15 Fun Facts About “The Hills Have Eyes” (2006)

Considered by many to be one of the better horror remakes, The Hills Have Eyes (2006) was released in the midst of the torture porn era, and it definitely shows.

It was far more bloody and brutal than the 1977 original, but still remained respectful to Wes Craven’s classic, which was helped by the fact that he was a producer on it.

So in honor of its 15th anniversary today, we thought it would be fun to look at 15 fun facts about The Hills Have Eyes (2006)!

1. Wes Craven was initially inspired to produce a remake of his 70s cult classic when he saw the success of The Texas Chainsaw Massacre (2003) and The Amityville Horror (2005).

3 years later, another Wes Craven classic, Last House on the Left was also remade, with him producing it as well.

2. Originally, Craven wanted to shoot in the same location the original film was in the desert of California, however they discovered that housing developments had been built in the subsequent 30 years.

3. Director Alexandre Aja insisted they film in the Sahara Desert in Morocco, where temperatures would regularly reach 120 degrees (F). The studio was against this, but couldn’t find a better location in the US.

The vast desert and intense heat definitely added a sense of atmosphere (and probably helped the actors stay in the right mindset).

4. That same desert location was also used for other films/series like Game of Thrones, Gladiator, The Mummy (1999), Kingdom of Heaven and even Lawrence of Arabia.

5. According to Emilie de Ravin (Brenda), Alexandre Aja encouraged her, and other actors who hadn’t seen the original not to watch it, for fear that it might influence their performance.

6. Most of Big Bob’s lines were improvised by actor Ted Levine, who was already a legend in horror for playing Buffalo Bill in The Silence of the Lambs.

He may only be in the first act, but Ted Levine steals every scene he’s in.

7. Famed makeup artist Greg Nicotero played on the mutants, Cyst.

8. Reportedly the scene where the gun is pointed at the baby was difficult to shoot because the baby kept trying to play with the (obviously fake prop) gun.

9. Aja said he wanted to base the mutants’ appearance on victims of Hiroshima and Chernobyl. Although the grotesque images from the beginning were not the result of radiation, but rather the effects of Agent Orange from the Vietnam War.

The result was towed the line between over the top grotesque, and uncomfortably realistic.

10. The visuals for the mutants was created with a blending of practical makeup and CGI to enhance certain things.

11. Film debut of Laura Ortiz, who played Ruby, the hardest “mutant” to cast. Ortiz would go on to have roles in Guardians of the Galaxy and many Adam Green projects including Hatchet II, Victor Crowley, and Holliston.

12. The character of Doug (Aaron Stanford) was heavily inspired by Dustin Hoffman’s character in Straw Dogs. Alexandre Aja wanted him to be meek and mild-mannered in the beginning, but unleash a savagery within when the horror started.

Doug may begin the film as a bookish nerd, who’s even poked fun at by his father in law for not being “manly” enough. But when his child is abducted, he goes full warrior!

13. The violence and gore were so gruesome that he movie was given an NC-17 rating, and had to be edited down heavily to get an R, in order to qualify for wide release.

14. Howard Berger, Greg Nicotero, and Mario Michisanti were all nominated for a Saturn Award for Best Makeup, however they lost to Slither. Though Berger and Nicotero had just won the previous year for The Chronicles of Narnia: The Lion, the Witch, and the Wardrobe.

15. It was a huge financial success, grossing $70 million on a $15 million budget.

It did spawn a sequel one year later with a team of soldiers going up against the mutant family. However, it wasn’t as well received and was largely forgotten.

Which of these did you already know?  Which ones surprised you?  What’s your favorite Saw movie?  Let us know in the comments!

The Hills Have Eyes (2006) is currently streaming on HBO Max

For more fun facts, reviews, rankings, and other fun horror content, follow Halloween Year-Round on FacebookTwitter, and YouTube!

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