Thursday, March 22, 2012

Movie Review: The Hills Run Red (2009)

Hey, this movie wasn't too bad... I guess. I heard really good things about it from several reviewers - and also some really bad things, calling it mediocre and nothing to get all excited about. For me, The Hills Run Red does boast some pretty decent performances, a few uninteresting kills, and not a bad story. Two out of three ain't bad, I guess.

Tyler is obsessed with tracking down a legendary slasher film called "The Hills Run Red," which was deemed so horrible that it was pulled from theaters upon it's release 20 years ago. Since then, every print of the film, the director, and the cast have all vanished without much of a trace - until Tyler manages to track down the director's daughter, Alexa. He and his friends Serina and Lalo follow Alexa to the original filming locations and the director's house, where they get more involved with the movie than they bargained for.

The story kicks off pretty fast, especially after the opening credit sequence, which I really liked. In this scene, a kid is sitting in front of a mirror and he starts cutting off his face with a pair of scissors. Self-mutilation always gets to me so this was a good way to get this horror girl into the story. This kid grows up to be the villain of the movie (and the villain of the movie within the movie, as well), a hulking figure similar to Jason Voorhees who doesn't speak and has superhuman strength. He wears a broken doll mask that is sewn to his head and he's cleverly known as "Babyface." His look is definitely different from what we've seen before, but everything else about his character is cliche and overdone.

Sophie Monk's pouty Botox-lips and propensity for showing naked flesh will no doubt make her popular with the male crowd, but I think she gives a good performance as Alexa Concannon. She starts out as a strung-out stripper, then is like a vulnerable girl with a violent past, and by the end, she ends up being a psycho badass which is kind of hot. William Sadler plays her father, elusive director Wilson Wyler Concannon, and he's always been a favorite character actor of mine so of course he turns out as great a performance as ever. The rest of the cast is a few no-names whose under-developed characters don't give them much to work with. They're basically the same type of victims you've seen in every slasher movie ever. 

Likewise, there's nothing all that new on the gore side either. I mean, the kills are somewhat inventive and nicely graphic and bloody, but I wasn't super stoked about any of them. The best gore scene wasn't even any of the kills but the part where Serina is hiding from Babyface in the barn with all the decaying bodies. Babyface can't find her and leaves, and Serina emerges from a huge drum filled with blood. If you can't get 'em with a good kill, go for the gross-out. It always works.

Overall, The Hills Run Red was more enjoyable and less amateur than I was expecting for it being a straight to DVD release. The story changes a few times and seems like it could go several different ways as the movie goes on. The final scene with Tyler being strapped to a chair and watching 20 years worth of real murders was delightfully ambiguous. Plus the double ending after the credits start give us the possibility of a sequel, which I don't really think is needed. The movie is good enough to stand on its own and a rehash would only cheapen it more. 


  1. The more I watch this film, them ore I start to get what they meant as cliched. I'm still a fan of Babyface, though, but yeah, this film could had done better.

  2. Nice review. I enjoyed this slasher and I think it's one of the best from the past 8 years.

    I think you have a great blog. I'm reading it entirely.
    Check mine if you have some free time :)

  3. Wonderful movie, IMO one of the greatest and coolest slashers of the last years. It's original and inventive, and I'm totally in love with it.
    Great review, Dudette!!