On one last road trip before they're sent to serve in Vietnam, two brothers and their girlfriends get into an accident that calls their local sheriff to the scene. Thus begins a terrifying experience where the teens are taken to a secluded house of horrors, where a young, would-be killer is being nurtured.
A team of trainees of the National Guard brings supply to the New Mexico Desert for a group of soldiers and scientists that are installing a monitoring system in Sector 16. They do not find anybody in the camp, and they receive a blurred distress signal from the hills. Their sergeant gathers a rescue team, and they are attacked and trapped by deformed cannibals, having to fight to survive. Written by
Claudio Carvalho, Rio de Janeiro, Brazil
Last year's remake of 'The Hills Have Eyes' was one of the better attempts to update the vaguely exploitational horror flicks of the 1970s for a new audience. Alexandre Aja allowed for an admirable degree of character development and when the violence started it was mean and savage and all carried out in a landscape of impeccable photography and production design. I was one of the few people who actually thought that it was better than the original and looked forward to a second visit to the particularly dark and cruel world of the savage desert mutants.
'The Hills have Eyes 2', released just a year after the original, seems a rushed and ill-conceived attempt to cash in on the franchise with little thought to quality. Jonathan Craven's screenplay could have been written in a weekend, and given the speed with which this movie made it into cinemas, probably was. It falls back on every hackneyed genre cliché in the book while offering absolutely nothing new to the desert mutant mythology. I always let out a groan of disappointment when a sequel replaces civilian characters with the military. Soldiers are always so lazily written and never fail to thoroughly bore with crude caricatures of strutting macho bullshit. In my mind, 'Aliens' was the only movie to successfully make such a transition, due to James Cameron's talent, not simply for directing the best action sequences around, but never forgetting that an audience has to care about the people being butchered. He was also ably assisted by some genuinely talented actors. With 'The Hills have Eyes 2', it's clear that video director Martin Weisz is no James Cameron, and the cast of television bit-parters haven't the talent or even the inclination to turn their cardboard cutout characters into anything approaching living, breathing human beings.
Needless to say, every character is a broad and generic cliché. They act in dumb and illogical ways, making dumb and illogical decisions that lead them to predictably dumb and illogical deaths. The latter half of the movie becomes just another tedious chased-through-dark-corridors scenario. 'The Descent' (on which Sam McCurdy, coincidentally, also worked as cinematography) proved that even this most derivative of sequences can still be carried out with genuine originality and suspense, but we see no such innovation here.
'The Hills Have Eyes 2' is just a very lazy movie, devoid of any suspense, tension, or surprise, with not a single individual involved remotely interested in producing anything of quality. It's a tame and tired excuse for a sequel and deserves to spend the rest of its life in a Blockbuster's bargain bin.
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