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The Hills Run Red – Review

The Hills Run Red – Review

Apr 20, 2011

reviewed by hallo
directed by Dave Parker, 2009

I love slasher films.  The last few years have delivered a series of above average slasher flicks that, hopefully, will continue to spawn good, low-budget, old-school horror.  The Hills Run Red directed by Dave Parker would be on that list of good slasher movies.  Dave Parker is a relative unknown, especially as a director, but if this movie isn’t a home run, it is at least a triple.

The premise involves a movie called The Hills Run Red, an old slasher flick made in the hey-day of slasher-mania, the early 80’s, that has become the stuff of legend.  No one has ever seen the full length movie.  All that remains of the film is a teaser-trailer (done incredibly well) and a bunch of rumors about dead cast members and a missing director, named Concannon, who has not been seen since the movie was made.  One die-hard horror fan named Tyler is determined to track down the missing movie and lay to rest once and for the mystery behind the infamous The Hills Run Red.  After convincing two of his friends (one of whom becomes his ex-girlfriend) to join him on his documentary crusade, Tyler finds the daughter of Concannon in order to help him get moving in the right direction.  Concannon’s daughter, Alexa, was very young but present during much of the filming back in the 80’s.  She agrees to tag along.

You might can guess what happens.  They end up at the filming locations and, to their horror, the movie is real!  The serial killer named Babyface, a self-deformed monster who wears a baby mask, turns out to be Alexa’s son, not to mention Concannon’s son.  Yep, we have some good-ol’ back woods incest going on here, not to mention the “luring” of the friends into the danger by Alexa.  Come to find out, the reason no one has seen The Hills Run Red is because it is still being filmed, with actual victims!  From there, the carnage goes off the charts.

The final 30 minutes of The Hills Run Red are, unfortunately, the weakest of the movie.  Even though we get to experience the blood-soaked saga of Babyface up close and personal, much of the action seems forced, as if director Dave Parker had to keep thinking of ways to get the victims into torturous situations.  The “turning” of Alexa on her friends did not come as a big surprise and the final thrust of the film seems to fall a bit short.  But I didn’t care.  The set up of the movie was wonderful and engaging.  By the time we get to the hardcore stuff, I was more than willing to overlook some of the deficiencies and enjoy the gore for what it was.  At times, Babyface is downright hilarious.  He literally pulls an Indiana Jones move at one point – an eventual victim starts waving flares at Babyface deep in the woods and screaming “COME ON!  LET’S GO!”  Instead of using his brute strength by killing the victim with an ax, Babyface simply whips out a gun and blows the guy away.  That moment was worthy of 3 times being rewound.

The film may be trying to say something about our obsessions getting the better of us, but I doubt it.  This is fun, scary at moments, gory at moments, and worth the time to watch.  If you are a slasher fan, then The Hills Run Red should be on your list.

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