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Hidden in the Woods 
Written by: on October 6th, 2013

Theatrical Release Date:
Chile, 2012
Director: Patricio Valladares
Writers: Patricio Valladares, Andrea Cavaletto
Cast: Siboney Lo, Carolina Escobar, Daniel Antivilo, José Hernandez, François Soto, Domingo Guzmán, Renato Münster

DVD released: September 17th, 2013
Approximate running time: 98 minutes
Aspect Ratio: 1.78:1 Anamorphic Widescreen
Rating: NR
Sound: Dolby Digital 5.1 Spanish, Dolby Digital Stereo Spanish
Subtitles: English
DVD Release: Artsploitation Films
Region Coding: Region Free
Retail Price: $24.99

Synopsis: After years of mental cruelty and sexual abuse, two sisters and their deformed brother are able to finally escape the clutches of their sadistic father. What will they do with their new found freedom? Enjoy life or fall back into familiar trappings?

With such a direct in your face title like Hidden in the Woods it should not come as surprise that was is lurking in the woods is a heaping serving of sadism and misogyny. All served up in the guise of a revenge themed thriller.

The plot / narrative like the characters which populate this film are nonexistent. Violence often erupts and often goes on for a few beats beyond its maximum impact. This film almost feels more like any exercise in brutally then a film about finding redemption.

It a world where just about everything is ugly and anyone can be killed at any moment. The film does surprisingly have some eye candy in the form of the two sisters who have been held captive by their father for most of their lives. These two beauties also offer up a nice contrast to the monstrosity which is their brother. To further complicate their already dysfunctional family, one of his sisters is also his mother.

Other immoral subjects that this film touches upon include position and cannibalism. Both of which are not indulge until the characters are at their lowest, most vulnerable moment of desperation.

Performance wise considering that lack of character development and subject matter at hand, the entire cast is all more then adequate in their respective roles. The film strongest performance comes from Siboney Lo in the role of the eldest sister. It should also be noted that she also has the character that is given the most to work with.

In conclusion, Hidden in the Woods is a hard film to digest and it is not a film that I envy the opportunity of watching anytime again soon.

The DVD:

Artsploitation Films Hidden in the Woods in an anamorphic widescreen that preserves the film’s intended aspect ratio. This is a strong transfer that does a good job retaining the intended look of the film. There are no issues with compression and DNR is kept in check.

This release comes with two audio options, a Dolby Digital 5.1 mix in Spanish and a Dolby Digital Stereo mix in Spanish. Range wise both audio mixes does a very good with the more ambient aspects of the soundtrack. Dialog always comes through clearly and everything sounds balanced. Also included with this release are removable English subtitles.

Extras for this release include a trailer for the film (2 minutes 13 seconds – anamorphic widescreen, in Spanish with English subtitles), a three minutes segment with all the clip boards from the film, a ‘Making of’ featurette (21 minutes 5 seconds – anamorphic widescreen, in Spanish with English subtitles) and a interview with co-screenwriter / director Patricio Valladares (3 minutes 47 seconds – anamorphic widescreen, in Spanish with English subtitles). The ‘Making of’ is nothing more than a collection of onset footage, while the interview briefly touches upon what type of film the director intended to make and how it is already being remade from North American audiences. Other extras include trailers for other titles also available from Artsploitation Films, reversible cover art and an eight page booklet with an essay about the film. Overall Hidden in the Woods gets a strong audio / video presentaion from Artsploitation Films.

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