King of the Hill (El Rey de la Montaña) (SP) (V)

One extreme thriller playing at this year’s TIFF that everyone keeps on talking about is Gonzalo López-Gallego‘s EL REY DE LA MONTANA (aka King of the Hill), which the Weinstein’s loved so much they acquired.

In the film Quim (Leonardo Sbaraglia) drives around an isolated rural area through a maze of lanes. When he drives into the woods, he gets lost. Trying to find his direction, he suddenly gets shot from the hill. On his escape from gunshots, he meets Bea (María Valverde), an attractive young woman, who apparently is lost as well. Suspicious of each other, they join forces to run away through the forest, unprotected, cold, hunted…

Either the screenplay was poorly written or the direction was fumbled as most of the set ups have no payoff leaving the viewer bored and restless throughout. Co-written by Javier Gullón and director Gonzalo López-Gallego, it appeared that the film was lining up plenty of twists, turns and reveals as they made everyone a suspect. In the end none of them are involved in the shootings, so I ask you this, WHAT THE F-CK? There’s nothing more annoying than feeling jipped like that. Furthermore, the duo write in a “shocker” (at least that’s what they’d like to call it) an hour into the film where you find out that the killers are actually just a trio of kids playing a game by hunting humans. So why all the little teases for an hour? Just to keep us entertained?

I was bored, restless, sleepy and dying for the film to get to the goddamn point for nearly the entire second act. Thank god Leonardo Sbaraglia and María Valverde treated me to some phenomenal acting, otherwise I probably would have walked out. Director Gonzalo López-Gallego is also quite talented and brought some interesting shots to the table that made this low-budget thriller feel of a much larger scale.

In the end you’ll find a film that showcases many talents other than writing – and we all know that a good film begins from a good script. Keep your eyes on López-Gallego, I wouldn’t be surprised if he becomes a new Weinstein cub and directs something cool in the next few years, let’s just hope they let someone else write the script. KING OF THE HILL is best watched in your home, on your coach with a Red Bull in hand. It’s a simple no-brainer that tries to be something exquisite and unique, so turn your expectations off and enjoy?

Official Score