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The Hills Have Eyes II (2007)
Posted By Heather On 24 Feb 2009. Under 1.5 Stars (Insignificant), 2007, Horror Tags: Daniella Alonso, Horror, Jessica Stroup, Jonathan Craven, Martin Weiscz, Michael Bailey Smith, Michael McMllian, The Hills Have Eyes II, Wes Craven
Rated R for prolonged sequences of strong gruesome horror violence and gore, a rape and language.
Directed By: Martin Weiscz
Written By: Wes Craven and Jonathan Craven
Staring: Michael Bailey Smith, Jessica Stroup, Daniella Alonso, and Michael McMillian
A group of National Guard trainees find themselves battling against a vicious group of mutants on their last day of training in the desert.
Violence, humor, sex, and monsters is about all I can take away from The Hills Have Eyes II, but not in an all together negative way. I missed the first version and was happy to see the opening credits describe the contents of the entire first movie in one simple paragraph. Feeling up to date on what to expect, I was prepared for gratuitous violence, hot chicks, and scary humanoids.
From the start it was clear it wasn’t going to have the intensity of Dawn Of The Dead or 28 Days Later, but there was an even flow of entertainment, mixed in with some pretty ruthless gore, and an almost plausible excuse for their ineptitude and their being cut off from civilization. Giving the viewer this small grain of reason makes the unreasonable and implausible easier to accept. When things go haywire, there are definitely moments that don’t jive, but at this point it doesn’t really matter.
The character’s are quickly defined in the first few scenes making them become individual instead of easy slaughter targets, and then the suspense begins to build. For the first few scenes you don’t get to see exactly what is stalking them, only quick crude slices. When the enemy finally is revealed it isn’t really scary, but a grotesque curiosity has made a suspenseful build to this point, and once the targets have entered the enemies domain the movie becomes just that, suspenseful.
Some of the gore is that fun cheesy kind of horror flick gore, and it makes some of the death scenes a little more cool than they really had a right to be. One of the things I found amusing was the characters killed themselves or each other almost as much as the mutants. Funny and horror do work well together. There are moments you can see director Martin Weiscz is desperately trying to honor Wes and Jonathan Cravens writing, but a lot of times the story and the visuals just don’t go hand in hand. It feels like the envelope is trying to be pushed, but by the films finale it was just a mediocre horror movie.
The Hills Have Eyes II was nothing special or spectacular to me. It was far more entertaining than a lot of movies in it’s genre and thankfully had actors that weren’t dreadful, but it still was missing a lot in execution. It’s not a bad way to spend ninety minutes if you have them to spare and want to see mutant creatures violating humans. Not an entirely bad movie. I suppose I’ll have to watch the original now, even though I know everything that happens. You have to love a short rudimentary paragraph.