Monday, October 15, 2012

The Hidden Face

A conductor, whose long term girlfriends has vanished after leaving a cryptic video telling him she was leaving him, decides to get back on the horse after 2 months of trying to find her. He falls for a local bartender, and she eventually moves into his large estate. Only, the woman begins noticing strange things when she's alone... the water in the sink vibrates, she hears weird noises in the drains, and the shower randomly changes temperature. Could the house be haunted?

The Hidden Face is a devious, twisty-turny thriller than only slowly reveals itself as such. Although it creates a palpable sense of mystery, for a while it seems as if the film isn't a thriller at all. It slows down, becomes a romance, goes on an extended flashback to show us the conductor's previous relationship. When the other shoes drops and we finally discover what's actually been going on the whole time, it's a pretty ingenious bit of misdirection that ups the stakes. The rest of the film becomes increasingly intense, constantly toying with your emotions and keeping you guessing how everything is going to turn out.

I'm being vague, and that's because it's best not to know too much. The film is slightly Almodvarian in its willingness to take some abrupt left turns, and in its use of extended flashback, although it is far more straightforward than any of Almodovar's films. This is an accomplished and exciting thriller, and I'm looking forward to more from director Andres Baiz.

Rating: B+

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