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)”

This. Is. DEADLY!

Two posts in one day! GASP!

Not a review, but I saw this and fell into mad, sweaty love with it and HAD To share!

Music Video for the Chemical Brothers “Sometimes I Feel So Deserted,” off their new album Born In the Echoes.

Why I LOVE It:

Two zombies missing parts come together to form a whole – but the remaining whole is female. And STRONGER than before!

That last scene where she’s running at the truck – MAGIC.

In other news Mad Max: Fury Road is out on dvd/blu ray on Tues. This video has me all excited for it all over again!

A Night at the Thee-Ah-Tah – Mad Max 2: The Road Warrior At the Enzian

In Which The Author Leaves The House in the Company of Friends, Good Food, and Post-Apocalyptic Cannibal Cults.

[The Enzian did not pay me to write this entry, I just love going there and have for years, and wanted to spread the word!]

Last night I scurried forth from my bolthole for a special occasion: Orlando’s own local independent theater The Enzian was showing Mad Max 2: The Road Warrior. Rejoice!

Exterior 5

The Enzian’s been around since 1985. I saw my first film there in 1997, Ma Vie En Rose, so right away you can see it has quite a variety. It’s the kind of place for people who just flat out love movies and good stories, like the Alamo Drafthouse. During the Florida FiIm Festival (yes, Florida has a film festival and it’s not just police dash cam vids of drunk people falling down or setting things on fire) the Enzian becomes a nerve center of activities: they show a lot of films there, and they have discussions with filmmakers and actors. Gabriel Byrne and Helen Mirren have attended, and I believe my former Creative Writing teacher Pat Rushin did an appearance as well.

Eden bar

The Enzian has a sweet bar outside with all kinds of drinks from domestic beers to cocktails containing absinthe, flavored whiskey, and moonshine. Inside, they offer a full menu of oodles of goodies, like sandwiches, tomato cream soup, and/or truffle parmesan fries. They also do free movies on the lawn sometimes, or other film events around town. The bar/patio is shaded by gigantic live oaks and has a fountain, so it’s a nice place to unwind.

Films I’ve seen at the Enzian:

  • Ma Vie En Rose
  • The Dinner Game (French)
  • Hedwig and the Angry Inch
  • What We Do In The Shadows
  • So I Married an Axe Murderer
  • Aliens (on birthday last year- they do horror movies in October!)
  • Pumpkinhead
  • The Host (Korean horror/sci-fi, not the Twilight thing)
  • A Very Long Engagement
  • Let the Right One In (Swedish)
  • Micmacs
  • Treasure of the Sierra Madre
  • Babe: Pig in the City (I have no shame about crying in front of people during this movie)
  • Mirrormask
  • Gone With the Wind
  • Sympathy for Lady Vengeance
  • Oldboy (original)
  • Big Trouble in Little China
  • Primer (the science fiction one)
  • Film festival shorts
  • The Troll Hunter

And so many more! I can’t list them all!

As mentioned above, the Enzian does horror movies during the month of October – I’m already planning to see Shaun of the Dead and probably Beetlejuice, too.

I met up with a bunch of friends who are movie nerds like myself and we had a damn good time. I thought I saw Road Warrior like 20 years ago but apparently I was thinking of the first Mad Max, when he’s a cop. Ah well!

In lieu of a real review, here are my thoughts:

  • More in line with Fury Road than Thunderdome, although I still love all three
  • More feminist than I would have guessed (the female warrior was badass; there was also a chick who had the option to escape and did the honorable thing by staying with her people; women sat on the council and took up arms)
  • The Feral Kid was the best
  • Lord Humungus’s thighs needed their own credit. That dude was walking beef.
  • One complaint – I couldn’t get over the assless chaps the raiders wore. Hell, just wearing shorts in Central Florida summer can get you burned on a cloth carseat, so Australian post-apocalyptic desert-wear should offer more protection from leather motorcycle saddles baked by the sun. Just a thought. Also I imagined the actor playing Wez was having fun as he flashed his cheeks at the camera with joyful abandon. It was a full moon at noon over the Aussie desert, y’all
  • Jedidiah The Gyro Copter Pilot was also the best

SO! If you find yourself in Orlando, consider taking a day off from a theme park and hitting the Enzian for some REAL Central Florida flavor. I like roller coasters as much as the next person, but sometimes need a break from the sweaty throngs.

[EDIT: It only hit me this morning, the delicious irony of going to a high art movie theater to watch nitro-cannibals ride around on flaming motorcycles in assless chaps. But whatev-  they wouldn’t show it if they didn’t love movies!]