It has to be said that Antoine Thomas’ Hidden (2011) is unquestionably one of the worst films I have seen in a very long time, let alone 2011. A more preposterous combination of plot, performances and directorial incompetence I struggle to recall, as Hidden manages to fail on just about every count in its attempts to justify its horror/sci-fi(ish) tag.
Based around protagonist Brian Karter (Sean Clement), Hidden follows Karter and a group of impossibly annoying friends as they endeavour to investigate a sinister medical facility, bequeathed to Karter on his mother’s death bed. Having been estranged from his mother due to the mysterious and controversial nature of the work she conducted at the facility – ominously named ‘The Divine Sanctuary of Hope’ – Karter harbours no desire to cash in on the property, with the intention of burning it to the ground.
However, following some heavy persuasion from a couple of friends to take consider the financial opportunities on offer to redevelop the property, he and his chums go to take a look around. Somewhat predictably, the visit quickly descends into a pit of heavy-handed clichés, with ‘creepy’ children running amok, alongside swarms of unconvincing CGI insects pestering the gang.
What follows is quite simply one of the most unintentionally comical pay-offs ever committed to film. While I wouldn’t usually provide any major plot spoilers, I believe that in the case of Hidden it is absolutely essential in order to convey the cavernous depths of absurdity on display. It soon transpires that Karter’s mother was using the location to experiment on patients suffering with extreme addiction.
In order to cure them, she has been injecting them with the DNA of a non-descript species of insect, which subsequently enables the host to immaculately conceive and give birth to a mutant child, which, in case you hadn’t guessed, is the physical manifestation of the addiction, therefore ridding the host of their psychological ailment. Incredible.
Aside from the laughable plot, Hidden also boasts some of the worst acting talent currently working in the business, which should come as no surprise, given the levels of self-hatred required to accept a role in this towering abomination. In summary, if you make a conscious decision to put yourself through the soul-grindingly painful experience that is Hidden, you only have yourself to blame.