By Todd GilchristFour months ago I attended an advance screening of The Hills Run Red, a Warner Premier straight-to-DVD film about a group of college kids in search of a cult director and his long-lost horror film of the same name. Long story short, I really didn't like it, but I found myself in the minority, so in the interest of fairness, I spent the next couple of months asking colleagues who saw it why they seemed to like it so much.
Because I never really got an answer that satisfied my lingering questions and criticisms, I decided to watch it again. And while the film's premise – obsessive horror geeks rediscovering a lost horror classic that was banished for being too intense – is a really, really terrific one, director Dave Parker's latest effort is not equal to that premise. A mess of half-considered genre conventions with only a few compelling ideas to connect them, The Hills Run Red is an example of the kind of horror movie that gets a pass from forgiving genre fans, but its clumsy, obvious execution will otherwise not likely entertain (much less scare) anyone else.
Tad Hilgenbrink plays Tyler, a horror fan who is obsessed with The Hills Run Red, an infamous movie directed by reclusive filmmaker Wilson Wyler Concannon (William Sadler) that was removed from circulation because it was branded too intense by the powers that be.