As a movie nerd myself, I can appreciate the particular bit of madness that strikes people with a deep love and appreciation for movies. We are an odd breed, and we get weirder when we are horror nerds. I mean, you don’t really read or hear about comedy fans freaking out over a lost or forgotten classic the same way you get that with horror nerds. I think because with other genres America has had the lead in most cases but with horror there is always something weirder, darker, more obscure out there. Hell, when I was younger and VHS and Laserdisc were both still relevant I remember chasing foreign obscurities and uncut versions of films at comic and horror conventions. And many times the chase was better than the find. The courtship better than the romance. Such is the case with The Hills Run Red, a horror film that asks whether it is better to seek out a lost obscurity than it is to find it.
A budding young filmmaker develops an obsession for a lost horror film entitled The Hills Run Red which was so extreme and over the top that it was pulled from all theaters and all prints disappeared. To deepen the mystery there are no people that can give any information about the movie. Deciding he wants to find the truth behind the film the man gathers his best friend and girlfriend and go on a quest for the truth and the film itself. Using the director’s surviving daughter as their guide, the troupe sets off into the deep woods to find what they hope are answers but which may not be the ones they were hoping to find.
A fun, spirited romp, the biggest limitation here is its own self-referential nature. The fact that John Carpenter tackled this notion (and in a far creepier way) for Masters of Horror doesn’t help but the fact there are so many references to the situation they are in gets old. It is a creepy, and engaging premise for a film, and generally it works. The characters are sorta hit and miss, with some really obvious writing choices and some clichéd scenarios but the film is always true to itself, which says something. Hills knows what it is and never denies it, and that is a hardcore horror film. Definitely worth a look and worthy of a place on your shelf. It says something when a movie can create a compelling and creepy new icon, and with Babyface, they have.
7 out of 10