The Hills Have Eyes II
ZERO STARS/**** Image N/A Sound A Extras D
starring Michael McMillian, Jessica Stroup, Daniella Alonso, Jacob Vargas
screenplay by Wes Craven & Jonathan Craven
directed by Martin Weisz
by Walter Chaw I don't have any real objection to anything depicted in The Hills Have Eyes II: not to the live-birth prologue that ends with the grisly murder of the mother; not to the greenstick demise of one National Guardsman or the death-by-feces of another; not even to the brutal rape of still another enlistee whose very existence opens the door for an ugly sequel. No: testament to the howling ineptitude of the enterprise is that its every desperate attempt to offend fails miserably. It's so poorly directed and edited, in fact, that not only is nothing frightening (which is to be expected, frankly)--nothing's surprising, either. Every jump scare is completely telegraphed, the nigh-invulnerability of the bad guys is totally predictable, and every fatality of every alleged hero is delivered sans pathos or, really, consequence. It doesn't matter who dies because who lives has already been decided within the first few minutes. What's more, it's already been divined by the dullest member of the audience--said dull member the only one who gives enough of a shit to try to figure it out in the first place and stick it out through to the end. The sole reason why anyone would watch the whole thing would be if they were paid to do so, and even then, it's only money. Let me stress, though, that you're not leaving because the movie is horrific, appalling, and a moral vacuum--you're leaving because it sucks balls.