The Family That Slays Together Week – Hidden (2015)

Welcome to Horror Movie Month here at Late to the Theater! Once a year we focus on one of our absolute favorite things, horror movies! For the entire month of October we’ll review at least two movies a week, some old, some new, and usually fitting into a weekly theme. So pop the corn, pour yourself a glass of whatever, and come along for the ride! I’ll do my best to avoid spoilers!

Hola, and welcome to The Family That Slays Together Week here at Late to the Theater, a week dedicated to – you guessed it– families in peril! We’re looking at movies that imperil those most complex of situations, the family, in apocalypses both zombie and not. So sit back, relax, and stop touching your brother/sister/cousin/dog/whatever or so help me I will turn this car RIGHT AROUND.

As always, There Will Be Spoilers below the cut.

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Hidden, 2015

As mentioned in Monday’s entry Cargo, there’s such a glut of post-apocalyptic media in the world that it takes something extra special to grab one’s attention. While scrolling through Amazon’s horror offerings one night, three things about Hidden (2015) leapt out:

  • Written and directed by the Duffer Brothers, well known these days for blockbuster hit Stranger Things
  • A Skarsgard – Alexander! My favorite Skarsgard — until I remember Bill is also my favorite
  • Family survival

Ray (Skarsgard), Claire (Andrea Riseborough), and Zoe (Emily Alyn Lind) are a family fortunate enough to have happened upon a bomb shelter. Their routine is rigid: sleep is important, canned food is rationed to make it last as long as possible, Ray keeps watch at times, and Claire gives Zoe educational lessons. Meaningful rituals relieve the boredom and mark the days, such as making the daily hashtag on the wall (301 so far) and taking ‘trips’ where Ray narrates imaginary outings to Zoe.  Ray insists the family wear shoes at all times.

And always, always, they listen for signs of Breathers – gasping, throat-rattling creatures who prowl the surface in search of prey.

Fans of the Duffers’ Stranger Things will encounter notes common to both: an intelligent female child who has hidden strengths; suburban landscapes burned and blasted into unfamiliar and menacing shapes, a la Silent Hill; the military as an amorphous, untrustworthy entity. Ray even presents a warm and caring father figure a bit similar to Hopper. In a refreshing change from Stranger Things, there’s Claire, a strong and uncompromising maternal figure.

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A complaint – when rocks fall on your car, do not walk TOWARD the danger.

There’s a lot to like in Hidden –  a tightly written story, balanced and well-acted characters, decent production value, and effective use of  tension as well as a few well-placed jump scares. Skarsgard as a dad is a joy to watch (keep an eye out for his silly English matron accent). In Lind’s performance, the Duffers show again they have a great eye for spotting and working with talented kids. The actors look suitably disheveled and filthy, as they have gone almost a year without a bath. Riseborough’s hair in the bunker scenes looks like it washed up on a beach, and the light does her lovely face no favors, either.

See it if you’re patient with slow-burn thriller/horror, but not if you’re looking for lots of loud scares and pithy dialogue. This is horror aimed at a more mature, discerning audience and won’t appeal to everyone.

Continue reading “The Family That Slays Together Week – Hidden (2015)”

Actual News Footage from January 2017

Sources have provided me with actual footage from the Trump inauguration ceremony.

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We should have made the “orange” connection, if nothing else

Sorry. I shouldn’t have gone for the low-hanging comedy fruit but… sigh.

Ah well. Time to sack up and continue my lifelong project of leaving the world in better shape than I found it in, no matter how much of a shitshow the next four years turns out to be. Volunteering, donating stuff, time, and money, and being productive with personal and creative projects ought to help me forget about the impending apocalypse.

Maybe I’ll cheer myself up by donating blood today. I’m sure when the rioting starts there will be a lot of injuries and hence a call for it.

UPDATE: Here is an inspiring link to an article my friend wrote – in these situations, rather than give up hope, you should feel the opposite. You should feel determined to fix as much broken shit as you can. In those little fixes, big repairs happen.

Just like when I had cancer, it’s time to do research. It’s time to gather information and realize that every situation can be met with the right tools. It’s time, in short, to get organized, plan for what’s next, and lay groundwork for the rebellion.

Who’s with me?

Love,
Acha (just call me Mon Mothma for the next four years)

Read it if you’re feeling shitty. Then, when you’re done feeling shitty bit don’t know what to do with yourself, find something positive to do that will fix something, anything. Fix that broken toilet seat, sew that button back on, wash those dishes! Then, find something else. Keep going! Be useful, to yourself and others! Be the kind of American you think doesn’t exist!

It’s in your hands!