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The Hills Have Eyes II
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The Hills Have Eyes II (2007)

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Plot Summary:
"A team of trainees of the National Guard brings supply to the New Mexico Desert for a group of soldiers and scientists that are installing a monitoring system in Sector 16. They do not find anybody in the camp, and they receive a blurred distress signal from the hills. Their sergeant gathers a rescue team, and they are attacked and trapped by deformed cannibals, having to fight to survive."


Review by
Ryan McDonald
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@horrorasylum
Review Date: 11 November 2009 My Rating: out of 5

 

National Guard troops sent to an area of the New Mexico desert to resupply the telecommunications unit stationed there (hoping to catch a glimpse of the gruesome killers of the family in the first film). When they arrive, they see the telecom unit have all been slaughtered, and soon they come into contact with the local radioactive, blood-thirsty mutant inhabitants who pick them off one by one. Except the women soldiers, they have other plans for them.

I'm not much of a fan of remakes (especially if the film worked fine in the first place), and a sequel to a remake seems twice as redundant. But the remake of Wes Craven's classic mutant horror flick was far from the worst of the remakes, so I held out at least a little hope for this Martin Weisz sequel to that remake (although it is not a remake of the original's sequel. Confused? Yes? Good!), especially since Craven himself has had input in the screenplay, co-writing it with son Jonathan.

The film starts with a truly disgusting moment (the birth of a mutant), that at the very least makes you stand up and take notice, offensive as it may be. It's a very brave opener. Unfortunately, it's pretty much all downhill after that, in a ‘Is that the best they could come up with?' fashion. The heavy-handed story (which, if you think about it, is structured a little like 'Predator' meets 'Aliens', and the mutants even make Predator sounds!) is nowhere near as clever as it thinks it is (Another Iraq War commentary? Yawn!), though the direction (Weisz shows some talent behind the camera, it should be noted), cinematography, and makeup are a fair sight better than they have any right to be under the circumstances.

But this is a boring (the characters aren't even up to ‘stock standard stereotype' level, nor are any of them likeable), stupidly handled and mostly worthless exercise. And yet it's not the worst film Craven has ever been involved in, that would be his first directorial effort, the poorly made 'Last House on the Left'.

OVERALL SUMMARY
Can we now officially call Wes Craven a hack? This is a tired, badly written, boring and pointless sequel to a remake.



Reviewer: Phil Davies Brown @horrorasylum
Location:Scotland, UK
Review Date: 11 April 2007 My Rating: out of 5

The Hills Have Eyes II follows on from the first film, where we learn that the military have been conducting search and destroy missions in the Yuma Flats area of New Mexico following the attack on the Carter family some months previously. A group of National Guardsmen (and women) sent to deliver supplies in New Mexico head out to the area only to fall prey to more bloodthirsty mutants who have gone undetected.

This film starts in much the same way as the last one, with various military personnel being dispatched in grisly ways before we meet our core bunch of Guardsmen. The majority of the characters (and their real-life counterparts) seem nice enough, but we only really get to learn about them through use of nicknames and tattoos. This exposition through sound byte thing gets old quick, but by that point, the majority of them are as good as dead anyway. Jessica Stroup’s Amber and Michael McMillian’s Napoleon are the two we are able to warm to most, although you get the feeling that you’d like Daniella Alonso’s Missy too, if she had more to do.

The film features two set pieces which have the potential to make viewers not desensitized to all the old tricks jump, but apart from that, it’s excessive gore and shock tactics all the way, which unfortunately sends things into the realms of the absurd.

The film is devoid of atmosphere and suspense and even the mutants are laughable. All those haters who thought Pluto looked like Sloth in the first film will have a field day with this one. I thought the 'goodies' characterizations were poor but the 'baddies' have an even tougher time establishing themselves. One can only assume that 'Grabber' is the one who grabs people and 'Stabber' is the one who stabs people and don’t even get me started on 'Hansel' who serves no purpose whatsoever (and even looks like he’s wearing a Sloth ‘Goonies’ Halloween costume) before disappearing five minutes later never to return.

My biggest peeves however, apart from the fact that they quickly get rid of characters in lame ways such as cutting ropes when abseiling and rigging dynamite to blow unsuspecting mutant haters up oh so conveniently, would have to be the fact that the mutants have evolved from resourceful hunter gatherers to full on tech experts and scientists in a matter of months. Mutants using laptops and technology that I wouldn’t know what to do with is a step too far in my book. The worst thing in the film however is that Missy doesn’t get proper justice over the vomit-inducing Hades.***spoiler alert*** after being brutally raped by the hulking beast all she gets to do is bash his nuts in with a sledge hammer. Perhaps all the gore got to me but I was hoping for some bolt cutters on his nuts. He so deserved it!

OVERALL SUMMARY
The Hills Have Eyes II showed lots of promise but is just another passable gorefest with nothing new to offer. It really did verge on Wylie Coyote and Roadrunner stuff at moments, but hey at least no-one’s pet dog had a flashback.




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