Wes Craven is a name firmly associated with quality horror movies, and he pretty got his start with the movie The Hills Have Eyes. Aside from having one of the top twenty most evocative titles I've ever heard, this movie is a grim and gritty horror movie with just enough invested to get the film in the can and on the screen...barely. This is one cheap looking movie. It does offer an early offering of then still scream-queen-to-be Dee Wallace and that's not nothing. There's also the singular looking Michael Berryman, who has become the bald dark-eyed symbol of the movie.
For the very very few who might not know, this is a story of a family traveling west who lose their way and find themselves stranded in the desert surrounded by another family, a sinister family who want even worse than to murder them all. Inspired by the story of Sawney Bean and his cannablistic clan this story is also about how close civilization is to sheer brutality and savagery. We calmly imagine ourselves in situations and based on what we've always known and done we feel confident that the essence of who we are will not bend leave alone break when faced with mortal decisions, not even just for us.
We live on the edge of a knife and how it cuts is not a choice but a metaphor for the notion that it always cuts both ways and nothing can survive for long on the edge of knife leave along a civilized man or woman. Wes Craven's rustic classic points up that critical aspect of man's nature.