Directed by Jamison Brandi
Just as Scream referenced other slasher movies, Hide doesn’t even try to hide how much it owes its existence to Scream. The killer makes Scream-type phone calls and speaks in a voice that sounds so much like Ghostface the script even readily acknowledges it.
Remember the now classic pre-title sequence from the original Scream? Now imagine if that brief opening scene of a young woman being terrorized by a maniacal phone caller was stretched out to, oh, 80 minutes!
You’ve heard of Chinese water torture, no doubt? Hide is like Chinese Scream torture. This movie is just three girls and a guy in different homes engaging in conversations with a killer that go on for so long it became so positively maddening I wanted to scream.
The first 20+ minutes are comprised solely of the killer calling one girl; she’ll hang up and call a friend, asking if it’s one of them making a crank call; the killer will call back again; and then the girl will hang up and either call her friends back or call the cops or answer another call from the killer. Sometimes the potential victim will slowly walk around the house and peep out windows to make sure no one is outside while she’s on the phone. After the first 20 minutes of this killer repeatedly playing phone tag with just this one teenage girl, I wanted scream back at the television, “Get to the fucking point already!”
If there’s one thing this killer is not good at, it’s getting to the point. I mean, even when the killer tells her he wants to play a game or that he intends to kill her, he continues to run on at the mouth, and his intended victim just keeps casually prattling on with this creepy voiced guy long after he’s let it be known his intentions are to do grievous bodily harm.
At least the one male character that gets called has the sense to cut off the killer’s conversation and start yelling “fuck you” over and over.
I really should have kept track of the number of times someone getting called, believing this to be a friend pranking them, asks if the person on the other end is either Vincent or Scooter. Even after being told this is not one of their friends crank calling, these idiots won’t take the hint and continue asking to the point the killer finally flies into a rage and yells back, “This isn’t fucking Scooter!” I laughed, and I’m not even sure it was meant to be a funny moment.
The movie is called Hide, and the description on the back of the box makes it sound like the concept is a slasher movie about a psycho wanting to play a deadly game of hide & seek; yet, hiding & seeking constitutes only a tiny portion of a movie that is primarily an endless series of filibustering phone conversations that will quickly begin to test your patience. Truly one of the most overwritten movies I’ve seen in a long time.
Scream may have been the primary influence, but the film owes more to When a Stranger Calls. It should have been titled When a Stranger Won’t Stop Calling. An even better title: Stop Answering the Phone, You Morons.
Before, during, and after these phone conversations, we’re treated to some of the worst cinematography since the scene in The Blair Witch Project where they go running out of the tent into the night, and that was by design. I’m not even sure what they were shooting for here. Grainy, green-tinted night vision, mostly murky to the point of being indecipherable outside of the occasional shot of what looks like a bush or a window outside or a wall or some furniture indoors. I think some of this was supposed to be the killer’s P.O.V. Some of this footage is tagged with a “Breaking News” graphic in the corner of the screen so maybe it was a news cameraman following the trail of the killer. Not sure. Don’t care. I was already so bored I was straining to pay attention to what anyone on the screen was saying; now I get to strain just to decipher what I’m actually seeing on the screen.
As a nice giant cherry on top of a fecal matter sundae, when the killer finally does strike, we don’t get to see any of it. All of the kills take place off camera. The whole movie does nothing but set up kills we don’t get to see.
Let me see if I can end this on a positive note. The actors were clearly more competent than the filmmakers. That’s the best compliment I can pay Hide.
My best recommendation to you: Don’t seek.
1/2 out of 5