THE HILLS RUN RED
Reviewed by: JimmyO
What's it about
Genre film lover Tyler is looking for a movie. But it is not just any movie, it is a controversial horror flick that had disappeared from sight. In a desperate attempt to document the search for the cult classic, Tyler and friends get some unexpected help from the daughter of the film’s infamous director who may be the key to finally finding the cinematic horror masterpiece, unless of course everyone dies before they get there.
Is it good movie?
It seems as though the idea of creating a mythical horror monster may never happen to the extent it has in the past. Aside from Jason, Freddy and Michael (plus a few others), it is very difficult to really establish an interesting killer. Luckily, director Dave Parker has given hope to a new and exciting movie monster. Babyface is a big, violent and psychotically playful mess of a man that wants badly to do some serious damage to his victims. When he was a young boy, he made the decision to cut his own face off, only to add a baby doll mask. And the lucky viewers of The Hills Run Red are in for one gruesome beginning as we witness the making of a madman and his new mask. Yet this is more than just a mad slasher in the woods type of movie, it borrows bits an pieces off other horror films and creates its own little bit of scary movie goodness.
The story revolves around a young horror movie fan looking to witness (and document) the controversial classic film entitled “The Hills Run Red”. The fictional director of the fictional film is played perfectly by William Sadler and he has a whole lot of fun with the character. It seems that after many questioned just how fake The Hills Run Red was or where did the cast go, and is there really such a killer as the “Babyface Killer”, the director decided to escape from his personal life? So in an effort to escape the obvious trouble that may come his way, the director disappears, as does any complete cut of the film. And of course, early Eighties horror has become cool again, which leads a young man to desperately search for the infamous movie. He attempts this by locating the only living relative of the director, his daughter Alexa (the lovely Sophia Monk). And once she agrees (after a very tough convincing), she goes along with this young upstart and his best bud and girlfriend to search out the film.
One of my favorite things about The Hill’s Run Red is the fact that the cast is really likable. Not only is the young film fan Tyler (Tad Hilgenbrinck) really worth investing in, but so is the rest of his gang, including Janet Montgomery as the girlfriend and Alex Wyndham as his buddy. Each one of these guys are flawed and seem to always make mistakes. I’m not talking dumb horror movie mistakes, more like personal relationship ones. It is a pleasure to see that someone can write interesting characters in a horror movie making it feel a little bit more realistic. So of course, they are instantly worth spending an half hour or so with. They definitely are, and it really brings the film to another level that is not always the case for slasher in the woods horror flicks. The two actors that really sold me, aside from Sadler, are Sophia Monk and Tad Hilgenbrinck. There is real, honest to goodness chemistry between the two and it makes for a more rewarding experience.
One of the most interesting aspects of The Hills Run Red is the balancing act between old school horror and the latest craze of torture type of scary. The argument regarding this is better when actually verbalized here in a unique way. This is a scary good time, and it helps that you are as invested as you are in what happens along the way. Although as the first half turns around and we start to notice what the hell is happening, it falls a little too close into modern day horror, without the humor and fun that fills most of the film. It also not too hard to figure out what is going on, and I seemed to figure it out way before the heroes finally do. So while the first half of the film feels like classic horror in many ways, I was sort of let down by the last half. The explanation didn’t really feel as though it was not handled as good as it could have been, I still bought it, and I would certainly recommend them thar hills turn to blood this October.
Video / Audio
Video This is a very nice Widescreen transfer that shows off the beautiful scenery, and of course, the bloody murders very well.
Audio: This Dolby Surround 5.1 will sound extra nice as the many weapons tear through human flesh with a zest for horror movie mania. Yep, this is a good transfer.
While the extras here are not stacked, I really enjoyed what I got. The Commentary between Director Dave Parker, writer David J. Schow and producer Robert Myers Burnett is a great listen. It is terrific to see such huge fans of the genre making the kinds of movies they make, and this commentary shows how much fun it can be.
And finally, we get a glimpse into the making of the film with It‘s Not Real Until You Shoot It: Making The Hills Run Red (28:15). I love when you witness the real energy behind the filmmakers, and this little half hour more than offers that. Not only with Dave, but the cast and crew really seemed to enjoy making this bloody good time of a movie.
From the opening moments of The Hills Run Red, it is clear that you are going to see a brutal little chiller that will keep you on the edge of your seat. I loved the first half very much as it played closer to an Eighties horror movie, but I wasn’t as attached when it delves into torture mode. Is it a “torture” film? Nope, not at all, it all plays out like a funny yet gruesome ode to horror fans everywhere. Looking for a little something different.