Many films have attempted to revive the Slasher genre that died with the 80s. Most have failed (some worse than others), but few manage to succeed despite the enormous demand from the Horror community. THE HILLS RUN RED is one such exception. Dave Parker speaks the language of Splatter. From the opening moments where the tattered trailer for THE HILLS RUN RED oozes off of the computer screen, it is clear that this is no cheap imitator.
An obsessed Horror movie fan attempts to track down the last remaining copy of THE HILLS RUN RED, a Slasher film that was so depraved and terrifying that it disappeared along with everyone that was involved in the making of it after its release. As he and a group of friends arrive at the original shooting location deep within the mountains, they learn that some things are better left dead when they meet face to face with the Babyface killer that was supposed to have died along with the crew.
HRR is entirely self-aware, playing off of each of the basic genre conventions in the same vein as other Post-Modern Horror films like SCREAM or BEHIND THE MASK: THE RISE OF LESLIE VERNON. It is edited for maximum impact, with perfectly placed scares and sound effects that earn its reactions without stooping to mere jump tactics. With a cast of only four main characters, it seems improbable that there will be any sort of body count, but a few creative flashbacks and side characters are all that is needed to drench the hills in blood. HRR might be more polished and professional that its 80s brethren, but it retains the same mean spirit and heart that most recent entries lack. It also sticks close to the source material while creating its own distinct personality. Babyface is likewise a unique and terrifying new villain that reflects the hulking masked killers of the genre without copying them. Parker's attentive framing combined with the specific body gestures and mannerisms that Danko Jordanov brings to the role work to create a new Slasher icon.
Above all else, THE HILLS RUN RED is a scary Horror film. A damn scary Horror film. The unprecedented praise that the film received prior to its direct-to-video release led to many false expectations, but any viewers that were let down in their initial viewings must take the time to give the film a second chance. This is the new Slasher classic that fans have clamored for for years, packing all of the originality and suspense that HATCHET lacked while providing an equal amount of gore. That all of this was achieved on an Independent budget only further proves Parker's skills as a director.
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If you liked THE HILLS RUN RED, check out:
CIGARETTE BURNS, HATCHET, BEHIND THE MASK.