Review: The Hills Have Eyes Ltd Edition 4K UHD
4K UHD: The Hills Have Eyes (1977)
It still amazes me that I’m now in a world where I get to rewatch films of my youth with such fantastic visual quality, with the added bonus of interesting special features too…and I thought I had it good back in the days when I had to do a 60 mile round trip to rent a film on VHS!
Considering it’s a low budget film, shot on 16mm over 40 years ago, the picture quality is stunning. It really was like watching it for the first time, as the colours, black levels, and fine details all revealed something new to me in every scene.
It retains the film grain, but thankfully doesn’t show any signs of being digitally tampered with for smoothing out the picture. This all helps to immerse you into the plight of the poor family stranded in the Nevada desert.
There is also a surprisingly immersive DTS 7:1 sound mix option (as well as mono and 2.0 stereo to choose from) which gave a good sense of atmosphere to proceedings. I usually watch older films in mono, but gave the 7:1 mix a try and stuck with it. It’ll obviously not test your home cinema setup like a new release, but it does a damn fine job of adding an extra layer of enjoyment to the film.
I shall say no more about the narrative of the film…it’s The Hills Have Eyes! Surely you’ve watched it by now? If you have then this is a superb version to buy, and if you haven’t, then I don’t want to spoil it for you…and this is the version you should buy.
I will say though, that while I’ve always regarded The Hills Have Eyes as a good film, it was never one that bowled me over like a lot of other films from my youth. However, upon rewatching via this UHD release, I found myself enjoying it a hell of a lot more. It certainly puts a new lease of life into a film containing a lot of death!
The special features are the same as on Arrow’s previously released limited edition blu-ray, and the 3 commentary tracks alone will enhance your knowledge and enjoyment of the film.
I love that Arrow’s UHD releases so far have been such a fantastic eclectic mix, and The Hills Have Eyes is yet another that you should put onto your shelves ASAP.
- Brand new 4K restoration of the film, viewable with both original and alternate endings
- 4K (2160p) UHD Blu-ray presentation in High Dynamic Range
- Original lossless mono audio
- Optional lossless 2.0 stereo and 7.1 remixes (original ending only)
- Optional English subtitles for the deaf and hard of hearing
- 6 postcards
- Reversible fold-out poster
- Limited edition 40-page booklet featuring writing on the film by critic Brad Stevens and a consideration of the Hills franchise by Arrow producer Ewan Cant, illustrated with original archive stills and posters
- Audio commentary with actors Michael Berryman, Janus Blythe, Susan Lanier and Martin Speer
- Audio commentary by academic Mikel J. Koven
- Audio commentary with Wes Craven and Peter Locke
- Looking Back on The Hills Have Eyes – making-of documentary featuring interviews with Craven, Locke, actors Michael Berryman, Janus Blythe, Robert Houston, Susan Lanier, Dee Wallace and director of photography Eric Saarinen
- Family Business – an interview with actor Martin Speer
- The Desert Sessions – an interview with composer Don Peake
- Alternate ending
- Trailers and TV Spots
- Image gallery
- Original screenplay
- Reversible sleeve featuring original and newly commissioned artwork by Paul Shipper
Review by Dave from a disc kindly supplied by Arrow Films via Fetch Publicity.