The Hide Movie Review
Written by TGM
DVD released by Vicious Circle Films
Directed by Marek Losey
Written by Tim Whitnall
2008, 82 minutes, Not Rated
DVD released on September 27th, 2011
Alex MacQueen as Roy Tunt
Philip Campbell as Dave John
This dialogue driven thriller (a term I use loosely) revolves around a persnickety Brit who seemingly wastes his life away in a dilapidated shack, or hide, on the outskirts of a marsh in order to spy on the various birds of the region. In an attempt to observe that one final elusive bird, the Sociable Plover, necessary to complete his life’s work, he meets a disheveled and agitated knuckle-tattooed hooligan who stumbles upon the shack in order to escape a passing downpour. While it’s immediately obvious that this gruff individual has a shady past, the fussy and peculiar ornithologist extends his usual English graciousness towards the stranger, and for the next 82 minutes this odd-pairing share finger sandwiches, warm tea, and idle chit-chat as they begin to learn more about each other. Ultimately all is not as it seems and there is a twist that, given a cast of two, isn’t very difficult to see coming.
Of course, a movie based on a stage play consisting of only two characters locked in a single confined space for the entirety of the film will live and die on the quality of the performances. Luckily, both actors are up for the task, especially Alex MacQueen playing the prim and proper bird lover Roy Tunt. His performance is so subtle and nuanced, with a delivery that appears wonderfully effortless. You simply can’t help but be transfixed on his pudgy bald head as he tries to justify his unhealthy obsession with bird watching while espousing the virtues of proper etiquette like some sort of flesh colored C3PO. Oh, and for what it’s worth, I’d like to take this opportunity to suggest that if they insist on going forward with that dreadful Hellraiser reboot without Doug Bradley as Pinhead, then MacQueen should get a serious nod as I suspect he would make a more than serviceable replacement.
The Hide is like a dollop of beluga caviar. It’s refined and sophisticated, but most of all it’s an acquired taste. It’s a film I suspect people will either love or hate with a slim margin in between. What side of the fence you sit on will be highly influenced by your exact mood at the precise moment you press the play button. Not being in the right frame of mind for this one, or expecting some sort of gruesome actioner or jolting frightfest, will most certainly elicit strong disdain, or at the very least bored apathy. However, if you find yourself willing and able to invest some time towards a (very) slow-burning, intelligent, well-acted film then The Hide might be worth your time.
Video, Audio and Special Features:
Video, audio and special features will not be graded as this was a screener.