The Sideling Hill - Hardgore Core Productions
Written by Chris Mayo   
Saturday, 09 March 2019


The Sideling Hill review of Severed Cinema

Directed by: Nathan Hine
Written by: Nathan Hine
Produced by: Nathan Hine, Mike Knapp, Darren Ricci
Cinematography: Matty Calhoun
Edited by: Nathan Hine
Special Effects by: Nathan Hine, Jake Frye, Mary Snell, Darren Ricci, Matty Calhoun, Jeremy Clark, Melissa Sapienza, Bob Vresilovic
Music by: Scott Appleby, Misery, Will England
Cast: Nathan Hine, Tiffany Laskey, Carreen Cunningham, Mike Knapp, Bob Vresilovic, Delyla Berlin, Katie Kunkel
Year: 2017
Color: Color
Language: English
Country: USA
Runtime: 1h 58min

Studio: Hardgore Core Productions, Underground Gorellectors Films, Dead Format Films

The Sideling Hill is a love letter to underground splatter gore cinema. Masterminded by Nathan Hine, a.k.a. Harry Collins, the curator of the Hardgore Core Facebook group -- your one-stop-shop for all things splatter – he has taken his passion for grue to a new level, branching off into the realm of filmmaking. His previous effort was the short film The Last Days of Livermore (previously reviewed on Severed Cinema here), but this time around his sophomore debut is this feature length film shot on location in Breezewood, Pennsylvania.

The film follows our hero Adam, played by Hine, an ex-military soldier, currently battling post-traumatic stress disorder since his days in Iraq. The film begins with a nightmare sequence wherein Adam is confronted by a soldier with a gaping hole in the back of his head. The soldier slices into Adam’s head. As the blood flows, he wakes suddenly, visibly shaken. Now in his home, which is adorned in horror movie paraphernalia, we see that he had a fun night – there are party leftovers on the table and we meet a topless young lady. Adam becomes agitated. The two argue, and she leaves. Adam then picks up a razor blade, and fantasizes about digging it into his arm (down the road not across the street). Our hero has issues. Lucky for him, his pal Harry (Mike Knapp), and daughter Allie (Tiffany Laskey) arrive at his door to get him out of the house – take him on a little excursion.

They pack up and board Harry’s Honda Odyssey and make their way on their journey – to the abandoned Sidling Hill turnpike tunnel. Along the way Harry explains the lore of the tunnel. Legend has it that the Native Americans who inhabited the area in the 1800s didn’t want the government to interfere with the land by building a railway through the area. “If you disturb the mountain it will be cursed forever.” Harry explains to Adam, of what the Natives proclaimed. It turns out that some people were killed during the construction of the tunnel which was eventually finished in the 1930s but later abandoned in the 1960s. It has been that way ever since.

Proceeding forward they have a finicky GPS, so they stop to ask a bunch of redneck yokels (who look like Troma extras) for directions. Hostility ensues when one of the yokels pulls a knife, but Adam comes prepared, pulling a gun on the group of miscreants. The yokels claim that if they enter the tunnel they won’t make it out and will go crazy. Ignoring the warnings, the group moves forward with their journey.

Once they arrive at their destination, Adam continues having visions again – first, the soldier in his nightmare appears overlooking the tunnel, a bunch of body parts appear, and blood starts flowing from the ceiling, foreshadowing what is about to come from The Sideling Hill.

Being a low-budget movie there are some blunders, typical of such an endeavour, including a few sound issues here and there and lacklustre acting from some of the supporting roles. All of which, as stated, is typical fare in low-budget cinema, but in this case, they can easily be overlooked because the film delivers in all other areas.

There are some excellent shots throughout the film. Nathan Hine also steals the show as Adam, putting his all into the role. He kills it! He expertly captures a soldier’s mental breakdown, trying unsuccessfully to come to grips with what he witnessed in Iraq and what he was forced to do. Written and directed by Hine, he puts as much energy into the storyline as he does the splatter, which kicks his film up a notch from just gore with no substance. Mind you, there is plenty of the wet stuff to enjoy, including disembowelment, eye mutilation, decapitation, throat slashing, body stabbing, headshots, and many more actions causing blood gushers. Hine being a fan of German splatter, really shines through! Accolades must also go to the folks behind the expert musical score in The Sidling Hill, Scott Appleby, Misery, and Will England. The soundtrack truly is awesome.

If you’re looking for a cool storyline to accompany your splatter, then venture into The Sideling Hill.




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Last Updated ( Saturday, 09 March 2019 )