Marek Losey's critically acclaimed thriller is set in a bird-hide on the windswept Suffolk mudflats. Inside sits Roy Tunt, a prematurely aged, mildly obsessive-compulsive birder. With one more sighting — the elusive sociable plover — he will have 'twitched' the entire British List. Tunt has his shortwave radio, packed-lunch and a portrait of his ex-wife Sandra for company. Suddenly the hide door blows open and a bedraggled stranger - unshaven, edgy and bloodied enters; a fugitive from the storm. After a tense introduction, the two men discover that they have more in common than initially thought. As they begin to form a close bond news of a police manhunt sets them both on edge driving their fragile relationship to a tragic conclusion.
Low budget, creepy, tense thriller. Excellent.
- The Hide review by RP
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You rated this film: 4
Two characters cooped up a bird watcher's hide. Both clearly - since this is a drama - with something to hide. So it must mean one goodie, one baddie. Which must mean that the one who looks immediately like a baddie is really the goodie. Err - that's it. And no, that wasn't a spoiler but the essence of all such plays.
This really is an excellent two-handed play made into an excellent film. Yes, it's still stagey, but that works well in such a claustrophobic setting. The acting is also excellent, particularly from Alex MacQueen as Roy Tunt, the introverted, eccentric, obsessive-compulsive bird watching nerd. He's harmless, surely?
The other player is Phil Campbell as David John, who is tormented by some unspoken loss. And it is only at the end where this loss is seen to connect him to creepy Roy Tunt.
The film was directed by Marek Losey, grandson of renowned director Joseph Losey, perhaps best known for 'The Servant' and 'The Go-Between'. Good directorial skills seem to run in the family.
This is a low budget, creepy, tense thriller. It's less than 80 minutes long - just right. Really good - 4/5 stars.
Very stagy and predictable, but also entertaining and interesting
- The Hide review by PV
(1) of (2) members found this review helpful.
You rated this film: 4
This film gets 3 and a half stars (rounded up to four).
It would have been higher but there are three things that really annoyed me about this film: 1) the sound was awful - and I would advise anyone to use subtitles with it! All that naturalistic acting and mumbling and fast talking meant many good lines wre missed by all those who watched it at my house! 2) It is just too theatrical and stagy - like so much British drama, it started in the theatre, I think, and it SMELLS of the stage really, like mostradio drama too; 30 the plot twist was no surprise to me - perhaps because I have seen the same character reversal in the theatre a thousand times! I had guessed the ending well in the first act, so the twist in the third that was meant to shock and delight had me yawning instead!
ON THE PLUS SIDE: it's a great little low budget Brit flick which maintains the audience's interest throughout. The characters, though stagy, so bounce off each other with some nice verbal sparring and character arcs. The scenery is lovely (meant to be Suffolk but is in fact in Kent - possibly Sheppey) and I certainly have never seen a film set in a birdwatching hut before! And the flocks of birds look lovely too!
This is an intelligent film well worth watching. Just a shame that it didn't lose some of the stage dialogue before going into production.