19th May2017

‘Hide and Seek’ DVD Review

by Phil Wheat

Stars: Rachel DiPillo, Kirby Bliss Blanton, Samuel Larsen, James Landry Hébert, Sandy Valles, Alex Shaffer, Michael Filipowich, Joey Abril, Juliana A. Morgan | Written by Darrell Wheat, Kyle Arrington | Directed by Darrell Wheat

hide-and-seek-dvd

Originally titled Recovery (which makes sense given that a key plot point in the film involves recovering a phone), Hide and Seek is one of those movies that made a splash online when first announced and then seemigly died a death – sneaking out onto DVD and VOD this week without any fanfare. Which, given how mundane this film is, may be the best possible outcome for the movie… For without the negativity of reviews, Darrell Wheat’s modern-day slasher movie may just find an audience.

Hide and Seek opens on a creepy family who, it turns out, have a girl trapped in a trunk in the basement! From what I can gather in the all-too-brief intro, is that the father of the family likes to kidnap women. His “wife” is chained to the kitchen sink and the girl in the basement is a gift to his son… Only things don’t go as planned and the girl escapes the trunk, smashes the face of the son in with a razor blade-laced baseball bat, and is swiftly offed by daddy.

But that’s only our introduction to this films evil antagonists… The rest of the film follows Jessie (Blanton) who, at a random party, is stopped from attacking her cheater of a boyfriend by Kim (DiPillo). The pair instantly bond over shitty boyfriends and spend the rest of the evening getting up to all sorts of fun together, along with Jessie’s brother and a pal. However Kim, mid fun, disappears – along with Jessie’s phone. And… in the films only original idea… Jessie decides to use her phone’s GPS tracking app (think “Find My iPhone”) to track down Kim. And, more importantly in this self-centred tale, her phone.

Guess where they end up? Go on. I bet you’re right first time.

Yes, Jessie tracks her phone to a creepy, filfth-filled house which is home to the family seen in the films opening. Oh, and guess what else? The family are still there and have the house rigged for visitors to stay a while. Well, more like stay forever!

The rest of Hide and Seek follows the familiar slasher/killer family formula we’ve seen a million times before. And that’s the big issue with writer/director Darrell Wheat’s film – its all too familiar: retreading plot points, rehashing cliches, and reworking stereotypes like its the 1980s slasher-movie death knell era all over again (think blood-less potboilers like Final Exam and 1981′s Scream). Which is a shame, as Hide and Seek is actually a well-made, well produced film (unlike some of the DTV dross thrown on supermarket shelves these days). Director Wheat knows how to put a film together on a budget; its just a shame that writer Wheat wouldn’t know originality if it hit him round the face with a wet fish.

Though to be fair, whilst the overall story is a cliched filled tale, it has some interesting, well-written characters (who, it turns out, aren’t as dumb as the cliches would have you believe) and – surprise, surprise – a twist in the tale that ultimately redeems the other three-quarters of the film! Making Hide and Seek an interesting proposition for horror fans: can you sit through and hour of “been there, done that” slow-burning story, for a final twenty-minute payoff? Told you this was like watching an 80s slasher all over again…

Hide and Seek is out now on DVD from Kaleidoscope Home Entertainment.

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