June 28, 2011

Hidden (2009)

(AKA Skjult)

"Painful memories arise when Kai Koss goes back to his childhood home after 19 years and inherits his dead mother's house."

It has honestly taken me three days (in instalments) to get through "Hidden" because, as much as I wanted to give up on it entirely, I just wouldn't be doing my job if I didn't suffer through slow, boring, nonsensical films like this occasionally.

I should have realised it was going to be crap when I saw that it was one of the "After Dark Horrorfest" movies. Since the first collection, I've done my best to avoid them but, unfortunately, I rented this through Netflix and had no idea what it even was until it arrived.

Basically, I thought it was going to be a ghost story at first but it turned out to be a difficult to follow psychological thriller with a little bit of mystery thrown in. It had a couple of gory kills and a creepy atmosphere but, ultimately, it was all trying to be too clever and was very confusing.

For those of you who want all the spoilers, it's like this. Kai Koss, played by Kristoffer Joner (who seems to be pretty famous in Norway), saw his parents get killed in a car crash when he was a boy and was abducted by a mad old woman to replace her own son who escaped from her after years of abuse. Kai is really Peter but he doesn't realise it until after the death of the old woman who he thought was his mother. As his mind starts to put two and two together, he goes on a killing spree for no apparent reason whatsoever.

Of course, you are supposed to believe that the real "Peter" is still alive all the way through and was tortured by the mother until he escaped after her death, but, no matter how arty, boring and confused the writer/director, Pål Øie, tried to make the story, it's all fairly predictable.

A lot of things in "Hidden" make no sense in a "Twin Peaks" kind of way while others are just gaping plot holes with no explanation possible. The acting is good but the characters aren't very interesting so it's a moot point. None of the performances are memorable and the whole film is a complete waste of time.

Some people might like the occasional scenes of fjords and forests or marvel at how sparse the population appears to be in this version of Norway. I've never been to Norway so I honestly have no idea if it really is isolated like that or if it's just more contrived weirdness but I really didn't like it.

The best part of "Hidden" is the song, "Out of the Cage", during the final credits. Karin Park also plays the part of the Swedish hotel receptionist but I have no idea if her character is supposed to really exist or if, as a famous popstar, she's just another figment of Kai's imagination.

You can guess where this awful movie is going, can't you? Yes, it's another one for The Dungeon and I wish I hadn't bothered spending so much time on it in the first place. I'm very glad that didn't buy "Hidden" and have no intention of ever watching it or anything else by this director ever again. I rate this film as "extremely disappointing".

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