Reel Shorts | THHE2

23 03 2007

There is no one in Hollywood more responsible for scaring the bejeezus out of filmgoers like Director Wes Craven. The man who created Freddy Krueger in “The Nightmare on Elm Street,” introduced us to “The Swamp Thing” and taught a new generation of moviegoers to “Scream” 30 years ago, he also created the original “The Hills Have Eyes.”

Fast forward to 2007 and Craven is back once again with his second sequel to “THHE2” (The original “sequel” was produced in 1985). Once again, people will not leave well enough alone and they continue to venture to “Sector 16,” an area so secret that the government will not acknowledge that we have a presence there.

Last time around, a misfortunate family got trapped in the Bermuda triangle of film and only a handful survived. This time around, the filmmakers, looking for a more of a challenge for their cannibalistic mutants, raise the ante by dropping a platoon of National Guardsman in Sector 16.

Craven is a veteran screenwriter and director and he pulls out his “How to Do a Horror Film” box to give moviegoers the standard scare scenarios. There’s the heroic Black character that dies early, the prerequisite scared White girl (and guy) character, the hot-tempered Mexican-American character and several White “I can make it own my own, but die quick” characters.

The characters are wrapped around an all-too familiar story of a group of people who find themselves in the wrong place at absolutely the wrong time. The guardsmen are training for duty in the Middle East and we discover early on that they are just young kids not ready for combat. This same group is sent on a routine patrol to “hills of New Mexico.” Before you can say “ugly creatures,” our naughty deformed neighbors begin to pick off the kids one by one. Some are lucky and killed early; once again, one is brutally raped and so on.

The film, written in four weeks, feels like an idea that time passed like 30 years ago. You would think that some filmmaker would be smart enough to populate his story with characters that may have watched a horror movie or two and would understand how to survive. Late in the film one doomed characters attempts to end her life when another character tells her, “death is never better.” For people such as myself who have to sit through these countless brain-dead scare fests, sometimes I beg to differ.

Grade: F

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