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3.4 out of 5 stars
The Hills Run Red
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14 of 14 people found the following review helpful
on October 16, 2009
Format: DVD
Let's face it, there is no such thing as originality in the Horror genre anymore. Every horror movie steals a little from here and a little from there, but that can be said about numerous other genres as well. Nonetheless, with the countless amount of remakes and sequels being made nowadays it is refreshing to see someone take a stab (no pun intended) at their own character at least. All that aside, I was extremely reluctant to see this movie based on the cover alone. It looks like a photoshop job was done to throw a pic of the killer on the cover and replace "Have Eyes" with "Run Red." But I needed a horror fix and decided that I might as well give it a shot. Much to my surprise, this is a decent little horror flick. It follows the typical horror outline: Teens venture into the woods looking for something, killer finds teens, the chase begins... But it's all done pretty well. There is a few twists in the movie to keep you on your toes,(although one is pretty obvious from the beginning,) and I really liked the ending as well. The acting isnt all that great, but it isn't subpar either. There is a good amount of gore as well as a good amount of T&A. I went into this movie expecting complete garbage, and was pleasantly surprised when the movie ended. Overall, I would give the Hills Run Red 3 and a half stars, it's a nice little tribute to the good old days of slasher movies.
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17 of 19 people found the following review helpful
on October 1, 2009
Format: DVD
As October nears the need for horror is an absolute must to bring in the Halloween season. Not sure if we were in the mood for an actual good horror or a laughable b horror is what brought us to this evenings feature The Hills Run Red. Judging by the cover you have a pretty creepy looking axe wielding maniac on the loose which is usually enough to get the green light, even though most covers are always way better then the film itself. Luckily it turned out to be pretty enjoyable with some b tendencies.

The film starts with an obsessed horror fan in search of a film called "The hills Run Red" which was banned over 20 years ago due to it's graphic nature. The director and cast were said to have disappeared off the face of the earth leaving only the director's daughter left. So our fanatic finds her working at a local strip club, plenty of rack action in this one, and talks her into helping him document her father's film. Eventually they get into the woods where the film took place and find the killer Babyface, who looks exactly like the killer from Dark Ride, taking the documentary a little off course. The rest is pretty predictable but what horror isn't?

Overall The Hills Run Red was a success for Sid. The acting was descent as was the story, however there was still a nice underlying sense of b which is always a huge plus for us. Certainly it's not the best thing you'll ever see and isn't all that original but it still worked. It's a little more then you're average run of the mill horror which we wouldn't recommend buying but would say it's worth a rental/free view online, or just no pants. As far as what a young Sid would have thought leads to: oh yeah oh yeah. It surely would have been enjoyed for the sheer fact it was horror coupled with plenty of nudity.
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17 of 19 people found the following review helpful
on October 3, 2009
Format: DVDVerified Purchase
I like slashers a great deal. As a horror fan I have seen tons of them. However I dislike wink wink nudge nudge type horror set ups in the style of scream. So I was a little unsure how I would feel about The Hills run red. It isn't a perfect film but I must say the level of effort that went into the acting, direction and writing put the film over the top, and won me over even if I don't like the self aware angle that the film uses.

The picture delivers as a straight ahead slasher first and foremost, and isn't bogged down with the smug tone that plagues most films with that movie in a movie style. None of the patting themselves on the back. The characters are actually likable and fairly well developed for a movie of this sort, and the killer is really cool and creepy looking and has one of the best designs for his getup of any killer in years. I think baby face looks awesome. And the special effects don't let one down either. There is a bit of the CGI stuff, but the gag kind of called for it on such a low budget film so I give them that.

It is well worth a look for long time slasher fans, and anyone who feels the level of both direct to video pictures and just horror in general isn't where it should be. It's not a classic, but as a good throw in movie for Halloween The Hills Run Red will do nicely. The fake trailer is also very cool. So much so that I do wish they had just made that film instead, but this works too.
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4 of 4 people found the following review helpful
Format: DVDVerified Purchase
Telling the story of a young filmmaker whose obsession with an out-of-print old horror film (also named The Hills Run Red) leads him on an ill-fated mission to track down the director, the film takes us on a mini-tour of horror conventions through the ages. The trailer for the film within the film is pure `70s exploitation with its grim and grainy feel while the banter between the male leads about the nature of slasher films is a direct homage to the `90s and the aforementioned Scream series. Plenty of other horror characteristics are referenced throughout the films lean running time but without ever descending into cliché.

The hulking killer who graces the film's promotional art is named Babyface and while he is clearly just another in a long line of visually arresting horror movie villains, that is exactly what he is meant to be. He is the killer of the movie's lost horror masterwork and his cracked porcelain mask and necklace of baby rattles and building blocks are exactly what you would expect from a character in such a film. This does not stop them from looking awesome however and Parker gets the best of both worlds by using the character as the real-world killer too.

The film does have a few problems and it isn't always quite as smart as it would like you to think it is. Though it has a few very cool effects shots and killings it does leave you wanting a little more from the enigmatic Babyface in order to make him a serious threat. It also has a few plot-holes and logic inconsistencies which threaten to pull you out of the action but thankfully this threat is never fully realised and the whole thing moves along so swiftly that any pit-falls are quickly forgotten, especially once William Sadler's insane movie director makes his appearance in the final act.

It should be said that all the cast acquit themselves wonderfully and turn in solid performances but it is truly Sadler's show once he arrives. Chewing scenery like crazy and dominating every frame he appears in his presence boosts the film to a new bonkers level. The third act isn't all about his character however and there are a few lovely twists and turns from John Carchietta's script which it would be criminal to spoil by revealing here.

A loving tribute to both contemporary and classic horror as well as everything in between, The Hills Run Red delivers a fresh take on a very well worn but very much loved formula. Inventive, intelligent and willing to go the whole bloody distance, it succeeds in giving laughs, scares and, rarest of all, a few genuine chills. Let's just hope we see more of Babyface in the inevitable sequel.
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3 of 3 people found the following review helpful
on June 4, 2010
Format: DVD
Many films have attempted to revive the Slasher genre that died with the 80s. Most have failed (some worse than others), but few manage to succeed despite the enormous demand from the Horror community. THE HILLS RUN RED is one such exception. Dave Parker speaks the language of Splatter. From the opening moments where the tattered trailer for THE HILLS RUN RED oozes off of the computer screen, it is clear that this is no cheap imitator.

An obsessed Horror movie fan attempts to track down the last remaining copy of THE HILLS RUN RED, a Slasher film that was so depraved and terrifying that it disappeared along with everyone that was involved in the making of it after its release. As he and a group of friends arrive at the original shooting location deep within the mountains, they learn that some things are better left dead when they meet face to face with the Babyface killer that was supposed to have died along with the crew.

HRR is entirely self-aware, playing off of each of the basic genre conventions in the same vein as other Post-Modern Horror films like SCREAM or BEHIND THE MASK: THE RISE OF LESLIE VERNON. It is edited for maximum impact, with perfectly placed scares and sound effects that earn its reactions without stooping to mere jump tactics. With a cast of only four main characters, it seems improbable that there will be any sort of body count, but a few creative flashbacks and side characters are all that is needed to drench the hills in blood. HRR might be more polished and professional that its 80s brethren, but it retains the same mean spirit and heart that most recent entries lack. It also sticks close to the source material while creating its own distinct personality. Babyface is likewise a unique and terrifying new villain that reflects the hulking masked killers of the genre without copying them. Parker's attentive framing combined with the specific body gestures and mannerisms that Danko Jordanov brings to the role work to create a new Slasher icon.

Above all else, THE HILLS RUN RED is a scary Horror film. A damn scary Horror film. The unprecedented praise that the film received prior to its direct-to-video release led to many false expectations, but any viewers that were let down in their initial viewings must take the time to give the film a second chance. This is the new Slasher classic that fans have clamored for for years, packing all of the originality and suspense that HATCHET lacked while providing an equal amount of gore. That all of this was achieved on an Independent budget only further proves Parker's skills as a director.

-Carl Manes
I Like Horror Movies
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3 of 3 people found the following review helpful
on November 28, 2009
Format: DVD
Back in 2000 director Dave Parker proved he could make an excellent horror film with his first feature, THE DEAD HATE THE LIVING. With THE HILL'S RUN RED, he proves once again that he is one of the best new directors on the horror scene and lets hope it won't be another nine years before his next film is released. The title of the film is really it's only problem since it sounds like an Asylum mockbuster of THE HILL'S HAVE EYES or something. This one is far better than most of what currently passes for horror. Parker knows how to deliver the goods and he has come up with a very dark, grim, unrelenting and frightening horror film. It isn't that often that a slasher pic deals with incest and pedophilia, but Parker makes it work.

The cast in this film is first rate. Tad Hilgenbrinck finally gets a role that lets him be a little more than a comic wiseguy and he keeps his clothes on for the entire movie (I'm not sure if that's a good thing or not). He is an exceptional actor and I hope he gets more roles like this one. There is a ton of female nudity from Sophie Monk and Janet Montgomery and both actresses are quite believable in the horrible situations they find themselves in. Alex Wyndham is very good as Lalo. We also get to see the classy William Sadler as the film's chief villain and he brings a lot of life to his character.

The film has so many gruesome bloody effects that it is impossible to list them all, and they are accompanied by a Bernard Herman type score. The writing is very good and this script goes out of its way to avoid horror movie cliches (all the characters have their cell phones with them while lost in the woods and the phones WORK! and they also carry a gun with them). It's a smart, effective movie that builds to a crescendo of violence and mayhem that becomes quite nerve racking. It's an exhausting movie to watch.

I think it isn't that easy to make an entertaining slasher film (just look at what happened to the awful remake of FRIDAY THE 13th for example) but this one is head and shoulders above most of the competition. If you like slasher movies I can't imagine that you wouldn't like this one.
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3 of 3 people found the following review helpful
on October 2, 2009
Format: DVD
I was pumped for this movie. I'm a huge fan of the slasher subgenre and about 99% of the drek it produces (I know it's horrible stuff, but I can usually have some fun with it), so hearing so many good things about this one got me very excited. I thought it was going to be new and fresh and was going to be THE direct to dvd movie (well, until Trick 'r Treat).
But it wasn't. It's very cookie cutter and felt watered down. It's so much so, that when things start to really happen, it almost makes it sad. The script had some solid ideas (i.e. the killer just shooting a dude in the shoulder to put him down for a bit, liked that!) but they got lost in the "I'm obsessed with this movie I've never seen, and I'm going to hunt it down" plot, the "my best friend is banging my girlfriend" sub plot/love triangle (which was the most poorly written aspect of the film, in my opinion) and the very tired "we know how people should act in horror movies, so we won't do that" bunch of cliche's that were thrown in during all the dialogue that felt kind of... well, just bad. The acting took me a bit by surprise, with much of the cast taking these things and really trying to make them work. The obvious highlight of the movie was William Sadler, who is always a pleasure to watch at work. He really delivers with his performance and adds a star, just for his ability to draw me back into something like this, to my rating.
Visually the movie looked amazing. You can really tell where the money went and where it needed to be. The shots of the forest and the hills, really all the exterior establishing shots of the movie were just beautiful.
And yeah, I'm a guy, so of course I'm going to say that there are really no future teachers in this movie. The girls take their tops off. Quite a bit. And it is for gratuity's sake, no matter what anyone tells you.

Overall, I thought the movie could have been better, but then it could have been much worse. I'll snag it when it hits that $5 mark somewhere if I'm bored or something.
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3 of 3 people found the following review helpful
on October 14, 2009
Format: DVD
I enjoyed this movie quite a bit. However, after giving it some time to sink in, I started to see its flaws.

For starters, there isn't much of a plot so the storyline (the mystery surrounding the lost film) is what carries this movie. To say that I got a Texas Chainsaw Massacre vibe would be an understatement and it relies on some other cliches as well.

But if you can get past all that, you'll see that it's an entertaining feature with an interesting twist that gets more disturbing towards the end. And isn't that what slasher movies are all about? Unnerving the audience?

Basically, three kids go out in search of a notorious horror film that has disappeared. With the help of the director's daughter they discover that he died in his house in the woods, so they head out to find the house and, hopefully, the movie itself. Unfortunately for them, the killer in the movie turns out to be real and they find themselves in multiple life-threatening situations.

There's really not much else to say. The gore isn't over-the-top, the acting is good and there's a nice twist (though I didn't like the conclusion). This is meant to entertain and it does the job. No more, no less.
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3 of 3 people found the following review helpful
Format: DVD
The Hills Run Red is another Film I have been anticipatng for a long time.
I found the story to be quite fresh and Babyface was the coolest and most original "soon to be horror Icon" I have seen since the killer in Midnight Movie. Although I saw a bit of the "Jonah" look from Dark Ride in Babyface he is still highly original

I wish the flashbacks were more vivid and longer because the best kills were the ones that were in the flashbacks .
The gore factor about a 7 on a 1 to 10 scale..I'm not sure if I loved the ending but it definitely left it open for a sequel that I would watch in a minute.You can tell there was thought behind it and not like most of these lets just have some rednecks lock people up and torture them type movie"although those can be fun" and there are rednecks in this movie as well.There is of course a twist that isn't really that surprising but it still spices it up.All in all It's a solid slasher offering.I recommend it.
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3 of 3 people found the following review helpful
on October 13, 2009
Format: DVDVerified Purchase
I very much enjoyed this film as an old school slasher fan. Many slasher films of the 80's were classics and had very interesting, plausable storylines for psycho killers to attack, this is also a very new, refreshing story. The kills are very well done, the effects are top notch, the killer is scary and unique, the story will leave you guessing and is a new refreshing twist to the slasher department. If your looking for a new different type of slasher movie that even brings the old school greatness to the table this is the film. Great job.
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