Wednesday, August 19, 2009

Through the Eyes of a Camera

Most people who know me would know that I despise remakes mainly because they are not original, they are just peppered with gore, they ruin classic movies and they only appeal to Generation Y… the stupid generation but once in a while there comes a remake that is truly remarkable and one of those remakes is the movie The Hills Have Eyes. Now, I don’t want to review this movie since I already have several times and I stated several times why this movie is effective but what I want to elaborate on is the camera angles that Aja uses in this movie. That’s what stood out from your typical run-of-the-mill remake.

The camera angles in this film were very artsy but also very complex; focusing on close up shots of certain objects (ie: the smoking pistol), or canted camera angles or my personal favorite… those low shot camera angles that over exaggerate the tallness of a person, its almost as though the camera is a third person in this movie. There several voyeuristic shots that make it seem like you are stalking the characters and there are amazing close up shots of intense things… for example: the close up of some of the mutant’s faces. In a way, the camera angles sort of reflect the camera angles used in Sergio Leone western movies; extreme close ups of sweaty faces and ground shots. It would make sense considering this does take place in the west.

Its also artsy in the way that most horror movies don’t pay attention to the camera angles and they either use handy-cam shots or just regular pannings and truckings but this film experiments with different shots. Its like an big budget art house horror movie.

This was always something that was on my mind when I saw this movie… it wasn’t gore, it wasn’t the realism or the fact that Aja has no heart for his characters but rather the camera angles. That stood out more to me then anything else. Its just interesting to me that so many different genres and techniques are starting be used in horror movies and that’s just one reason why I really enjoyed The Hills Have Eyes. 


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