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'The Hills Eyes II', one of the most pointless and blatantly stupid
sequels to come around in some time, is 90 minutes of incompetent film
making at its finest. Or worst, however you choose to look at it. While
2006's 'Hills' remake was one of the year's best, and truly
frightening, horror films, this sequel takes every spark out of what
made that such an accomplishment. Part 2 never gets off the ground, and
neither does its mind numbing dialogue. Worst of all, it's not that
2006's remake followed a family who find themselves in the middle of the New Mexico desert, deserted, and one by one being picked off by deranged and sadistic hill people. People who, as a result of the military testing the atomic bomb on their land years ago, have become who they are. Surviving off travelers who wander into the region. The sequel puts audiences in the same desert, now occupied by the military as they covertly investigate the hills and what might have happened to that poor family. When a group of military trainees are brought to the campsite, they find it deserted with no signs of life. A grim reality soon befalls them, as they come to the realization that they're not alone. And the bloody fate that was handed to many before them will soon become their destiny.
It doesn't take a genius to realize that 'Hills' has no legitimate reason to exist. But because last year's remake was received well both at the box office and by critics, it came to no surprise that a sequel would be rushed into production while there's still money to be earned. There's no rhyme or reason to it this time around, just an unbelievable and ridiculous set-up to pave the way for thoughtless characters, unoriginal killings, a non-existent story, and slipping interest. Originally, director Alexander Aja made Craven's cult classic into a remake that was a unique and thoroughly disturbing experience. One that gruesomely crossed the line on more than one occasions. Its frank display of violence, sadistic torture, well-rounded characterization, and white-knuckled suspense were all effectively used to shock and repulse audiences. The second time around, it's rehashed hand-me-downs. There's no style, no grit. It tries to build up tension by dismembering bodies, when all it really does is make for a been there, done that kind film, where even the gore seems tame compared to more recent bloodbaths.
It's a sad state of affairs when deformed mutants who capture women for breeding purposes fails to keep your attention. It's a bore, nothing more. 'Hills' has no bite. Despite a jump or two here and there, there's nothing very scary about this by-the-numbers horror flick. It feels like something you'd see on the Sci-Fi channel, only with some F-bombs, a blood splatter here and there, a rape, and a graphic birth scene that's more gross than shocking. It's cheap. And with 'Hills', you reap what you sew. With no effort given, you can't expect anything in return.
Replacing Aja with Martin Weisz as director was the film's first big mistake, all he does is drain the film of any sort of emotional resonance. But even more shocking is the uncharacteristically bad script penned by Wes Craven and his son, Jonathan Craven. You ask, how bad could it possibly be? This is the kind of dialogue that makes any comparison look like Shakespeare. Craven has had his fair share of clunkers in the past, but I'd never expect something like this from him. It's so unintentionally funny, you have to wonder, is Craven playing a joke on this? Or did he dump this one on his son after the studio payed him off? The film's characters are one-dimensional talking heads with no emotions or common sense. The acting is just as bad. The only character who may win you over is 'Napoleon' Napoli, the scrawny kid who doesn't fit in with the others. Even the deranged and instinct-driven villains, who we might have found some favor with in the deepest of our thoughts a year ago, are met with indifferent. You don't hate them, you don't like them. You honestly couldn't care less. Just like this movie.
Even if you were giddy with fear during 'The Hills Have Eyes', as I was, you'll have a tough time finding anything to enjoy in this piece of garbage. It's as generic as generic gets, and there's absolutely nothing here we haven't seen done many times already. I can't express this enough, avoid 'The Hills Have Eyes II' like the plague. It's frightless, unoriginal, frantic, and a bore. Stick to the remake or Craven's original vision. Because if you don't walk out after the first thirty minutes, don't say I didn't warn you.
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
'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.
The Hills Have Eyes II is what you would expect it to be and nothing
more. Of course it's not going to be an Oscar nominated film, it's just
pure entertainment which you can just lose yourself in for 90 minutes.
The plot is basically about a group of National Guard trainees who find themselves battling against the notorious mutated hillbillies on their last day of training in the desert. It's just them fighting back throughout the whole film, which includes a lot of violence (which is basically the whole film) as blood and guts are constantly flying around throughout the whole thing, and also yet another graphic rape scene which is pointlessly thrown in to shock the audience.
I'd give the Hills Have Eyes II 4 out of 10 for pure entertainment, and that only. Although even then I found myself looking at my watch more and more as the film went on, as it began to drag due to the fact it continued to try and shock the audience with graphic gore and the occasional jump scene just to make sure the audience stays awake. The Hills Have Eyes II is just decent entertainment, something to pass time if you're bored, and nothing else.
THHE2 is entertaining in that you'll laugh a lot and cringe and
probably say "oh sh*t!" and "get your face away from the goddamn hole
you dumb**s" or things along those lines but I don't know if its really
worth seeing- I was very annoyed throughout the entirety with the
horrible military characters who don't seem to know the first thing
Yes there was more violence, gore, and a higher body count than the first one but I am still am debating whether that cancels out my feeling throughout the whole movie about how ridiculous it is (and not a good ridiculousness like Dead Alive or Feast). My time would have been better spent watching Aja's remake for the 5th time.
So go for some laughs, or go for some gore, but don't go hoping to come out of it satisfied.
I had actually liked the remake of Wes Craven's Hills Have Eyes, which
was shown here last year. Directed by Alxandre Aja, it was top notch
violence and gore which actually sent a chill, because the victims were
an innocent family out for a holiday, and to see them getting
systematically deeper into trouble, somehow makes it rather horrific to
While its predecessor was shown here with cuts, The Hills Have Eyes II is shown here in its full gory glory. However you wonder, just where did all the blood and gore had gone. Written by father and son team Wes and Jonathan Craven, the follow up movie (also a remake of the sequel to the original) seemed to be lacking in flavour and spirit. Sure the mutants are back, but there's very little space given to set them up, or enough time for you to identify and distinguish one from the other.
Did director Martin Weisz opt to play it safe? There's tension built, but nothing too riveting. The narrative is simple and straightforward, without much thought into trying to capture the X-factor why the original had worked somehow. Attempting to shock just for shock's sake, the movie opens with the birth of a child, in the most un-Discovery Channel manner, before introducing us to the victims, I mean, characters, and a short scene to link the events from its predecessor.
Again the military's dirty hands are in this one. Gone are the family, and in comes a small squad of National Guard trainees. It's soldiers versus A-bomb mutants, so the numbers come in handy to build up the body count. But in fact, none of them died in any creative manner. It's the usual hack jobs, and more uninterestingly, through the use of their carbines. Boring, and I guess too many movies outdoing one another in the creative death department, has taken its toil on this one, where simpleness and sure death like falling from great heights without the camera flinching, go unappreciated. Truth is, you know that it's a camera trick, and boy, are there a number of recognizable indoor shots for this outdoor movie, that makes it look cheap.
By the time it takes for these rookie soldiers to complete their training to the dark side and become cold killers (fighting for their own survival), you'll be more than in a hurry to head for the exit. To enjoy this movie, the usual leave your brains at the door cliché applies. Just make sure someone doesn't take a real machete and help you put it there.
I myself am not one who cared for the 2006 remake of The Hills Have
Eyes. When it comes to inbred psychos, Wrong Turn has my heart on that
one. Anyway, I gave this one a chance for whatever reason, and I found
myself enjoying it so much more. It's still not a great movie, but
definitely a dang fun one, one more tolerable than the, what I found to
be, stale first installment.
The action is more intense, the crazies are crazier and the movie is more engaging altogether for the type of genre it needed to be. I do not know why so many people dog this film. It is certainly better than some of the other horrors that came out in the 00s and I would enjoy to watch this anytime I could; I was very satisfied with it as far as I can remember. Hopefully will be watching it again soon!
The first one was a bit more intense as one could really relate to the family on the cross country trip. This one, however, features national guard members who are wrapping up their training and must stop along the desert to aid a group of scientist and military men along the way. Unfortunately, this is the same area where radioactive mutant inbred cannibals live and they almost immediately make an impact. The setup is a tad confusing as it shows this military man seemingly having a grudge or something against the clan in the hills, and this is never really touched upon. However, like the first one, the movie is very bloody and the action comes at one fast and furious. Still a bit far fetched that the family from the first one seemed to handle themselves a tad better than national guardsmen, but then the guardsmen don't have an ultra cool German Shepard to help them out. I liked this one as it was very fast paced and gruesome, I mean from the opening credits you know you are in for a gruesome time. Most of the action in this one takes place in a mining system and this along with the troops are a couple of differences. Still, in typical horror fashion you will probably yell "what are ya doing, stupid!!!" and "hit him again he isn't dead". So all in all a wild ride that is not quite as good as the first.
Even though it was generally well-received by genre fans, I found the
remake of classic "The Hills Have Eyes" to be a typical modern remake.
The casting was questionable and the overused shaky-cam was
nausea-inducing. French director Alejandra Aja bypassed the original's
subtle commentary on the American family post-Vietnam for some
half-assed shock scenes that he claimed better fit the contemporary
American situation. Huh? I also found the storyline to be much too
close to it's predecessor.
Well, the sequel is a surprising improvement (and significantly better than the original's sequel from '85, too.) The storyline is different, the shaky-cam is only used a couple times (and less...shaky), and the filmmakers were wise enough to ditch the half-baked social commentary for a straight-up horror gorefest. And it's a lot of nasty fun! There's lots of very sick ideas here that most horror fans can probably appreciate. The acting is average, the characters are pretty much indistinguishable, and it's rather formulaic, but if you can get past all of that, then this one is good times.
*** This review may contain spoilers ***
"The Hills Have Eyes II" follows a group of National Guard trainees.
Among them are Napoleon (Michael McMillian, Amber (Jessica Stroup),
Missy (Danielle Alonso), Seargant Jeffrey (Flex Alexander), among
others. They are sent out on their last day of training and stop by a
base camp of scientists doing research in the New Mexico desert, only
to find it empty. After hearing cries of help on a radio and seeing a
flashing signal coming from the hills, they decide to climb up there,
assuming it is a man who needs help. Meanwhile, Napoleon and Amber are
back at camp, where they discover a dying man in an outhouse, and are
attacked by a mutated man. They run to catch up with the rest of their
crew, and soon after the mutated cannibals begin to pick them off one
by one. Finding themselves trapped high up in the cliffs, they enter a
labyrinth of tunnels inhabited by the psychotic mutants, and try and
reach the bottom and make it out alive.
I have to admit that I wasn't too excited for this film. I thoroughly enjoyed Aja's 2006 remake of Wes Craven's 1977 film, I thought it was the best horror remake yet. But, a sequel? I wasn't so excited about the idea. I can tell you though that this film is much better than the 1986 sequel to the original - now that was a bad movie. Luckily, this film doesn't follow that one at all. The film was written by Craven and his son, and it was done very well. I'm a fan of Craven (I mostly like his earlier work though, aside from the "Scream" series), I think he's an excellent horror filmmaker, and this film was written very well. The story begins rather strangely with a rather disgusting birth scene, from there focuses on the trainees, and then becomes a pure cat-and-mouse game between the trainees and the cannibals. It was a pretty intense film (as was the 2006 remake), and I found myself entertained and interested throughout the movie, which is always a good thing. I thoroughly enjoyed the sequences in the mine tunnels, they were creepy and a wonderful setting for a battle between the characters and the cannibals. The acting in the film was good. None of the cast are major stars, but their performances were nothing below average and they played their characters believably enough. The characters are severely underdeveloped though, which was something the 2006 remake didn't lack.
Bloodshed and gore is a huge part of this movie, and it doesn't let up on any of it. Non-stop severed limbs, stabbings, shootings, impalements, and heads smashed into mush - if you're expecting a blood-soaked movie, you're gonna get one, probably more so than the previous movie, which was gory enough. While the movie didn't need to be so gratuitously violent, I guess it didn't really hurt it, but it didn't make it any scarier. It got quite a few cringes out of the audience though. One problem I had with this film though was the make-up effects on the cannibal villains. They weren't bad, they looked really good, but I just thought they were way too over the top. The cannibals in the 2006 film were much nastier and inhuman than those in Craven's 1977 film, but in this movie they are so disgusting and so over the top that I felt it was bordering on campy. They shouldn't look like normal people, but I felt it was over done - they should have stuck with similar makeup that was used in the previous film, but I assume they were made much nastier for shocks. Clichés are present as well, but nothing too serious. More than anything though, I wasn't happy with the way the film ended. It was too abrupt, too fast, and didn't make much sense. It leaves it open ended for another possible sequel, but I hope they don't decide to make one.
Overall, "The Hills Have Eyes II" is just an okay horror movie, but it's much more violent than scary. I prefer Craven's 1977 original and Aja's 2006 remake to this anyday, but this film is worth seeing if you enjoyed the previous one. It was bland and could use improvement, but it isn't a bad way for a horror fan to waste an hour and a half. Again, not great and definitely not as good as the remake, but worth a look for people who enjoy these films. I went in with pretty low expectations so I wasn't too horribly disappointed with this, although I can see why some would be. 5/10.
Between 1945 and 1962 the United States conducted 33 atmospheric
nuclear tests. Today the government still denies the genetic effects
caused by the radioactive fallout located in sector 16. A team of
soldiers(Jacob Vargas, Daniella Alonso,Jessica Stroup, McMillian, among
them) from National Guard carries supply for a scientific group . But a
mysterious unseen deformed humans drag away and attack them. The
anthropophagous beings murder and dismember the soldiers one by one,
having to combat to survive.
This unsettling gore-feast contains thrills, chills horror, grisly murders and lots of guts and gore, including, stabbing, impalement, beheading, among others. The killings are gruesomely committed by the cannibal mutants who hold an eerie make-up by Greg Nicotero and Howard Berger , an excellent craftsmen.The storyline by Wes Craven borrows from the commandos war movies along with the classics¨Texas chainsaw massacre(Hooper)¨, ¨The hills have eyes(Craven)¨until recent films like ¨Wrong turn and House of 1000 corpses¨, and of course the first part directed by Alexander Aja(2006).The creepy maniacal creatures appearance deliver the goods plenty of screams, terror,violence and blood. Atmospheric and suspenseful musical score by Trevor Morris. Colorful cinematography and a little dark during underground scenes by Sam McCurdy. The motion picture is professionally directed by Martin Weisz(Rohtenburg). The tale will like to horror and gore buffs. Rating : acceptable and passable, but isn't apt for squeamish
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