Sub-Genre- Supernatural/Backwoods Horror
In Attendance- Me
Cast Members of Note- Kristoffer Joner, Cecile A. Mosli and Karin Park.
What's it About?- Kai Koss ia a creepy guy with an even creepier past; it seems as if his evil old mom used to lock him in a secret room in the basement, torture him and... well, torture him. After years of said abuse, Kai escapes his dungeon home, runs through the woods, and kills another kids parents. The kid runs off into the woods, and falls off of a cliff, making Kai responsible for his death too. Or was he?
Years later, Kai is called to the morgue to identify the wizened old corpse of his mom, and bid her good riddance. He gives her a creepy, lingering kiss, she jump scares him, and he runs. He heads back to his old family home, presumably to close it up and sell it, but instead comes across a creepy ghost that like to play dodge ball with him. Naturally, instead of running like the wind, he stays and looks around the poorly lit house saying things like "who's there?" and "are you there?" Who wouldn't do the same?
Soon enough, people start going missing in the woods around the house, prompting the police to start a manhunt and look at Kai for the creepy s.o.b. that he is. Or might be. Did something more sinister and "hidden" happen to the little boy in the woods that night? Is Kai Kross insane? Will anyone remember this movie after seeing it once? Yes, yes, and not likely.
The Good- Skjult (Hidden) is a suspenseful, creepy little movie that delivers the visual goods and mood in spades. It's beautifully shot and edited, making the skin crawl just by the way the scenes are set up and unfold alone. he acting is a highpoint here as well, with Kristoffer Joner and Cecile A. Mosli (both stars of the equally creepy Naboer) doing a solid job of making you believe/feel what is unfolding on screen.
The Bad- As gorgeous as this film is, I was sadly let down by the bland story and obligatory twist at the end. It absolutely gripped me in the early going when I thought it was a ghost story, but then lost me when it changed gears and became an "alone in the woods" stalk and slash movie instead. I think that movies like this tend to out-clever themselves instead of playing it straight, which only hurts the film's good points in the end.
The Downright Horrendous- Jump scares? Really? With all of the attention to atmosphere and mood that the filmmakers put into this movie, why in the world would they ruin it all with cheesy, lame jump scares?
The Gory- We get some blood and gruesome images, but Skjult is filled with far more jump scares than it is good kill scenes. For shame.
The Naked- No.
Best Line- Sorry, don't speak Norwegian.
What did we learn?- Norwegian forests are very dangerous. Also, I really am starting to despise twist endings.
The Master Says- C (5.0/10) Everything was great about this movie except for the story, which really makes the whole thing not so great. It's not a bad movie going experience, just one that made me roll my eyes and walk out feeling unsatisfied and a bit bummed. When it hits American theaters in January as a part of this years AD Horrorfest, I have a feeling that many of you will feel the same.
Final Thoughts- Naboer was a better Norwegian horror flick, and it wasn't really a true horror flick.