THE PLOT THUS FAR
Terror hits new heights in this “brilliant, vicious little piece of work” (twitchfilm.net) set in a remote mountain wilderness. After a man traveling alone has a steamy encounter with a beautiful stranger, the pair join up and take a detour through the hills. But they are suddenly forced to abandon their cars when an unseen sniper puts them in his crossfire. Without understanding why they are being targeted, the strangers must survive their ruthless pursuers and their harsh surroundings. King of the Hill is a frighteningly realistic thriller that “builds steadily towards a crackerjack finale” (Neil Young, The Hollywood Reporter).
WHAT WE THOUGHT
Criminal youths certainly seem to be the bogeymen of the moment and King of the Hill also focused on murderous children. The first part was reminiscent of Duel, as protagonist Quim, derailed from his journey by a chance encounter with pretty kleptomaniac Bea, became the target of an invisible gunman while driving down an isolated mountain road. Soon Quim was re-united with Bea and they were forced to try and trust each other to escape from their hunters. Although the film had many familiar elements there were enough unpredictable twists to keep the audience interested. The hunt was finally revealed to be a cruel childrens game and the minimal motivations and characterisation gave the film a certain existential edge. The chilling dénouement in an abandoned village was all the more unnerving for the beautiful light that bathed it.
viewer forward, embracing what might be termed the horror of losing control. Here: the everyman protagonist is essentially trapped in a world where the usual rules of civilized conduct have eroded completely, for no apparent reason. A realistically arduous nightmare ensues, and director Lopez-Gallego captures the intensity of the situation and milks the premises natural suspense in jittery close up.
The DVD is a decent special edition. What kills me is how all of the foreign releases through Dimension seem so cookie-cutter in packaging. I know that this film played the festival circuit rather heavily, so there should be some extra footage from that circuit. Hell, I’d just like a documentary about the making of the film. Oh well, it works for a rental. So, don’t forget to check it out.