30 May 2009 | krigler
What Scream did to slasher movies...
...The Hills Run Red does for torture porn flicks. This horror subgenre has been going downhill for a while now, rapidly losing any kind of semblance of a subtext or deeper meaning and only giving its viewers what a lot of them no doubt crave: meaningless and increasingly graphic gore. That the genre got to the point of self-reflexivity may be a good sign - perhaps the dumb torture porn wave is ready to disappear from the mainstream (though the fact that this film is straight-to-DVD might not get it the recognition it deserves). This is not Haneke territory, though - nor it should be -, nevertheless The Hills Run Red provides a nice sarcastic commentary on the shock- and blood-craze of recent mainstream horror cinema. Its philosophy, albeit none too deep, provides a refreshing change of course from similar films. (And dare I say makes its point just as powerfully as the so-called "auteurs" do with their not much subtler films about violence, who get a nice stab in the movie - not literally, though.) Directing is skillful for the most part, however, the level of acting gradually becomes way over the top and hysterical, which is a shame. I wonder when horror directors learn that this kind of bad stage acting style just kills the atmosphere. Crazy psychos can be much more threatening when they are subdued and quiet. All in all, Hills Run Red is a surprisingly solid horror film with more brain than most flicks in its genre. It is taut and its brevity is welcome as well. My only problem is that the plot twist in the second act is totally spoiled by the preview material. It's a huge shame, because it works tremendously in the film but of course only if one goes in unsuspecting.