Quim drives around an isolated rural area through a maze of lanes. When he drives into the woods, he gets lost. Trying to find his direction, he suddenly gets shot from the hill. On his escape from gunshots, he meets Bea, an attractive young woman, who apparently is lost as well. Suspicious of each other, they join forces to run away through the forest, unprotected, cold, hunted...Written by
The "hunting humans" formula is one of the oldest (ever since the magnificent "The Most Dangerous Game" in 1933) but still most effective formulas in horror/suspense cinema. The creators of "El Rey de la Montaña" clearly were very much aware of that and, additionally, this instant sleeper cult-hit from Spain even feature the atmosphere of a genuine early 70's backwoods survival shocker. This is one of the greatest and most intensely disturbing chillers to have come out in Europe in last ten years or so, and that is saying a lot because Europe is the most flourishing continent for the horror genre at the moment. Although working from a very basic and rudimentary script director Gonzalo López-Gallego keeps his film surprising and totally unpredictable, mainly thanks to some shocking story revelations, very atypical character drawings and a sublime use of the desolate filming locations. On his way to his ex-girlfriend, Quim meets an attractive young girl named Bea and has sex with her in the gas station's toilet. Her love, however, isn't very sincere as she steals Quim's wallet and goes away. He searches for her in the mountainous countryside, but his chase comes to an abrupt end when an invisible shooter (or shooters) fires at his car. Now he and Bea will have to work together in order to stay alive and, on top of everything, deal with distrustful policemen and survive the robust landscape. "King of the Hill" is a uniquely versatile film. The camera alternately follows the preys as well as the hunters, the latter from first-person-shooter perspective like often used in video games, and I don't think you are supposed to feel connected with any of them. There simply aren't any heroes in this story. Quim is a stalker and a coward, Bea is a thief and a tramp, and just wait until you see who the marksmen are and what their motivations to hunt people down are exactly. The film contains relatively few graphic violence or raw images. The shock-impact merely relies on the unexpected plot twists and the truly astounding locations. Not since "Deliverance" has there been another movie that managed to make nature look so menacing! I'm not entirely sure if the movie was intended as criticism towards the increasing amount of violence featuring in video games and how far this negatively influences our children, but it's first and foremost a nail-biting thriller that also messes with you head. At the end of the film, you don't know who to root for anymore and so many questions remain unanswered, but presumably that's part of the power of this perplexing tense thriller. Watch this guaranteed future cult classic as soon as you can, but please be careful not to read too many reviews, news articles or interviews with cast and crew before you do, as a lot of these reveal essential plot twists.
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