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Overall Rating

Awesome: 1.96%
Worth A Look: 17.65%
Average: 3.92%
Pretty Bad: 31.37%
Total Crap45.1%

6 reviews, 15 user ratings

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Hills Have Eyes 2, The
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by William Goss

"Fall Out Boys"
2 stars

At first, 'The Hills Have Eyes II' is to last yearís remake of 'The Hills Have Eyes' what 'The Texas Chainsaw Massacre: The Beginning' was to 2003ís remake of 'The Texas Chainsaw Massacre': a plenty capable yet barely competent rehash of the "original."

A battalion of National Guard trainees is taken into those hills of ill repute to make a delivery to some curiously absent scientists. Each has a halfhearted nickname and all answer to a mean old sergeant (Flex Alexander). One poor soul (Eric Edelstein) manages to be clumsy, lisping, and overweight; another (Daniella Alonso) repeatedly pines after her son via camera-phone; and our eventual alpha male (Michael McMillian) is ostracized earlier for being against the war in Iraq (him and the previous filmís pacifist-turned-fighter might as well be kindred spirits). Sure enough, these cadets mount a search-and-rescue mission and proceed to be picked off one by one by the local cannibal mutant population.

Yet, right about when the film (literally) goes into the shitter, things start to get a little less stupid and Ė for genre fans at least Ė a little more fulfilling, when most of the worst lines are gone and most of the best kills are to come. The soldiers' descent into the caves and onto their turf makes for more than a few gruesome demises, and it just so happens that the gore on display goes a long way to redeeming Hills back up to something resembling a rental-worthy status. (I mean, seriously, if you arenít going to skip the first few chapters on the DVD, take the time to fold some laundry or throw a pizza in the oven, do something productive. You really wonít miss much.)

Director Martin Weisz (Grimm Love) can certainly ape Alexandre Aja well enough, and if anything, he reigns in some of Ajaís more frantic shooting and editing tendencies. Despite being co-written between horror legend and Hills creator Wes Craven and son Jonathan, the script manages to be as standard as they come, both in terms of what it does have (similar baddies in similar territory with similar rape-and-kill tendencies) and what it doesnít (any additional insight into the hill-dwellers, although they really canít be much to flesh out by this point), and oddly enough, the only baddie who comes close to standing out is Derek Mearsí Chameleon, for pretty much those reasons alone.

Not only has the original 'transgenerational consequences of violence' subtext vanished, but included in its stead are some terribly conspicuous lines about the villains in the caves halfway around the world versus those in our backyard, all shoehorned into the perpetually opaque motives for the governmentís sudden concern over this particular patch of the New Mexico desert.

No, Hills is best off when itís being mindless yet not stupid, so much so that even during a rape-happy midsection and a third act out of The Goonies, the subterranean shenanigans almost take on a perversely entertaining funhouse quality that makes the viscera go down a bit better.

In the end, 'The Hills Have Eyes II' is what its predecessor might have been: a kiddie-pool-shallow slaughter of simpletons by savages. Luckily, one can still help themselves to that version or the original should they feel inclined for something slightly more substantial (or even the original sequel, if canine flashbacks are your thing), but for now, in a sea of pussy-ass PG-13 fare, this will have to do the trick.

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originally posted: 03/23/07 19:58:24
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User Comments

1/07/14 Martin Horrible writing, acting, story. Great gore, action. Really hot blonde. 3 stars
8/25/12 roscoe a horror flick that's more of a action flick. that's wrong 2 stars
1/05/10 art HORRIBLE,JUST LIKE THE 1977 original,and that 20006 REMAKE! 1 stars
6/21/09 Yahel I was inpressed with Daniella Alonso, she lives in my building 4 stars
1/15/09 Shaun Wallner Friiggin Awesome!! 5 stars
1/06/09 FrankNFurter Yuck!I need a hot shower with a loofah after seeing this gutter-trash. 1 stars
2/17/08 ben dover fucking wank 1 stars
12/18/07 Thomas Pacheco great sequal to a great original horror film 4 stars
10/25/07 art makes you wish you never saw part one 1 stars
9/14/07 Monday Morning The feelgood movie of the year! What year, I don't know... 2 stars
8/18/07 mr.mike not all that good 2 stars
4/04/07 Summersweet207 i only liked the first one because of the gore 3 stars
3/30/07 Mike Similar to the descent but better! Lighten up and have fun critics! 4 stars
3/29/07 becky What can I say? Cannibals made by radiation...? 2 stars
3/24/07 irbear Total waste of time!!!! 1 stars
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  23-Mar-2007 (R)
  DVD: 17-Jul-2007

  30-Mar-2007 (18)
  DVD: 30-Jul-2007

  31-Oct-2007 (R)
  DVD: 31-Oct-2007

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