I know there is more to the villainous qualities of the antagonists in The Hills Have Eyes than solely their disturbing deformities, but it's quite clear the main fear they are supposed to strike is that they are physically deformed. It's an awful and cheap way to elicit fear from the audience, and it plays on stigmas that should have been kicked by the wayside, regarding deformed and mentally-challenged people, decades ago.
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1:51PM on 05/13/2013
Hills Have Eyes for me.
Hills Have Eyes for me.
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9:29AM on 05/13/2013
I've never seen Wolf Creek but great points about The Hills Have Eyes. I love how Doug, this nerdy guy, ends up being this awesome bad ass hero character, great remake
I've never seen Wolf Creek but great points about The Hills Have Eyes. I love how Doug, this nerdy guy, ends up being this awesome bad ass hero character, great remake
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