The Hills Run Red
Marketing plays a fun part in horror movies. I’m sure most everyone has seen some variation of the “Too Scary for Theaters” logo or something along those lines, then watched the movie and thought “more like too not good for theaters” in broken English and all. Sometimes this is the idea of the team behind the movie, other times its a ploy from a publicity company, or who knows what. With The Hills Run Red, came with a sticker that reads: Contains Graphic Violence, Sexual Content and Nudity; Not Suitable For Minors. It’s also written in a red font, so you know it’s serious. Is this a real warning from releasing company Warner Premiere? I’d say that’s hard to believe after seeing the film. Don’t get me wrong, as you’ll see the film does have some good violence and overall I’m positive about the movie and heck, I’m recommending you see it this Halloween season. But deserving of a special warning, in addition to its R-Rating? Well, judge for yourself.
The Hills Run Red follows, what else, a group of young adults who head off into a secluded, wooded area that they probably shouldn’t head off into. In this case, the team is lead by Tyler, a pretentious film nerd who is hunting for a film that’s been lost for 20 years, said to be too horrifying to show again, a film called “The Hills Run Red.” Along for the ride is his semi-whore girlfriend Serina, his semi-douchebag best friend Lalo, and stripper-whore daughter of the infamous director Alexa. Tyler is intent on making a documentary about his trip to find the film and, rather quickly, going into the woods seems like a bad idea.
It’s hard to get a firm count on the number of people we see killed. Some kills that are part of the movie-within-a-movie are shown more than once and some of those aren’t shown fully. I feel pretty confident stating you see at least 7 people get killed, though there may be a few more that were slipped in there and evaded my count.
In a pretty awesome opening, a young kid cuts off his own face, disfigures himself, and puts on the doll mask that makes him BabyFace. We see some cured bodies (smoked, salted, yum!), a slashed throat, then a pick axe to the head, back, and then an arm is broken. There is a shooting, we see some corpses, a body is ripped in half, someone is slashed a bunch with a razor. There is some torture, stabbings, plenty of blood, a whole barrel full of awful, fingers cut off, a hammer smashing a head, a shovel beating, and someone gets speared through. A good amount of violence here, though the sticker is still either marketing or overkill. One scene included CGI blood and effects.
We see a strip club plenty full of tits, some thong ass, and then some more boobs. Later we see Sophie Monk’s boobs (a couple of times), we see Tyler’s girlfriends boobs, we see some sex. All in all, there are plenty of boobs in this film. Also, a touch of incest to make you feel warm inside.
Don’t go into the strange, foreign woods searching for whackos.
I had heard and read a lot about The Hills Run Red before finally catching up to it, so I must say that I had high expectations. Talk of excessive gore, tons of boobies, and a generally awesome time that was agreeably self-aware. I can see where the talk comes from, but to be honest, I was expecting to be absolutely blown away by gore and kills and I wasn’t. It’s on the same level as some good gore, but it’s not groundbreaking. I’d say a Saw or a Hostel probably has more gore and something like The Children has more effective gore. But that said, it was still fun. There were some good kills and some humorous moments that were self-aware.
BabyFace is a pretty badass killer to boot. He’s got a completely messed up face and looks totally gross. There is a bit with him towards the end that I absolutely loved – it comes out of nowhere and is unexpected and awesome. I really wish they have done more with it. I don’t want to ruin for it anyone, but so people know what I’m talking about I’ll post it below in black text so that if you highlight it, it will show up on your screen. If you want to be taken by surprise, just skip over and keep reading.
Spoiler: At one point, Serina is singing a lullaby to BabyFace, trying to get him to let her go. BabyFace leans into her and then whispers, in a normal, educated voice “You can keep singing if it makes you feel better.” Brilliant. He’s not some slow, mongoloid redneck, which makes him so much scarier. He’s acting the entire time, and that makes him disturbing. I love this idea. Spoiler Over.
If I had a complaint (other than not living up to standards that were too high, which is no fault of the film, but rather the perception around it, which is an article for another day) it would be about the climax of the film. The very last little bit. It feels like it just ends. You’re waiting for this showdown, this little bit of something where we get a powerful ending one way or the other. But we just don’t. If you’re begging for a second complaint, sure – there is a twist in the film that’s pretty obvious. You could probably guess it without seeing the movie.
If it sounds like I’m being hard on the film, its because of love. I wanted to love this film instead of merely liking it. The premise is alright, though I’m not often sold on “movies within movies.” I’d like to see two things come of this – a prequel that is actually the original cut of “The Hills Run Red” that we see glimpses of in the movie, and a sequel that really expands on BabyFace. He’s a different kind of killer. He can be a classic, no doubt. Definitely the best part of the film. Oh, and I’d also like to see the Uncut version of the film – rumors suggest there may be as much as 10 minutes of footage missing. If there was just a bit more gore in this film, I’d probably achieve a boner. Even with the flaws I mentioned, the film is definitely still worth checking out.