HORROR DVD/BLU-RAY REVIEWS

Search by title # A B C D E F G H I J K L M N O P Q R S T U V W X Y Z
THE HIDDEN FACE (LA CARA OCULTA)
Download Movie
Reviewed by: Ammon Gilbert

Directed by: Andi Baiz

Starring:
Quim Gutierrez
Clara Lago
Martina Garcia

Movie:  
star star star star
Extras:  
star star star star
Overall:  
star star star star
What's it about
To test her boyfriend's loyalty, a jealous girlfriend leaves a Dear John note and hides in a secret "panic room" that only she knows about where she can see his reaction and decide whether he's worth her love or not. But things take an un-expectant turn when said panic room's doors are bolted locked with her inside, and no way to escape or communicate with the outside world.
Is it good movie?
Films featuring a loverís feud are a dime a dozen and, oddly enough, I canít understand why theyíre made in the first place. Why would I want to watch a couple bicker, fight, or otherwise engage in destructive and unpleasant behavior with each other? Not only that, but itís hard to offer something new to the table to this genre. But then a film like THE HIDDEN FACE (LA CARA OCULTA) comes around and proves that it can be done, taking the age-old tale of the loverís quarrel to new heights, albeit one that feels straight out of TALES FROM THE CRYPT.

THE HIDDEN FACE is high in concept and that may be one of its biggest faultsóthe concept is a little too high and thus a little difficult to successfully execute. Not to say that the film is a failure (itís not!), just that it could have been nothing short of amazeballs. The film starts off with a man dealing with a breakup, hooking up with a new chick, and then the chick gets the heebie-jeebies from the house, suspecting that itís actually haunted by ghosts. Then it flashes back to the man and his former girlfriend and reveals that she only broke up with him as a test and is currently hiding in a secret room behind the bedroom mirror that only she knows about. However, sheís locked it and has no way to communicate with the outside, and is forced to sit and watch her boyfriend hook up with some new chick for a few weeks, surviving on decades old canned meat and water.

It sounds like I spoiled the big reveal and in some ways I didóbut no more than the filmís trailer, which gives the reveal away in the first minute. But thatís the thing about it being high conceptóyou canít talk about the flick without giving away the reveal, since that ďbig revealĒ happens about 30 minutes in, with over an hour given to the former girlfriend in the roomís storyline, making it more about her than the chick suspecting the house is haunted. Could they have waited for the reveal? Probably not, but doing so makes it nearly impossible not to know whatís coming unless you go into the flick knowing absolutely nothing about itówhich is practically impossible in this day and age.

Story and entertainment factor aside, THE HIDDEN FACE is a sharp looking movie, looking about as big budget as any other highly polished Hollywood movie out there. The performances by the three main leads are all solid and more or less believable. Much of the film looks like your standard thriller/drama, but thereís some really interesting shots thrown into the mix to spice things up, especially the reveal of the secret panic room. The main dude is a conductor of an orchestra, so thereís plenty of classical music blasting away from scene to scene, which kind of adds to the whole ominous and spooky feel.

Video / Audio
Video: 2.35:1 widescreen presentation where the colors were bright, the darks were dark, and the contrast was at it should be. In other words, it looked pretty damn good.

Audio: It's a Colombian film so it's in Castilian with English subtitles, rockin' a 5.1 Dolby Digital surround sound mix. From the creaking of the locks to the swelling of the orchestra, the sound was booming in all the right places. No complaints here.

The Extras
Beyond a handful of trailers for this and other films, this DVD has zero extras of any kind.
Last Call
THE HIDDEN FACE supports a high concept thatís more or less executed well, delivering a solid mystery/thriller that throws a punch at jealousy and love quarrels, and supports a TALES FROM THE CRYPT style payoff. And while the big reveal happens a little too early, itís the story after the reveal thatís more interesting, so all is forgiven. If youíre looking for something original, then THE HIDDEN FACE is definitely worth a watch.
ARROW IN THE HEAD'S RATING SYSTEM
star star star star I'D BUTCHER MY FAMILY TO SEE THIS AGAIN
star star star HANG ME BUT I DUG IT A LOT
star star AN OK WAY TO KILL TWO HOURS
star JUST SLING AN ARROW IN MY HEAD AND LET ME DIE IN PEACE

Featured Youtube Videos

Views and Counting

Mistress Of The Week

More
Dunst, Kirsten