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DVD Review: The Hills Have Eyes 2 (Unrated)

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This movie is a sequel to The Hills Have Eyes (2006), a remake of the 1977 film by horror legend Wes Craven; however, it’s not a remake of his sequel from 1985, which was titled Part 2. That may sound confusing, but there’s no reason for concern as there isn’t much in the way of plot throughout the franchise.

The gruesomeness starts during the opening credits as a young woman, naked, filthy, and chained to a bed, gives birth to some thing and is immediately killed with a blow to the head. Then title cards explain what had happened in the previous film and how the military were setting up surveillance equipment in the area. Mutants start killing the scientists, although there is one mutant who appears different. He looks slightly child-like and warns a scientist to run a moment too late. National Guard troops have been unsuccessfully running training exercises in the field. On their return, they discover the missing personnel and begin a rescue mission with predictable results.

Horror fans should enjoy the frightful/humorous moments as the make-up and special effects departments show what they can do. Standouts are one soldier getting dragged through a hole in a cliff wall, causing his leg to be bent the wrong way, and another solider having his arm cut off while climbing only to have a mutant wave with it as he plummets to his death.

Yet, once the soldiers started getting killed, I found myself uncomfortable. To see members of the National Guard murdered and raped for entertainment purposes when many fellow Americans are fighting overseas was more disgusting than anything that happened in the film. Not that I am against telling stories that include soldiers, but their pointless exploitation illustrates a deficit in the tact, if not also the talent, of Craven, his son Jonathan, who co-wrote the movie, and music video director Martin Weisz. Could they not have come up with any other idea for victims? The Hills Have Eyes 2 should not be seen in order to encourage filmmakers to put some thought into what they are creating.

The DVD includes many extras including deleted scenes, which could have included the entire movie, considering how bad the acting and dialogue was, and gag reels, an apt description of my reaction while watching.

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About Gordon S. Miller

Gordon S. Miller is the artist formerly known as El Bicho, the nom de plume he used when he first began reviewing movies online for The Masked Movie Snobs in 2003. Before the year was out, he became that site's publisher. Over the years, he has also contributed to a number of other sites as a writer and editor, such as FilmRadar, Film School Rejects, High Def Digest, and Blogcritics. He is the Publisher of Cinema Sentries. Some of his random thoughts can be found at twitter.com/ElBicho_CS
  • Mat Brewster

    You had me at a young woman, naked and filthy.

    Are you sure Craven wasn’t trying to make some sort of statement showing the military folks get slaughtered?

  • http://www.maskedmoviesnobs.com El Bicho

    Interesting idea, but considering how bad the script was, no.

  • http://draven99.blogspot.com Chris Beaumont

    In the extras Wes does mention the relationship with the Iraq war. Not to say that he was trying to make a point, but the correlation is there.

    And yes, the script was bad. Still, I found myself enjoying the movie.

    This was the movie that had it’s screen flipped with Meet the Robinsons at a theater in NYC, could you imagine sitting down with your kids to MtR and being greeted with that birth sequnce? yikes.

  • http://www.maskedmoviesnobs.com El Bicho

    If he’s trying to correlate to the Iraq war, then he has some pretty ugly things to say about the Americans fighting in it. Sorry to hear you enjoyed it.

  • Mat Brewster

    Well this is Wes Craven we’re talking about here. Subtlety and political commentary aren’t exactly his strong suits.