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This scary-hospital horror flick with Sean Clement has a creepy premise, but it never makes good on it....
E1 / 81 Minutes / 2011 / Unrated / Street Date: April 10, 2012
Hidden in the depths of a 17th century monastery-turned-clinic, run by a doctor with shady motivations is an experiment gone horribly wrong - or so most would think. This is the theme of Hidden, a movie that strives to be a horror story with a unique premise. A sociopathic doctor tries to make addictions manifest into physical, tangible material in order to cut them out of her patients, thereby curing them. She does this by taking the venom from a wasp-like creature and injecting it into the brains of her patients, and through a process that is described by the doctor in pseudomedical mumbo jumbo, the addictions become living organisms of their own. I’m willing to suspend my disbelief on this whole procedure since they tried to explain it, and if the rest of the movie is strong on its own.
Despite the attempts at making this movie a unique horror film, Hidden is pretty run-of-the-mill. The characters are all basically one-dimensional. There is the girl who is scared of everything, the young couple who decide to pop illicit drugs like candy while wandering the caverns under the facility, and our protagonist, the hard drinker who is reluctant and brooding about his estranged mother (the doctor) and the clinic as a whole. Oh, and of course, his love interest, who he’ll have to try to save at the end. The other cliché that’s used over and over in this film is the drag-the-character-out-by-the-feet-into-the-darkness-while-they-lie-on-their-bellies-screaming. This was cool and fairly new in [REC] and its American counterpart Quarantine, but now it’s been done to death. And this movie does it about four times. I guess the powers that be decided to stick with an old standby. They should have tried to have been unique in more ways than coming up with the original idea for the movie.
The special effects in this movie are ok, but the winged creatures, which look nothing like the lightning bugs that the characters thought they were, remind me of those SyFy movies with the ancient Scarabs running around menacing the people dumb enough to enter the cursed tomb of the pharaoh. During the first twenty minutes of the movie, I half expected a gigantic, twelve-foot Anubis to jump out of the shadows wearing nothing but an Egyptian loincloth. No such luck. Instead, we get mutant, addict Children of the Corn showing up to kill all of the people who came to check out the now defunct clinic. Unfortunately, the addictions/children aren’t very well thought out either. I wanted to see each child be slightly reminiscent of the addiction that they represented. You know, a chubby food-addict child; a jaundiced alcoholic child, a sallow, sunken heroin child, or a zombie-like prescription pill child shuffling around in a pair of bedroom slippers.(okay - this one is a joke). Instead, their eyes merely turn black and alien-like tentacles that would make Stephen King proud shoot out of their mouths and dance around a little bit. Huh?
The writers even tried a twist at the end of the story that falls flat as well because of the stretch we, as viewers, have to make to believe it as well. There are many, many inconsistencies in the story, but this one makes the least sense. All I can say is: How many addictions can one person have?