The Duffer Brothers, USA, 2015, 84 min.
Before: The only thing I know about this is that it is a recent horror film that got some good press. And it’s about people trapped in a place, which I love. I’m not expecting much, though.
After: Hidden is a high-concept horror film about a family in a fallout shelter hiding away from a mysterious danger on the surface.
I won’t give anything away because the script holds back information in order to keep the audience in the dark about what is going on. That part of the film works well. The cast is game and does their best to carry a sparse script.
Alexander Skarsgård and Andrea Riseborough play the parents of a young girl (Emily Alyn Lind) who are doing their best to keep her safe from the “Breathers” that are roaming around the surface. Their fallout shelter has everything they would need, but tensions are high and their supplies won’t last forever.
The Duffer brothers make the most of their small budget and single location to keep the tension high and the audience engaged. There are some good sequences early on that highlight the atmosphere of dread.
The film goes off the rails when information starts being revealed, and the film takes a stylistic turn. The concept was good but the execution was poor. The direction didn’t hold up enough to keep my mind off of the problems.
The big reveal doesn’t make as much sense as it should have and events seem to happen only for dramatic flair and not as logical story progressions. The very end is a particularly blatant example of this. None of the last few scenes feel earned.
The number of those ending scenes was a huge problem as well. After each scene I expected the credits to roll but the film kept going. And each subsequent scene was an additional leap of logic that I was not prepared to make.