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The Movie: Hideaway (1995)
I’ve read two novels by Dean Koontz, Watchers and Ticktock. The former was pretty fun – the movie version was a tad disappointing but fine – and the latter was so wacky that I figured it was out of character for the author. I mention this because I don’t know if Koontz has a strong fan following (clearly enough to keep publishing) and I don’t want to seem like I’m ragging on the guy when I talk about this movie. Because Hideaway is easily the worst film I’ve covered for this column so far.
The concept isn’t a bad one: a guy flatlines and comes back with some supernatural abilities. Not original but plenty of room to play with that idea. And Jeff Goldblum is said flatliner? (Oops, did I vaguely reference a better movie with a similar idea?!?) This had me hooked. And then the movie happened.
So, the prologue has an evil Jeremy Sisto murdering his mom and sister and then sacrificing himself to Stereotype Satan. You know, he kills himself at an altar filled with candles and shit bought from the Pyramid Collection and there’s a solitary pentagram drawn on the wall? That’s Stereotype Satan shit. Well, he crosses over to the other side and sees “Hell.” Ugh, I’m going to have a lot of tangents with this flick. So, Hideaway‘s versions of Heaven and Hell are non-descript fractal-esque imagery that is either bright white or scaaaaary red. Since Sisto did some devil stuff and killed his family, he gets sent to scaaaaary red place courtesy of some downright hateful CGI.
At some other point, Jeff Goldblum’s character Hatch (…Hatch) gets in a car crash, dies and is revived. When he comes back, he starts to have visions of himself murdering women. Oh! So he’s been possessed somehow by Sisto’s spirit and is being used to commit murders? Like Sisto can use Hatch’s body as a… hideaway? That could be interesting… oh no, that’s not what’s happening. Turns out Sisto was also revived by the same doctor that saved Hatch (Fucking. Hatch.) who turns out to be Sisto’s dad played by Alfred Molina. So the two of them share some kind of psychic connection. There are some other rules to their connection – if Hatch hurts himself he can see where Sisto is, and he can also heal quickly – but it doesn’t really matter.
The movie is such a slog, especially once we know what’s going on and the film has to play out the same scenario like three times. It goes like this: Hatch has a bad dream where a woman gets killed. That’s it. almost a third of the movie is filled by repeating this exact same sequence. We hardly gain any new information each time it happens and it feels like the worst kind of filler. There aren’t even any fun kills or cool set pieces to liven things up. Add to the mix that Sisto’s villain is the bad kind of cartoony – thinly written and without a shred of believable humanity – and we can’t fall back on a good horror villain either. At least we get to see what it would have looked like if Jeff Goldblum was cast in The Matrix.
Full disclosure: I couldn’t even finish this movie. I fell asleep during the last ten minutes and didn’t have the inclination to rewind and watch what I missed. This was one of the toughest films I’ve endured recently and I just sat through Dreamcatcher. Hopefully, the next flick I do will be better.
Is It Worth Mentioning?: Not in the least. It’s the very definition of forgettable.
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