I’m no filmmaker but if I was I would think that one of the hardest film types to make would be that of the minimal cast. Making a movie with so few on screen characters takes a top notch script, and actors that can keep the viewers attention all on their own. Some successes off the top of my head include Buried, Moon, and The Last Man on Earth. Today I add a new member to the club as The Hide is released today on DVD from Breaking Glass Pictures.
Roy Tunt is about as lonely and square as a character gets. He’s spending another afternoon in his hide watching birds. It appears as if he is but a mere speciman away from completing his collection of all the birds of the Great Britian. That is until he is interupted by Dave John, an edgier, unshaven, tattooed man who appears to be running from the cops. Of course Roy is uncomfortable with his visitor, but over time the two begin to get to know each other over some chicken-paste sandwiches and some entertaining conversations. However, even during the friendlier moments you cant help but feel like these two new “friends” are not quite as friendly as they appear.
The Hide couldn’t have worked without the excellent acting of stars Alex MacQueen as Roy and Phil Campbell playing Dave. The yin and yang between the two characters is an excellent balance to keep either character from getting too much of a psychological advantage till the end. Add in the potential racial undertones as Roy is a middle class Brit and Dave is from Ireland and the two never seem to fully trust the other. The final main ingredient, and also the most important, is the exceptional script by Tim Whitnell (based on his stage play). If any of these three elements were a weak link The Hide wouldn’t have been the same movie that we have. Technically speaking The Hide is another excellent release from Breaking Glass. The dank and gloomy British seaside is the perfect setting for a psychological thriller and really adds to the mood. The music also helps add to the tension of the movie as it continues to grow. Director Marek Losey did a wonderful job coraling everything into a snug 82 minutes. Well done by everyone from a technical standpoint.
The only issue with The Hide is that with only two characters you really have to give yourself some time to latch onto them, and that makes some of the first half of the movie a tad dull. I unfortunately watched the movie while tired and had to stop and rewatch this morning.
While not the best of the above-mentioned films with such a minimal cast, The Hide is still a really good thriller if you’re willing to sit through the first 30 minutes and connect with the characters. Once you’re on board with them, it’s a fun ride to the end.