Reviewed by Uncle Creepy
Starring William Sadler, Sophie Monk, Tad Hilgenbrink, Janet Montgomery
Directed by Dave Parker
Distributed by Warner Premiere
Here we are in the year 2009, and the slasher film subgenre is still pretty hot. Unfortunately, however, that’s not due to an incredible stream of quality movies flowing our way for decades. In fact, most of them have sucked. Really … really … badly. So why do we keep coming back for more? The answer is pretty simple: When a good slasher movie comes along, it reinvigorates us. A worthy film can help us remember why we love this stuff and wipe away the dismal memories of the slew of subpar flaccid flicks that should never have been made to begin with. Dave Parker’s The Hills Run Red is just a such a film. That damned good, that damned violent, and that damned fun.
Tyler (Hilgenbrink) is a horror freak just like you and me. Horror fans are a devoted bunch, and we prove it every day. Yet, this dude is ready to go beyond the black t-shirts and tattoos. Tyler is totally obsessed with finding a complete print of an infamous slasher movie called The Hills Run Red, and this obsession leads him and two friends into the backwoods where the film was shot as a means of seeing if they can dig up something new. Armed with the director’s daughter in tow, our group think they’re ready for anything. Little do they know they’re about to end up being the latest addition to this most violent film’s cast.
Yes, the storyline is a little on the familiar side, but then again what slasher film isn’t? There’s a specific formula for this type of movie that must be adhered to. It has to be violent, it has to have nudity, and it has to be fun. The Hills Run Red delivers on all counts with a heavy layer of sick spread on thick for good measure.
This isn’t lighthearted slasher fare that you’ll forget ten minutes after watching it. There are no dumb distracting jokes spewed by people you just want to see perish. You’ll care about the characters, you’ll dig on the film’s very smart, dark, and never distracting sense of humor, and the kills will keep you grinning from ear to ear. This is a lesson in relentless terror with a final act that is nothing short of absolutely fuckin’ crazed.
And what would a slasher movie be without a memorable villain? The killer known only as Babyface? I can promise you he will get under your skin. You will be seeing him long after the credits roll in every dark corner of your house and down every ill lit street in your neighborhood. With The Hills Run Red Dave Parker has brought to life what — mark my words — could very well be one of the single scariest looking onscreen murderers we’ll ever see and fear.
In terms of the DVD treatment, I have to admit it leaves a bit to be desired. Aside from a truly engaging and at times funny commentary with director Dave Parker, writer David J. Schow, and producer Robert Meyer Burnett, all we’re left with is a near half-hour long featurette called It’s Not Real Until You Shoot It: The Making-of The Hills Run Red. Though this little behind-the-scenes snippet does its job well enough and is more than competent for what it is, you can’t help but feel that the folks over at Warner Premiere left something on the table. Deleted or extended scenes maybe? A flick this good should have an equally as good release. Guess we’ll just hope for a bit more should the film ever see Blu-ray.
The Hills Run Red doesn’t reinvent the wheel, but it does a great job of keeping it rolling. In a world populated by remake after remake and sequel after sequel, it plays like a breath of fresh air no matter how familiar you are with the scent of blood. This is disturbing, merciless horror … the way it should be. See it now.
4 out of 5
2 1/2 out of 5
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