Lacking Eye Appeal
I wasn't that impressed with the 2006 remake "The Hills Have Eyes", it was just another average, modern horror which had an abundance of bloody violence but little which actually frightened me. So as you can expect I wasn't expecting much of the sequel "The Hills Have Eyes II" other than more of the same and in fact that's what I got, more bloody, in your face violence masquerading itself as horror combined with an utterly pointless storyline.
Some time after the family, who took the wrong turn into the desert and into trouble with the mutated hill dwellers, the army have started researching the area again. A team of trainee National Guard are sent to the area to drop off supplies to the researchers but discover their camp abandoned. Whilst trying to find one of the scientists it soon becomes apparent they are not alone as the trainees come across mutilated bodies and get picked off one by one by the hill dwellers.
Technically we have a different storyline this time around with these National Guard trainees purposefully in the danger area but what follows is really no different to what we saw in the first "The Hills Have Eyes" or in various other horror movies. Basically group of people being picked off one by one by some nasties and the nasties who live in the hills are some of the nastiest. But as such there is little which isn't expected when it comes to what happens, those who will end up dead are pretty obvious and you can guess who are the most likely to survive without much difficulty.
But the problem is with "The Hills Have Eyes II" is that because it is a modern horror made for modern mainstream audiences it's too in your face. There is barely a trace of suspense, nothing which gets you on the edge of your seat as it's replaced with one action sequence after another. And not great action sequences either as they tend to be dark, frantic and confusing not making it all that obvious what is happening.
And of course being a modern horror what is deemed to be frightening is in your face blood and guts, quite literally. Now watching someone get a spike thrust through them, a meat clever through their arm or in their head doesn't do it for me, although whilst it was obvious the hand from a toilet scene was quite good. It just isn't really scary and surprisingly not that cringe worthy as I am sure the intention was. The only really disgusting moment which genuinely plays on your mind is a scene before the movie really starts, to divulge would spoil the shock of it. As such if you want a horror which will disgust you with violence then "The Hills Have Eyes II" may be your thing, but it's not a horror for those wanting to be shocked by the unexpected.
As for the acting well no one stood out amongst a list of young actors who I struggled to recognize any of. They did what they were meant to as they portrayed a wide range of stereotypical characters from the Rambo like guard, the thinking guard, the womanizing guard and the list of stereotypes go on. But none of them are more than 2 dimensional and as such when the killing gets started you really don't care who gets mutilated by the mutants it's all about the bloody body count.
Talking of which, the make up department have done another great job of creating a series of seriously ugly, mutilated hill dwellers and the actors behind the layers of latex do an adequate job of making them disgusting.
What this all boils down to is that "The Hills Have Eyes II" is another modern horror which fails to work for me and for the exact same reasons why "The Hills Have Eyes" didn't work either. It's the sort of movie which if you get off on disturbing bloody violence will then possibly appeal but if you want something with a good storyline, good acting and truly frightening moments then you are best looking elsewhere.