#224 -- The Hills Run Red (2009)
Director: Dave Parker
I am terribly guilty of judging movies by their covers. If a movie has something cool or creepy on the cover, I will be running to see it. That's how I felt about The Hills Run Red. I'd seen the cover a million times, and I always thought that doll face was creepy as hell. Often I'm let down when this happens, but there are a few rare occasions where the cover isn't the best thing about the movie. This is one of those occasions.
While The Hills does have its problems, it is definitely a wonderful movie. It's got scares and gross-outs; it has its unsettling moments, and has scenes that will appeal to all gore whores like myself. Some of the scenes and ideas are downright disturbing, but that's what made me love it. It's also the kind of horror movie that pokes fun at horror movies. The characters make fun of horror movie cliches, while at the same time, they are horror movie cliches. Much like in Scream, when Sidney said she hated when girls in horror movies ran upstairs, and then she turned around and ran up the stairs when Ghostface came after her. It's the same kind of idea. It doesn't work quite as well here as it did in Scream, but it did work.
The story followed Tyler (Tad Hilgenbrink, who I know as Matt Stifler from American Pie's Band Camp), a horror movie enthusiast intent on locating an old, out of print movie. The movie was called The Hills Run Red, and it was said that it was so terrifying and disturbing that it was removed from theaters and vanished forever. It was about a killer named Babyface, who apparently kept and stored the bodies of his victims. The only thing that was left of the movie was a trailer, so that's all anyone really knew about it. After twenty years, Tyler figured it was time that someone found it. There were only a few people in the world who had actually seen the movie, and all of the cast members were never heard from after its release. Its director, Mr. Concannon, was also never heard from again. The only link Tyler had to the movie was Concannon's daughter, Alexa. Tyler tracked her down, only to discover that she was a drug addicted stripper. He cleaned her up, and she promised to lead them to her father's old house, where the movie was stored.
The house was truly in the middle of nowhere. They drove through a small town, and through the woods. Then they had to park their car and hike through the woods to get to the house. They set up camp at night, and they were ambushed by a couple of rednecks. The rednecks wanted to make a porn movie, because that's where the real money was, and they tied the group up and attempted to rape Alexa. But that's when Babyface showed up. He killed the rednecks, and Alexa fled. Babyface chased after her, leaving the others to escape. Their cell phones actually did work way out in the woods, but they were so far in that it was impossible to tell the 911 operator where they were. They could have gone back to their car, but they were too worried about Alexa, and they went after her. They eventually did find Concannon's house, and Concannon himself, only to realize that he was crazy as hell. It turns out, his "movie" was real, and he had been filming it for the last twenty years.
There was a twist that everyone should have seen coming, but it wasn't disappointing in any way. It involved an inbred family of crazies, but not like what we're used to. It wasn't like Wrong Turn; they didn't want to eat anyone. They just wanted to make a movie that was actually realistic. It also involved a boy who was so devoted to his family's craft that he cut his own face off and sewed on a porcelain doll mask in its place.
I really enjoyed The Hills Run Red. I'm glad that I decided to buy it, because I wasn't disappointed at all. I wish they would have done more with Babyface, because I think he could have been a lot more terrifying than he was. Other than that, I have no problems. The actors all did a wonderful job, I think. Director Dave Parker, and writers John Carchietta, John Dombrow, and David J. Schow also did a great job. The ending was actually really good, disturbing, and hinted at a sequel (hopefully) in the future. Overall, I thought it was a really wonderful movie, and I can't wait to see more of Babyface.