National Guard soldiers stop at a New Mexican outpost only to find the isolated camp mysteriously deserted. Little do they know that these are the very hills that the ill-fated Carter family once visited, and that a tribe of cannibalistic mutants lies in wait.
For die-hard horror fans, The Hills Have Eyes 2 is a knock-off remake/sequel that delivers a few queasy thrills. While it represents a minor improvement over the 1985 sequel to Wes Craven's 1977 original (you know, the one with the notorious "canine flashback"), it's yet another cookie-cutter exercise in death by stupidity, focusing its Aliens-in-the-desert plot on a scrappy, ill-tempered unit of National Guard soldiers who've been sent to investigate the first remake's hellish aftermath in the bomb-tested wastelands of Nevada. (Like its far-superior 2006 predecessor, this sequel was shot on location in Morocco.) Unfortunately these bickering recruits are an embarrassment to their inauthentic-looking uniforms, and their reckless inexperience (not to mention a tired, uninspired screenplay by Craven and his son Jonathan) makes them easy targets for the ravenous, irradiated mutants who dwell within a treacherous network of tunnels and caves. As the generically! good-looking cast is reduced to a few terrorized survivors (which somehow doesn't stop costars Jessica Stroup and Daniella Alonso from looking like fashion models), music-video director Martin Weisz switches to auto-pilot in his dubious feature debut, serving up a basically plotless succession of grisly makeup FX by Howard Berger and his crack team of gore-mongers. The gross-out factor is sufficiently amusing (including one soldier pulled through a hole with one leg in the totally wrong direction), but even devoted horror connoisseurs will have to admit this is pretty lame stuff. --Jeff Shannon
Beyond The Hills Have Eyes 2 Stills from The Hills Have Eyes