Some movies, such as Dario Argento‘s “Susperia,” scare me. I feel this way despite having seen it too long ago to remember any detail (though I do recall a young woman crawling through a tunnel lined with barbed wire).
That’s the thing: In my memories–which I know more often than not are false–it’s so horrific that I have no intention of watching it again, because if I do, I know that it will be nowhere as terrifying as recall it being.
Which would mean that it would be another thing I have carried from my childhood (it would be more accurate to say my young adulthood) that the time has come to discard.
And for some reason I am not ready to let go just yet.
The poster for Dave Parker‘s “The Hills Run Red” evoked similar feelings. The image of a maniac wearing the face of a baby doll stuck me as so creepy, that I was weirded out long before actually seeing the movie it was based on.
As I sat down to watch it, I was pleasantly surprised to learn that it was produced by Warner Premiere, a specialty branch of Warner Bros., as well as “Dark Castle Entertainment,” where some my more memorable horror films of late dwell, like the remake of “The House on Haunted Hill,” “Ghost Ship” and my favorite, 2001’s “Thir13en Ghosts.”
It also starred William Sadler, who has a pretty extensive resume.
So how had this movie snuck in under the radar? I feared because it wasn’t very good.
And unfortunately, I was right.
The movie revolves around Tyler (Tad Hilgenbrink) a film student who’s wants to make a film that answers what happened to “The Hills Run Red (it’s a bit meta, and plays with the whole ‘film within a film’ concept quite a bit)” a movie that’s so notorious for violence that it was pulled from theaters, and its director vanished. So, the intrepid student brings along his friends, Serina and Lalo (if anyone wants to investigate an abandoned asylum, or track down a mysterious, vanished director, just say ‘No” because these things never go as planned) as well as the daughter of the director, whom he tracked down–or did he?–in search of the completed film.
The ‘movie in a movie’ concept feels a bit like John Carpenter‘s “Cigarette Burns–which I enjoyed–minus the supernatural touches.
If only it were as interesting. There’s some innovatively done gore at the beginning, but unfortunately after than things pretty much flow downhill.
Except for one moment, when you’re not sure if the entire movie that proceeded it is anything more than a mind-f@uck. Unfortunately, it passes way too quickly (and happens too late to salvage anything, in any case).
As a result, “The Hills Run Red” is not only not as enjoyable as typical Dark Castle Joint but it barely deserves to exist among them.