Hills Have Eyes 2 / 28 Weeks Later


Begbie and loads of infected freaks 

If you’re going to make a genre movie, or a sequel to a remake of a genre movie whilst going out of your way to avoid cliches, you’ve got an uphill struggle ahead of you. If you’re Wes Craven, you don’t need to avoid cliches, as you invented the cliches in the first place. If you’re a little-heard-of Director tasked with following up a zombie movie which itself avoided a few of the usual trappings then what do you do to make your new movie relevant? That’s it, you try and comment (with bloody heavy hands) on today’s political climate.

All the critics seem to disagree with me when it comes to horror films, so balls to them in their Islington and nouveau-Hackney homes, pumping out a word an hour of drivel. With these movies a viewer needs to automatically lower their expectations to the level of their stinking feet, otherwise disappointment will generally smack them headlong in the face.

The fun of a horror film is that it’s the opposite of high art. Very few horror movies can be said to be masterpieces. Maybe The Shining. Maybe Night of the Living Dead. American Werewolf In London, but in that instance we’re veering towards horror/comedy, which is a different kettle of fish. Beyond that, it’s pretty much semi-wooden acting, jumps and  gore, and thank crikey for that, says I.

So the critics savaged Hills Have Eyes 2. Hackneyed scripts they said. Expected shocks. And these things, they reckoned, combined to render it worthless. Only one or two stars. 11% on rottentomatoes.com

Well, bollocks. It’s a no-nonsense stomp through a script that’s only even present to transfer us to the next set piece. And those set pieces include a pair of mutant testicles getting flattened by a sledgehammer, a brain being finger-tweaked and an eyeball being thumbed out – which is all fantastic stuff. This is the point of the genre.  Admittedly the rape element is a bit much, but we forgave the EvilDead for that, so we can forgive this.

If an auteur (like Romero used to be) manages to squeeze in a clever analogy to a horror film, then so much the better – I take my hat off. But when the central premise is the analogy, a la Land of the Dead, the whole things fall apart and we’re left discussing how there were too few zombie maimings.

Speaking of a dearth of zombie maimings, the only memorable zombie death in 28 Weeks Later was the helicopter scene, ruined by the use of rapid editing and CGI.

Add to that the fact that the film was a complete mess, featuring an American army as aggressive as the zombies (apart from the good guys who end up the saviours of the Brits, obviously) and the presence of a ‘lead’ zombie, and you have yourself a disappointing wreck.

If I rent a horror film or spend my hard earned down the local multiplex, I expect rubbish. Please deliver.

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11 Responses to “Hills Have Eyes 2 / 28 Weeks Later”

  1. piqued Says:

    Oooh, I beg to differ regarding horror masterpieces

    There are plenty

    Nosferatu, Alien, Ringu, (terror at the) Opera, Audition, Susperia, Tenebre to name but a mere few.

  2. Swineshead Says:

    I’m talking about Hollywood – my mistake not to highlight that fact.
    I’m not sure Ringu made the multiplex.

    Alien, admittedly is great. But the list of American horror masterpieces is few and far between where acting, special effects, plot and meaning all combine.

  3. piqued Says:

    Yes, American horror film I’d agree.

  4. Napoleon Cockaparte Says:

    I can’t say I care much for Horror movies, regardless of their country of origin. I thought 28 Weeks Later was alright for what it was … Hills Have Eyes 2 you can shove up your arse – I watched about a half hour of it and turned it off in favour of Grindhouse (all courtesy of http://www.watch-movies.net/ … naughty naughty).

    I suppose you could add The Thing to the pantheon of genuinely good Yankee horror … or was that the beards? Then there’s Phantom of the Opera with the fucking freaky Claude Rains, Universal’s Frankenstein (the unedited version where he throws the little girl in the river still packs more shock-value than anything an upstart like Eli Roth can humdrum up), Bride of Frankenstein, Invasion Of The Body Snatchers, Texas Chainsaw (perhaps), Deranged, I Spit On Your Grave, Last House On The Left … Jaws maybe, Silence Of The Lambs, Misery.

    Depends on what you class as a ‘Horror Movie’. If you’re including psycho-fests like The Shining, it’s a pretty broad church. Shit, you could probably throw in Deliverance, Duel and Don’t Look Now (all the Ds).

    And don’t forget that masterpiece Resident Evil: Apocalypse …

  5. Swineshead Says:

    Crawled out from under your rock have you, you bastard?
    Write us an article or I’ll chop your hands off.

  6. Swineshead Says:

    Give me a link to the free Grindhouse.

  7. Napoleon Cockaparte Says:

    I’m writing articles for people who pay me cash-money you snivelling little toerag. Once I’ve rid myself of a certain 60s madcap band that I’m thoroughly sick of hearing, I’ll brew something up. ‘Til then, a-fuck you.

  8. Napoleon Cockaparte Says:

    Grindhouse – let me hunt one out. The hosting sites get rid of ’em pretty damned sharpish so you have to do a bit of trufflin’ … watched Transformers t’other day and the link had gone three hours later (pile of robot shit that was).

  9. Matt Says:

    Planet Terror is fucking ace, Death Proof is fucking wank.

    Did you watch Plane Dead yet?

    Surely Hollywood set the whole blueprint for “Horror” (ok, Nosferatu pre-dates them all).

    Am I the only person who likes the old creaky Hammer films?

  10. imtheotherdave Says:

    Could Polanski’s ‘apartment thrillers’ be loosely classed as horror? I like them very much.

  11. piqued Says:

    Yes, easily.

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