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The Hills Run Red (2009 Video)
A Terrifically Nasty Piece of True Horror Cinema
15 June 2009
When I say "nasty", I mean that as a high compliment...especially when you look at the crap that passes for horror these days. In the very least, let there be no worries about a watered-down PG-13 rating or a lame script. This is bloody, brutal, violent, intense horror with a solid story and confident execution.

It's a bit of a throwback to horror films of the 80's in that it isn't trying to be cute or obviously self-conscious of the horror film clichés that it throws at you. At the same time, those clichés are a legit part of the genre if they are used effectively and not for the sole purpose of using the theater's audio system to startle you into thinking that you're scared. There aren't any sudden cat appearances or other such tricks here...just pure horror.

Quite a few of the filmmakers were in attendance at the midnight world premiere at SIFF this last Friday, and when they were asked to list their favorite horror films, their faves were pretty much reflective of the best horror of the 70's and 80's. One producer also mentioned the recent French horror films "Inside" and "Martyrs" (both films are also must-see, and absolutely not for the faint of heart), and he pointed out that he didn't think that American horror films were measuring up.

With the exception of Sam Raimi's very recent "Drag Me To Hell", and now with the exception of "The Hills Run Red", I have to agree. I sincerely hope that we will see more crimson-tainted (and splattered) horror from these filmmakers.

If you're a horror fan, do not miss this.
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The Awful Truth
4 June 2009
There are some movies that start badly, but make me hope for something worth staying for. Sometimes I am rewarded, sometimes I end up just satisfied enough and sometimes I just laugh at the train wreck that is unfolding before me...

...and sometimes, I get to the 30 minute mark and realize that the movie was always dead on arrival, and that there really isn't even a shred of hope.

Welcome to "The Whole Truth".

The "You're lucky I'm not Korean" line (spoken to a dog...oh, I get it!) was one of many painful and embarrassingly bad attempts at humor. I mean without exaggeration that the writing is truly cringe-worthy. Ever watch amateur comedians flop on stage and feel embarrassed for them?'s that bad.

I heard a few quiet (and possibly just nervous/embarrassed) giggles in the first half hour. For a movie that promised "rapid-fire" laughs, there was a painful amount of silence in the theatre.

Additionally, the soundtrack was right out of a sitcom pilot that never got picked up for a first season, the acting was forced and brutally unfunny, and the general feel of the movie was that of a decent concept given terribly amateur treatment.

Oddly, I read a comment about a test screening that went really well. The audience at the (sold out!) Seattle Int'l Film Festival screening would probably beg to differ, and the reviews on the SIFF site are very telling.

I would have been very curious to see the Q&A session after the movie. I can't help but wonder if anything of interest was said. Did the filmmakers receive any honest feedback? I've heard that Sundance audiences have actually booed and hissed at selected screenings...I've never seen that happen here.

Then again, I had to leave at the 30 minute mark. I couldn't take it anymore.
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