The Hills Run Red (2008)

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.

Rating: 8/10.
Entertainment: 9/10.
Gore: 7/10.
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  1. I think I gave this a 6.5/10 when I reviewed it on the old version of the Death Rattle, so I obviously didn't like it as much as you did but I still enjoyed it. It was a refreshing entry into the mostly DEAD slasher genre. I'm glad you gave Danko Jordanov props in your review because I thought he was excellent... he didn't over-exaggerate his movements like some actors (Kane Hodder) but he still came across as very intimidating without saying anything. And I also agree that it was a better slasher movie than HATCHET. Flawed, but still pretty decent.

  2. Here's what I said back in November:

    I wanted to like this movie. And, rough acting aside, it was an okay film for the most part. But the twists just weighed the whole thing down, too much in my opinion.

    An interesting idea, an okay movie. Recommended for horror fans, mainly.

  3. I will definitely cede to the acting and twist after twist in the end, but I was able to overlook each of those aspects since it was still a completely Independent effort. With minor adjustments, this would have been a 9 all the way, but in recognizing its flaws I also had to remember that all of our favorite Slasher movies growing up were equally flawed in one way or another, so for what it is I thought this was an excellent effort =D

  4. Though I love Sophie Monk, the rest of the acting didn't really work for me and some of the situations in the film (the lead trying to get Sophie's character clean) were just stupid. I loved the premise of the film and I though the rest of it was good but it just fell short of being a classic.

  5. I'll eventually come back to this one I suppose, but just like HATCHET, I didn't understand what all the fuss was about. Not a bad movie, but I lost interest about midway through.

  6. When I rate Slashers, I always have to remind myself of how each of our favorite Slashers were usually very flawed as well, like the ridiculous characters in F13th Part 3. There are definitely more than a fair share of ridiculous moments and awkward acting, but compared to the recent Slashers from the last decade I thought this one was much better than most of the garbage out there (Im looking at you, SORORITY ROW!!)

  7. Bless you! I liked this as well but it got trashed by some bloggers whose opinions I respect. Monk made me drool but that aside and I always enjoy when Sadler shows up anywhere, but most of all it kept me entertained. Funny thing is that Parker did Dead Hate The Living which I absolutely despise, so my praises for this film speak a lot about how much I enjoyed this one. Nice work C-Manes!

  8. I had NO CLUE he did THE DEAD HATE THE LIVING, I only saw it once in college and I share your complete and utter distaste for it man. HRR on the other hand, awesome. I really enjoyed it, we will see if it holds up on the second watch through!