'The Hills Run Red' Review
What's It About?
A group of young horror fans go searching for a film. The film is part urban myth, part legend. All they know is that it mysteriously vanished years ago.
As they get closer to finding the films origins, they are also one step closer to discovering the truth.
Quick Film Info
Director: Dave Parker
Writers: David J. Schow, John Carchietta and John Dombrow
David Schow is also the writer for Leatherface: TCM III (1990), Critters 3 and 4 and The Crow (1994),
Starring: Sophie Monk, William Sadler, Tad Hilgenbrink and Janet Mongomery.
Release: June 2009
Fun Fact: The actor who plays Babyface (Danko Jordanov) in the film has been in everything from Game of Thrones, Wrong Turn 2 and Jurassic World: Fallen Kingdom as a stuntman.
How Was It?
I like movies where the plot involves characters who are fans of horror. This one reminded me an awful lot of The Houses October Built (THOB). In The Hills Run Red, they weren't searching for underground haunts, they were searching for an underground movie. In both cases, the result does not go well for the well-intentioned group looking for answers. I believe now that I have seen this film and drawn a comparison, I also see a subtle nod from THOB towards the masked killer in this film only it's counterpart is a female. If only the two had met, I'm sure they would have been great friends.
The Hills Run Red features a very young and nubile Sophie Monk as Alexa. I can definitely point out, the lady has aged well. Seeing Sophie's name credited to a film can sometimes a marker that the film's not that great. None of her repertoires is particularly outstanding. In this, she features very naked many times throughout the 81-minute run-time.
Tyler gets a lap-dance in opening scenes. It features while overlapped with footage of his girlfriend having sex with his best friend. It goes for what seems like forever. So if you're not a fan of that type of thing in horror films, you could almost fast-forward this whole section and not miss too much. There are cameras filming the lap-dance room, that's the only reference you gain from this scene. If you are a fan, though, have at it. Tad Hilgenbrink who plays Tyler wants to find out the story and watch the film. Alexa is the director's daughter so this how he goes about meeting her to gather intel.
The story has a lot going on. Too much if you ask me. In an attempt to be clever and create a few twists, the plot becomes heavy and convoluted. At first, I really liked the detail the background was given to encase the premise. But between campfire stories, hillbillies interviews, urban legends, love triangles, flashbacks, and detoxing from heroin somehow it got bogged down.
The highlight of this film for me was Tyler's girlfriend, Serena (Janet Montgomery). I would like to take her script and insert it into many horror films I have seen. When the killer Babyface emerges and begins to traumatize the group, the main words intermittently coming from her mouth in response to questions are "F*$K this." She is also the character that runs screaming for miles instead of making her escape. She wins some points for attitude but loses them again for idiocy.
The Hills Run Red has some great aspects. If you like gore, you will get plenty of that, in fact, so much that you will start thinking about movies like Saw and wondering why other antagonists haven't used barbed wire to tie people up before. If you like answers to every single question about why something happened, then you will also have that ticked off. The final act is the strongest for me but it's so laden with horror tropes you could trip over them. It's still a pass from me, with the good outweighing the bad by a smidgen.
I give The Hills Run Red 3 there's always a pitchfork in the barn out of 5.
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