Finally rounding out the last of the most recent Afterdark titles is Hidden, coming to us all the way from Norway. If you’re a fan of subtitles, then you’ll be a fan of this flick as the disc is so bare that you don’t even get a second audio option, so you’re reading this one.
Not that it really matters though, as most of the film is without dialog. Which, in both horror and foreign genres, can be a good thing. This beautifully shot import follows KK after he goes rooting around his mother’s house after she passes. Though KK isn’t just your normal Norwegian, nor was his mother the loving type. No, KK had a troubled childhood and is now a fairly messed up adult thanks to his abusive mother. In the midst of his journey, old secrets come to the surface nad people start to go missing, and the mystery unfolds from there. Or tries to.
There are about six deaths in the film, maybe seven, though few of them are shown in any detail.
There is a pretty cool car crash, a corpse gets its finger snapped, a sharp stick goes through an eye, and later another sharp stick impales a man. The eye gag is good, but the film isn’t overly bloody or violent.
A lingering, incestual corpse kiss is about all we get.
When home is hell, don’t go home.
Hidden has one great thing going for it – it looks amazing. The cinematography is spot on and there are some great visuals. There is a dark and spooky atmosphere with creepy interiors. If you were to ignore the plot completely, the film would still be somewhat enjoyable just because of how great it looks.
But, for me, it did work all that well. Hidden starts as a sort of ghost story that does a disservice to the great atmosphere created by peppering with non-stop jump scares over much of the first half of the film. If you’ve established a great feeling, don’t muck it up with cheap gags.
Early on there is also a sort of Shining vibe to the film, with hallucinations and room numbers, and mysterious bartenders. This, in a way, sums up why the film doesn’t work all that well – it’s throwing everything into the pot. You want creepy kids? Got ‘em. You want spooky scenery? Sure. Dillapidated housing? Yup. Loud noises? Of course. Ghostly reflections and hallucinations? Done. Creepy backstory and an open ended conclusion? Duh. When you throw this many things into the pot, you just end up with a crappy stew, not a great meal.
That’s not to say Hidden is entirely crappy, just trying entirely too hard. I was never fully gripped by the story and a few areas had me shaking my head. At one point, a road crew is all up in KK’s business, asking him to open his trunk. Now I don’t know Norwegian law, but I’m pretty sure a construction worker can’t search your vehicle.
I’d say this is a rental for the atmosphere and cinematography or if you’re into foreign horror. For most people though, it’s a skip.