I’m not sure why, but something that Hollywood used to be pretty good at — the moody, psychological thriller — seems to have migrated south of the border. It’s been 14 years since M. Night Shyamalan’s The Sixth Sense, and those of us who prefer an O. Henry twist to special effects and gore have had to get used to reading English subtitles.
And so we have The Hidden Face, a Spanish-Colombian production in which a rippling pool of water in a sink is more significant than any number of bloody hatchets — and way more entertaining.
Adrian (Quim Gutierrez) is a rising star with the Bogota Philharmonic Orchestra, a young conductor whose good fortune does not extend to the women in his life. When his live-in girlfriend (Clara Lago) goes missing, Adrian finds solace first in alcohol, and then in the waitress, Fabiana (Martina Garcia), who serves his drinks. But the police are suspicious, and so is Fabiana when things start to go bump in the night at the rented mansion she begins to share with Adrian. Is there a ghost in the house?
The Hidden Face is short, sweet, and satisfying, like an episode of Alfred Hitchcock Presents with South American scenery and South American nudity. There is nothing profound about it, but it sure beats bloody hatchets. * Grade: B+
* Note: Beware the trailer for this film, which inexcusably reveals a major plot twist.
Director: Andres Baiz Cast: Quim Gutierrez, Martina Garcia, Clara Lago, Maria Soledad Rodriguez, Jose Luis Garcia, Marcela Mar, Humberto Dorado Release: 2011
Watch the Trailer – If You Must (click here)
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