The Hills Have Eyes

This is twisty, so follow me. If the first director pays homage to the horror films of the 70s as Rob Zombie did in “The Devil’s Rejects”, then if a second filmmaker remakes a 70s horror film and uses similar techniques as the first, such as Alexandre Aja’s “The Hills Have Eyes,” are they both paying homage to the original or is the second director copying the first?

Sure, Aja is no chump with his eye-catching film “Haute Tension” (High Tension) wooing horror and thriller fans both in his native France and here. However, it’s a question that is larger than him and larger than film. It’s about the nature of art and creativity and building on what has been done before or simply copying it.

Art is sometimes evolutionary and sometimes revolutionary. In either case, it is a reaction to what has come before. Movies like Scream and its spawn are reaction to the way the 80s turned the gritty realistic horror films of the 70s into ludicrous money grabs. So, now we are seeing a return to that grittiness and rawness in films such as the two mentioned above and “Wolf Creek.”

My original question still stands though, even my original assertion is in doubt. Are these films homages or simply copycats with no originality? Where does a film like Saw and Saw II play into this?

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