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A view on Blu-ray by Gary W. Tooze

The Hidden [Blu-ray]


(Jack Sholder, 1987)



Review by Gary Tooze



Theatrical: Heron Communications

Video: Warner Archive



Region: FREE! (as verified by the Oppo Blu-ray player)

Runtime: 1:37:04.151 

Disc Size: 35,185,676,952 bytes

Feature Size: 33,337,073,664 bytes

Video Bitrate: 34.86 Mbps

Chapters: 33

Case: Standard Blu-ray case

Release date: October 3rd, 2017



Aspect ratio: 1.78:1

Resolution: 1080p / 23.976 fps

Video codec: MPEG-4 AVC Video



DTS-HD Master Audio English 4119 kbps 5.1 / 48 kHz / 4119 kbps / 24-bit (DTS Core: 5.1 / 48 kHz / 1509 kbps / 24-bit)
DTS-HD Master Audio English 2068 kbps 2.0 / 48 kHz / 2068 kbps / 24-bit (DTS Core: 2.0 / 48 kHz / 1509 kbps / 24-bit)

DTS-HD Master Audio English 1987 kbps 2.0 / 48 kHz / 1987 kbps / 24-bit (DTS Core: 2.0 / 48 kHz / 1509 kbps / 24-bit)



English (SDH), none



• Commentary with Jack Sholder and Tim Hunter

Special Effects Production Footage (7:33)
Trailer (2:20)





Description: Something hideous is changing law-abiding citizens into monstrous, hyperviolent psychopaths. Now, only Kyle MacLachlan (Dune, Twin Peaks) and Michael Nouri (Flashdance) can halt the terrifying rampage of The Hidden! A series of bizarre, inexplicable robberies and murders have L.A. police detective Tom Beck (Nouri) totally baffled. And it doesn’t help when mysterious FBI agent Lloyd Gallagher (MacLachlan) tells him that a demonic extraterrestrial creature is invading the bodies of innocent victims – and transforming them into inhuman killers with an unearthly fondness for heavy-metal music, red Ferraris and unspeakable violence! It’s a spine-chilling, high-velocity sci-fi thriller from the makers of A Nightmare on Elm Street.



The Film:

An exciting mix of science fiction, cop thriller, and buddy film, THE HIDDEN is one of the most exciting and unique genre hybrids. The movie opens with an action sequence in which a young stockbroker with a strange glint in his eye robs a bank, steals a Ferarri, and drives non-stop through several police blockades while listening to pounding rock music. Finally the police force the car into a fiery crash that sends the critically injured stockbroker to the hospital. Later that day a mysterious young FBI officer, Lloyd Gallagher (Kyle MacLachlan), arrives at police headquarters to enlist the aid of veteran detective Tom Beck (Michael Nouri) in finding a fugitive--the stockbroker. In the meantime, the stockbroker dies but a slimy alien creature crawls out of his mouth and into the body of another patient. Soon the madness begins anew.
Bob Hunt's screenplay and Jack Sholder's direction combine to create a sci-fi action yarn replete with exciting chases, well-staged shootouts and some extremely funny black humor. Nouri and MacLachlan turn in superior performances as does the rest of the large cast. In retrospect, MacLachlan's character feels like an audition for Agent Cooper of "Twin Peaks." This is an outstanding buddy film with a smart extraterrestrial twist..

Excerpt from TVGuide located HERE

"The Hidden" is one of the most satisfying genre movies to hit the streets in a while. It isn't major -- it's too unassuming, too laconic for that. But it's consistently imaginative. Directed by Jack Sholder ("Nightmare on Elm Street 2"), the movie is sophisticated without being slick. Basically it's a cop movie, but one with an acute sense of B-movie play. Working from Bob Hunt's hilariously improbable script, Sholder has built lackadaisical rhythms into the film, and he lets the story take the shape that seems most natural to it. As a result, nothing about the movie, which has its own special brand of deadpan funkiness, ever feels stale or forced.

A lot of the movie's charms are directly attributable to MacLachlan's sly, minimalistic performance. He does some astoundingly droll underplaying here. There's a marvelous scene around a dinner table in which he conveys, almost imperceptibly, that an ordinary, everyday fork is a totally radical concept. And after he's taken only a few sips of beer you can tell that something profoundly upsetting is happening to him. He could be an alien or, perhaps, just wiped out on tricyclics.

So far, MacLachlan's career ("
Dune," "Blue Velvet" and now this) has had a deeply weird bent. But he's developed into a very poised performer. There's a touch of the poetic in his character, which, along with his stone-faced implacability, brings Buster Keaton to mind.

"The Hidden" isn't as assertive as Michael Laughlin's "Strange Behavior" or its companion film "Strange Invaders," but it has in common with those movies the same hip insouciance. And there's a little of "Repo's Man's" wiggy unpredictability, thrown in, too. This is a rare kind of pulp; it's boisterously destructive, funny and, at the same time, almost serene.

Excerpt from TheWashingtonPost located HERE

Image :    NOTE: The below Blu-ray captures were taken directly from the Blu-ray disc.

The Hidden arrives on Blu-ray from The Warner Archive. This is a dual-layered transfer with a max'ed out bitrate. There is a green cast over the visuals but it looks authentically dark. This 1.78:1 Blu-ray is consistent - very clean but is far from dynamic with minimal depth. It's flat with some even grain texture.  By modern standards this holds up well enough - but is far from the heights of the format. It's probably a strong replication of the original film.


























Audio :

The audio is rendered in a DTS-HD Master stereo at 1671 kbps. The audio effects can be a bit on the cheesy side but it has s suitable score by Michael Convertino (Wake Wood) that keeps the pace up. There isn't a strong sense of mood established by the background music but there is a pervasive, X-Files-like, atmosphere of 'the unknown'. There are optional English subtitles (see sample) in CAPITALS and my Momitsu has identified it as being a region FREE disc playable on Blu-ray machines worldwide.



Extras :

There is a commentary with the film's director Jack Sholder moderated by Tim Hunter (1986's The River's Edge director) and it is reasonable delving into the film's production, effectsa and story intent. It has value. There is also 7.5-minutes of special effects production footage in black and white, plus a trailer.



The Hidden has a fun 80's feel - a basic sci-fi horror with some graphic effects - good tension and action. It's no masterpiece but it has plenty of positives for loves of the genre. Warner's Blu-ray of The Hidden has value with the 1080P transfer and commentary. Something you can really curl up to with a load of popcorn - certainly recommended! 

Gary Tooze

November 6th, 2017



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