I’m watching The Hills Have Eyes II right now and have come to the conclusion that Hollywood has forgotten how to make good horror movies, let alone good movies. I thought for a moment there was hope, what with Wall E being such a fantastic film, but this movie has made me question whether Hollywood should be making movies at all.
My problems with the movie after only watching about half and hour or so:
- What is with portraying the troops as these ill-prepared morons who can barely fire a gun, let alone show a little knowledge of military tactics, common unit placement, etc.? Our troops are not so stupid and I don’t know why they have to be portrayed as such. Not to mention that the actors don’t look like soldiers (even National Guard ones) and they don’t act like soldiers either. The National Guard goes through training too. They don’t just slap a gun in their hands and say “have fun”. One thing that surprises me is a complete lack of military discipline. Since when do soldiers just wander off? This movie relies on the character’s stupid for plot devices, rather than attempting to do something that is logical (you know, like have the creepy hill people actually be intelligent, rather than a bunch of mutated freaks who are barely more intelligent then the men with guns). There’s a reason why our military is relatively efficient at fighting.
- What happened to suspense? Everything is right out in the open. There are no scary moments. The creatures just come bumbling out, swing a makeshift ax and that’s that. Nothing happens to get the adrenaline pumping. This is a problem with all horror movies now. It’s either gory or boring. Someone needs to look back to what made the old horror movies great.
- So, the point of the movie is that somehow these mutated freaks have gone unnoticed on a military compound where scientific research is being done and, for some reason, the radios magically don’t work? Right. And, against better judgment, knowing that said radios aren’t working, these soldiers decide, “hey, let’s go into the scary old mine where these crazy mutated freaks are even though nobody knows that’s where we’re going and we have no backup, not to mention we clearly suck at what we’re doing”.
- There’s a rape scene that has no purpose other than as shock value. The character doesn’t grow and even seem affected by the event once the movie reaches the end. The only reaction she has is to smash the monster man’s genitals with a sledge hammer during the final fight scene. Okay, but couldn’t they have had the same reaction if he had only tried to rape her? In fact, if you took the rape scene out and made it only an attempt, the ending would make a lot more sense. It’s basically an unresolved, yet serious plot point and I think the failure of the writers to address it properly basically treat it like a trivial piece of the story. Apparently rape is trivial now.
- The movie ends with the whole thing seeming like a strange experiment involving the mutated people. What? They’re practically mentally retarded in the movie, but they can use a laptop computer?
Needless to say, this movie was crap. Not scary; not even all that surprising at all. It adds nothing new to the genre and doesn’t even attempt to do so. It even lacks the character depth that would have made it a great horror film (Silence of the Lambs had such depth, though that is a fairly different kind of horror I suppose).
The only good thing about this movie is that at least towards the end the good guys start to win. It’s never really explained what Sector 16 or whatever is or why these monsters exist (maybe that’s in the first one, but I have no desire to see that now). Just another poor attempt to scare us by being gory and disturbing rather than genuinely terrifying.