It goes without saying, that remakes are nothing new (pardon the pun). But following the box office success of 2003's "Texas Chainsaw" remake and 2004's "Dawn of the Dead", Wes Craven and the producers at New Line Cinema decided to revisit one of their earlier successes, with a view to giving it a modern day makeover.
Helmed this time by director Alexandra Aja (Haute Tension/Switchblade Romance) the film pretty much follows the original storyline, in which a family travelling the desert hghway to California, foolishly decide to leave the main road and head off down a dirt track, where they subsequently break down, miles from anywhere.
Similarly to the original, the father, Bob Carter (Ted Levine) goes off in search of help, but as night falls the remainder of the family find themselves fighting for survival against a bunch of blood thirsty, retarded cannibal folk who've been watching them from the hills. If you've seen the original you'll know what to expect, as they all meet similar grisly demises as before.
But despite the similarities, the film does pull out some neat twists, in which we find that there exists not just a family of cannibals, but an entire community inhabiting a former nuclear weapons test range in the desert. The radiation from which having had an adverse affect on them.
Also starring horror veteran Billy Drago as the head of the cannibalistic clan, whilst this version proves to be gorier and more violent, I felt the original was arguably the more brutal, strange as that may sound. I also felt it lacked the atmosphere of the original. Teens will probably love it, but fans of the original will probably prefer that version to this. No Michael Berryman this time either.
One final passing thought, anyone else think that Pluto in this film looked decidedly similar to Jason from Friday the 13th parts 3-4?