***DISCLAIMER*** The following review is entirely my opinion. If you comment (which I encourage you to do) be respectful. If you don't agree with my opinion, that's fine. To each their own. I am just sharing my opinions and perspective. Finally, the reviews are given on a scale of 1-5. 1, of course, being terrible. 2, being not great. 3, being okay. 4, being good and 5, being epic!
Hidden - 3 out of 5
After Dark Films is a distribution company that takes indie, foreign or completely unknown horror films and shows them to a larger audience thanks to their film-festival creatively titled The After Dark Horrorfest. The films are always sold as "too scary" to be released nationwide and in theaters but, the reality is, they are just that bad that they can't even scare the easiest people to scare...people who actually pay money to see a Paranormal Activity film. I've watched a lot of After Dark films and have found myself either laughing my ass off at how horrible they are (I really recommend Nightmare Man, that one is freaking hilarious--although that wasn't the director's intention) and most are just difficult to sit through because they are a complete mess (like Mulberry Street or The Gravedancers). However, there was a diamond in the rough in the form of Lake Mungo but, for the most part, these films are just awful and hard to sit through.
So, going into Hidden, a Norwegian film picked up by After Dark to be apart of their 2010 run, the question must be asked: Will this be the usual crap After Dark churns out and sells as "scary" or will it be a rare gem and actually be scary?
|"High Five? Come on, don't leave me hangin'."|
The answer is a little of both.
The film is about a man who returns to his home town and inherits his evil mother's home after she passes away. After escaping her nefarious ways of raising a child, our film's protagonist Kai starts to have some horrible memories start to surface and excrement is on the verge of hitting the fan as a young couple disappear near the home he just inherited. It goes without saying, it's believed he killed them.
|She looks like an angel...a horrible skeleton angel.|
|Man, the leading man has great hair...|
Being a horror film, there's obvious more to the story but I'm not about to give any plot details away--in fact, that brings me to my first point about how this movie succeeds...the story is intriguing and compelling as the mystery unfolds. However, the biggest detractor to the film is the fact it is, plain and simply, not scary. While the film resorted to an occasion cheap scare through the aid of the horror film cliche of slow walks toward noise that ends in something jumping out of the shadows it never achieves an overall unsettling feeling. The set pieces, the characters and the atmosphere are all ripe for a perfect creepy, uneasy feeling but the film keeps trying to reach the peak but never hits the summit.
|He even pulls off the wet look quite well with those locks.|
The story is interesting and keeps you glued to the action as you try to figure out what is going on but the film's lack of creating a adequate menacing feel and deliver any palpable tension and terror hurts--but not in a big way as you can see from my score. Despite the fact it never actually scared me, the fact that I didn't laugh at all and the fact it was well made already makes it better than most After Dark films and nearly EVERY Hollywood produced horror film made after the 70s.