Frightfest Day Two: Hidden In The Woods Simon Fitzjohn August 24, 2012 Features, Film4 Frightfest 1011 Ambling on stage to introduce his flick Hidden In The Woods, director Patricio Valladares (along with an interpreter) was gently cajoled into agreeing that his film was ‘rock n roll’. Well, all I can say is that music must have changed since I worked for HMV as I certainly do not remember that genre being a byword for rape, torture, brutal violence and a miserably misogynistic streak. That is exactly what you get with Hidden In The Words you see, a sleazy Chilean effort that starts off grim and goes rapidly downhill. Now don’t get me wrong, I enjoy a bit of the downbeat as much as the next person (in fact, probably even more so), but when a film offers so little in terms of redeeming features it becomes quickly tiring and, worse of all, boring. To give a quick run down of the plot – a brutal, drug-dealing father who lives out in the sticks with his two daughters, gently whiles away his days by raping said daughters whenever it takes his fancy. One of them eventually goes on the run, but when the police investigate the domestic abuse claims the father decides to chainsaw both cops to death and ends up in prison. Unsurprisingly the local drug kingpin (for whom the father stashes drugs) wants to know where his stash is, and is convinced that the two daughters (along with their mutant inbred brother) will know its whereabouts. So he sends in a bunch of goons to track down the girls and locate his merchandise. That all sounds fairly interesting, but with the film pitched at such a hysterical tone it is all pretty exhausting. There is also an uncomfortably exploitative edge to proceedings, with the sexualisation of the two girls an uncompromising watch. Yes the effects are done superbly well and the graphic scenes will delight even the most jaded of gorehounds. But the film has no characters that the audience can really root for – in fact the two female leads are pretty annoying to be honest. Subsequently the film feels like being bludgeoned over the head with a blunt instrument for the better part of two hours – a fate I would not wish on anyone. And, for goodness sake, if you want to market the film to a worldwide audience, then get somebody competent to do the subtitles. The English ones on this print were quite frankly laughable, with countless spelling errors and sentences that didn’t make any sense – ‘I kill you monkey son of bitch’ being my personal favourite. I’m trying to find something positive to say about Hidden In The Woods but I’m really struggling, as any film in which I spend as much time looking at my watch as the screen cannot be a good thing.