Film Reviews:


(Brett Leonard, US, 1995)

[Hideaway]With a package containing the director of the hit SF VR fantasy The Lawnmower Man, a story based upon a novel by best selling horror author Dean R Koontz and a cast featuring two of Hollywood's most likeable (and demographic straddling) actors - Jeff Goldblum and Alicia Silverstone, Columbia Tristar must have thought they had a potential box office blockbuster on their hands. Oh how wrong you can be. Did you go and see this in a cinema? Very unlikely if you live in the UK since it received next to no theatrical release over here; and, frankly, it's easy to see why.

Hideaway is not a bad film just a very mundane one. Family man Goldblum only just survives a near fatal car smash after being brought back to life by cutting edge medical techniques. He's warned that his body may take sometime to adjust to the treatment. He begins to experience what he believes are hallucinations. However, he quickly realises that he is sharing a telepathic link with another near death survivor who also happens to be a serial killer. What's more he keeps witnessing the maniac's slaughtering through the killer's eyes.

It's the kind of idea that works well enough on paper, as a novel, but on the screen just looks a bit daft. This is little more than an attempt at a trendy update of The Eyes of Laura Mars for the teen generation. In its favour is an unexpected industrial/crossover soundtrack featuring the likes of Front Line Assembly, Godflesh, Miranda Sex Garden and others and my pal Jason Young also gets a look in as Parallax. The impressive CGI opening where the killer kills himself to the strains of KMFDM is an attention grabber, but (bar the soundtrack) it's all too predictable from there.

Far better than the material are the well-cast actors. The performances from the leads and Christine Lahti as Goldblum's wife and Silverstone's mother are all fine. Director Leonard is, as always, more interested in the visual aspects of the script, but to his credit there is a decidedly off-kilter and dark look to the entire production (probably part of the reason it bombed in the States). Unfortunately, the presentation is at the expense of the characters and screenplay as Leonard spends too much time wallowing in the fantasy sequences and not enough on fleshing out the drama or applying any sense of logic to the plot. Okay for a dull evening, but if you like industrial music the soundtrack CD makes for a good, varied genre compilation. 6/10

Rob Dyer (December 2001)

See also:

The Eye
The Eyes of Laura Mars
The Dead Zone
In Dreams

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