El Rey de la montaña (King of the Hill) (2007)
Critic Reviews for El Rey de la montaña (King of the Hill)
As a work of hard-driving tension, this is satisfyingly terse, methodical and relentless.
allows a compelling moral message to emerge from its amoral woodland playgrounds.
A political thriller in the sense that it's bound to polarize audiences...
The revelation of the shooter's identity, however, is a bit of a yawn, especially if you have seen the 2006 French film Them or last year's British horror movie Eden Lake.
It starts off well enough as Deliverance and Duel but becomes very conventional when, two-thirds of the way through, the snipers are revealed and it turns into what might be called Haneke-panky.
Audience Reviews for El Rey de la montaña (King of the Hill)
A traveller who gets lost in the isolated Spanish countryside finds himself stalked by unknown armed assailants intent on murder. This extremely taut and economical Spanish indie thriller has a no-nonsense approach that I actually found quite refreshing. No soapy sub plots or irrelevant embellishment, just a tense cat and mouse game between hunters and prey. Obviously owing a debt to the likes of Duel and Deliverance, the story is a simple tale of survival in the face of adversity and some very effective direction and solid performances make for an intriguing and suspenseful experience. Unfortunately the one gaping flaw is the revelation of who the hunters are and why, which is a shame because I felt it wasn't really necessary. If the motive behind the killings were left unknown, as in The Hitcher or Duel, it would've been far more effective as the explanation is rather weak and glib. It's a real shame because the execution is very strong, but if you can live with the half baked plot twist it's actually very well done.
"The King of the Hill" is kind of a simplistic hunter/prey film, a spanish "Deliverance" of sorts. Two travelers get lost on a remote mountain-side road as a group of men hunt them down. It's not a particularly fresh concept, and certain aspects of the film reminded a little too much of the Dnepropetrovsk maniacs, a pair of Ukrainian thrill killers from just a few years ago (two young men who snapped photos of their victims on their cell phones). I guess it's not really a spoiler to tell you that the killers are men, or that they're young, which is of less consequence than the filmmakers seem to want you to believe. As far as these types of films go, "El rey de la montana" is done adequately, although I can't give much reason to recommend it other than need to pass some time. It is indeed a passable film.
Tense, atmospheric thriller from Spain about two strangers travelling through remote mountainous countryside who are stalked by a pack of sniper-rifle wielding hunters. We're seeing a lot of these backwoods hillbilly killer thrillers nowadays with every country seemingly adding to the genre. This Spanish effort may not be the best or goriest of them but it's well made and acted and reveals a shocking little suprise once the identity and motive of the hunters is revealed. Overall though there's nothing ground breaking going on here but it's a pretty decent effort.
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