Written by: Michael Den Boer on May 17th, 2016
BluRay released: June 21st, 2016
Approximate running time: 84 Minutes
Aspect Ratio: 1.85:1 Widescreen / 1080 Progressive / MPEG-4 AVC
Sound: DTS-HD Mono English
BluRay Release: Kino Lorber
Region Coding: Region A
Retail Price: $29.98
Hidden Fear was co-written and directed by André De Toth whose other notable films as a director include, Dark Waters, Pitfall, House of Wax and Crime Wave. Key collaborators on Hidden Fear include, screenwriter John Hawkins (The Shadow on the Window), cinematographers Wilfred M. Cline (The Tingler) and Henning Bendtsen (Boy of Two Worlds, Europa).
Hidden Fear was made during the decline of the Film Noir genre and though it features many of the elements that have since become synonymous with this genre’s golden age. With the end result foreshadows international thriller / suspense films that rose to prominence in the 1960’s.
There are several areas where this film sets itself apart from what ones usually associates with the Film Noir genre. First and foremost, the majority of the film takes place during the day. And the scenes which most resemble the Film Noir aesthetic are few and far in-between.
Narrative wise this film’s protagonist is not the character who is accused of the crime, but someone related to them and they just happen to have experience in solving crimes. In fact, the character who is accused of the crime quickly becomes an afterthought as the narrative progresses. And though there are few twists and turns to keep thing interesting along the way. With the lack of danger when it comes to the protagonist being this film most glaring short coming.
This film was shot on location is Denmark and the visually take full advantage of the locations featured in the film. With this film’s standout moment being a scene where the protagonist is forced to take drastic measures and climb across rooftops to get into the scene of the crime. From there he encounters another intruder / the real killer who has the same idea as he did and they briefly scuffle before the other man narrowly escapes.
Performance wise the cast rare good in their respective roles. With this film strongest performance coming from John Payne (Kansas City Confidential) in the of this film’s protagonist Mike Brent. Another performance of note is Alexander Knox (Modesty Blaise, Accident) in the role of Hartman, he servers a satisfactory nemesis for the protagonist.
Hidden Fear comes on a 25 GB single layer BluRay. The film is presented in a 1080 progressive widescreen. This film has been newly remastered in HD and the source used is in very good shape. Details look crisp and black levels fare well. Also there no issues with compression and DNR has been kept in check.
This release comes with a one audio option, a DTS-HD mono mix in English. The audio sounds, clean, clear and balanced throughout. Also range wise things sounds rather limited.
Note: This film is also being released by Kino Lorber on DVD.