Following the same basic outline as the original, Alex Aja's update sees the Carter family stranded in the New Mexico Desert after they crash their car, only to be set upon by a family of animalistic and cannibalistic mutants, who have survived nuclear testing and managed to spawn more inbred bloodthirsty offspring.
The cast are excellent here with every character or actor being better than their original counterpart, and boy is it gruesome.
The film starts as it means to go on, but is perfectly paced, slowly building tension, whilst creating a truthful family dynamic as the audience gets to know the Carters before truly brutal violence unfolds amidst some of the most relentless set pieces I have ever seen in a cinema.
People may have doubted the make-up job on Pluto, but once in action he is terrifying and thankfully a polar opposite to Michael Berryman's original incarnation. Berryman is a genre favourite as is his character, so making the new Pluto drastically different was the right way to go in my humble opinion, as no-one will be quick to make comparisons between the two.
The make-up and effects work is top notch, the creepiest factors remain or are reworked and other subtle elements are enhanced to give the story more resonance. Similarly, the political aspects are not overplayed and they work.
The only things that slightly niggled me were the lack of screen time some of the mutants got (I'm not even sure who all of them were) and the fact that the film followed the original's storyline so closely, which meant that I was exactly aware of what was about to happen the entire time.
Definitely in need of a remake, Aja and his entire cast and crew have worked together to update a timeless tale and by enhancing certain aspects and including realistic though not overly graphic violence, all concerned parties have created a wonderful retelling of an okay film. The results make this one of the better remakes alongside Dawn of the Dead and The Texas Chainsaw Massacre. An absolute must see for ALL horror fans.