The Hills Have Eyes 2: Unrated (Blu-ray)

January 28, 2012 6 Min Read

Review by: Fusion3600

Plot: What’s it about?

The isolated desert stretch known as Section 16 has seen some brutal activities, from bomb tests to mutant cannibals. Those who remained there turned into cannibals who trapped and killed innocent people who traveled within reach, but their hidden status is now revealed. A group of scientists has taken up residence there to study these mutations, with supplies delivered by National Guard squadrons. As soon as the latest group of soldiers arrive, they discover the mutants are on the hunt and looking for blood, so a battle quickly breaks out. The soldiers have weapons and extensive training, but the cannibals have survived for decades and know the land better than anyone. As bodies begin to pile up on both sides, can anyone from the soldiers’ squad manage to survive and if not, will anyone ever put an end to the cannibals’ reign of terror?

I wasn’t as disappointed with the remake of The Hills Have Eyes as I expected, but that didn’t mean I was jazzed to learn a sequel, also a remake, was in production. As it turns out, The Hills Have Eyes II is actually better the remake that came before it, as it doesn’t even pretend to build around plot or narrative. I am all about great storylines, but if you don’t have one, why bother when you can just cut loose the buckets of blood. This movie does just that, pours gallons of the red stuff across the screen in brutal, flinching inducing ways. I read where some found the original remake to be too violent, but I thought it was tame, but this sequel kicks things up and comes through in terms of gore and death sequences. As I said, the story is paper thin and used only to hang the gruesome deeds on, so this isn’t a good movie, just a wild bloodbath. If you want more than gore, you’ll be disappointed, but for bloodhounds, The Hills Have Eyes II is a blood soaked, well recommended rental. This Blu-ray edition has an improved transfer, better sound, and all of the extras, so it is the best way to see this picture.

Video: How does it look?

The Hills Have Eyes 2 is presented in 2.35:1 anamorphic widescreen. This film employs a lot of visual tricks, which means the image isn’t as polished as most. The result here is by no means a showcase transfer for high definition, but it looks good and improves upon the standard release. Some scenes display excellent detail and depth, while others have an intentional harsh texture and by turn, come off as softer. So this is a rather inconsistent visual effort, but that is by design and this transfer presents the material as intended, so no concerns there. In the end, this looks better than the standard release, but because of the film’s visual design, it isn’t the kind of razor sharp, vivid picture some might expect.

Audio: How does it sound?

I was impressed by the audio on the standard release and here, that soundtrack is knocked up a couple of levels. The lossless DTS HD option offers a deeper, more immersive experience, with a touch more power. The tense and action driven scenes put the speakers through the paces and then some, with creative and highly effective presence, which adds to the eerie, offbeat atmosphere. The more reserved scenes also sound terrific, while the musical score is tight & immersive here, a very memorable audio treatment indeed. So all in all, a great soundtrack is made even better, terrific stuff. This disc also includes Spanish and French language tracks, as well as subtitles in English, Spanish, French, Cantonese, and Korean.

Supplements: What are the extras?

All the extras from the standard edition have returned, so we can all sleep well. You can browse three featurettes here, one a general look behind the scenes, the next about the mutants within the film, and the third about the graphic novel. Not in depth stuff, but some decent information to be found, if you’re so inclined. The interview with Wes Craven is sure to draw in some fans, but again, fails to offer much depth. This disc also includes some deleted scenes, an alternate end sequence, an outtakes reel, and the film’s theatrical trailer.

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