My History With the Film:
The Hills Have Eyes 2 had one of the greatest teasers in the history of film. See for yourself.
The first film was such a pleasant surprise I couldn’t help but be pumped for the second. However, I’ve seen enough horror films to know that I should go in with low expectations and I did, but I still enjoyed the film quite a bit.
I had only see The Hills Have Eyes 2 once, when it first came out, until my most recent viewing the day after watching the 2006 feature. It wasn’t quite good as I remembered, but I still enjoyed it.
What The Film Is About (Non-Spoiler):
Following the events of the first film, the Army begins a mission to eliminate the remaining mutants from the hills which does not go so well. A poorly trained National Guard unit delivering supplies stumbles upon the aftermath and finds themselves trapped in a war with the mutants.
What I Liked About It:
-While I feel like the intensity is dialed back in comparison to the first film, the film still feels hot, sticky, and uncomfortable thanks to the brilliant use of the Morocco desert. The mine shafts were a nice change from the first film.
-The special effects are fantastic and the mutant design is great once again. Derek Mears steals the show (as usual) and arguably this group of mutants is less unique but more intimidating.
-The opening scene is difficult to watch and brilliantly made. I’m surprised it didn’t stick with me more during the first viewing, but I have feeling I’ll be remembering this scene for a long time to come.
What I Didn’t Like About It:
-The film is really unnecessary and if you view it shortly after watching the first film, I do feel that it takes away a bit from its effectiveness. Part of what made the first film work so great was the feeling of total isolation. This film attempts to capture that feeling, but with the idea of there being all sorts of tunnels, scientists, makeshift basecamps, and even the military itself knowing that people are in this area, it robs it a bit of its mystery.
-Similar to the first film, none of the characters are overly likeable. I felt like this worked well with a family, but not so much with a group of soldiers.
-Despite having the same budget as the first film, this film feels like it had a lower budget. I think the larger cast has something to do with it along with attempting to do something of a bigger scale on the same budget.
-The mine shafts were created by the same team who created the caves in The Descent.
-The script was written by Wes Craven and his son Jonathan Craven.
-The film was shot in Quarzazate, Morocco where the 2006 film was shot.
-The feces in the Porta Potty was made out of stewed prunes.
-Wes Craven’s original idea was to have Brenda from the first film enlist in the National Guard to overcome her fears only to find herself sent back to the same desert with the mutants.
The Hills Have Eyes 2 is a solid movie. I remembered it as being better than it actually was and after the first thirty minutes, I struggled to keep my attention on the screen. If you are in the mood for some mutant action, I think doing a double feature of the 2006 film and Wrong Turn might serve you better than watching The Hills Have Eyes 1 and 2 back-to-back, because I do feel like my experience with the first film was sullied a bit by the second. If you watch it a month or two later, I have a feeling this wouldn’t be an issue.
I’d rate The Hills Have Eyes 2 as a two out of five and say it’s a low priority rental.