I’m one who absolutely enjoyed Alexander Aja’s remake of the pretty damn overrated “The Hills Have Eyes.” Subsequent my viewing of Craven’s film three years ago, I was pretty crushed and confused as to why psychotic pro-wrestlers were deemed frightening. But then I remembered most of the places Craven’s film originally played where audiences would bring along acid and marijuana chasers.
Aja achieved what Craven couldn’t. He injected a sheer sense of horror and frantic urgency that told us that even though these yuppies had a chance of fighting back against these monsters, the odds were they were never going home, again. And you could almost feel that in the characters.
So naturally, we have the sequel sans Aja. Aja’s presence and lack thereof matched with the Craven father/son duo’s horrible script, means this truly horrible follow-up. This sequel from the much hyped Fox Atomic is an utter step down and treads in territory most Lions Gate space wasting video releases would cover. It’s bland, it’s vile and worst of all, is the product of zero creativity. The Cravens even feel the need to include scrolls at the beginning and end of the film to fill in the gaps they couldn’t.
A group of military privates engaging in war games out in the middle of the desert are stranded in a base where superiors were slain previously. Upon discovery, s**t basically hits the fan and we have a brutally dull game of hide and seek that could have benefited from better writers. As most new age sequels, this follow up has to be louder, faster, and of course mimic “Aliens.”
Weisz’s sequel is essentially brainless without even the gore being able to wet the horror fan’s appetites. Murders take place mostly off-screen with much of the force implied, while cardboard characters run around spouting military lingo muttering “f**k” in every other word, toss out flat one-liners, absurd dialogue, and, of course, commit some truly ridiculous tactics even for soldiers. This is the clothesline for the characters identified as “Sarge” and “Crank,” who are almost intentionally forgettable, to die at the hands of the freaks.
More so, the freaks are now reduced to nothing but mumbling props set to smash, bash, slice and dice, without any discerning traits to note. Why are they so dead set on this massacre? Once you discover their reasons, you’ll find doggy flashbacks not so idiotic, after all. The Cravens display no knowledge of a cohesive story within the endless segments of carnage, ranting, and even more carnage. And yet “The Hills Have Eyes 2” manages to stagger on for almost ninety minutes. This involves characters screaming at one another, the freaks picking off soldiers one by one, a grueling rape sequence, vapid exposition, and a climax that’s an awful knee slapper if I’ve ever seen it.
When a controversial poster is the only aspect of your film people can remember with fondness, it means you’ve f****d up.
This horror fanatic doesn’t have room for Craven in his genre anymore. Collect your cash and call it a day already, Wes.