Hideaway (1995)


There was a time when I had cable. Real premium cable with channels such as TNT, TBS and On Demand services that allowed free movies from HBO, Showtime, Starz and Cinemax. Nowadays, I rely on streaming services, but I remember On Demand pretty fondly. I was able to find some interesting gems, and some interesting stinkers.

One such stinker was Hideaway, based on the novel by Dean Koontz. Koontz, as it turned out, hated the adaptation and wanted his name removed from the credits.

I didn’t quite know this factoid, nor did I read the original novel when I looked at the movie blurb. I selected play upon seeing Jeremy Sisto in the cast.

Don’t judge me. I know I am not the only one that watched a movie good or bad due to having a crush on one of the actors. I liked Sisto in Law and Order, and I watched a bad movie because the man is not only hot, but delivered a good performance. That said, I will pass this love on to you, dear readers, in review form.

The opening credits greet me with industrial band, KMFDM’s “Go to Hell,” a very promising indicator to the soundtrack, with the camera panning to a shirtless Sisto as Vassago.  That would be pretty damned good, except Vassago is a Satan worshiper who had sacrificed his mother and younger sister to the devil in the supposed safety in their suburban home. The camera pans to him at his altar where he kills himself with that same knife to further ensure the damnation of his soul.

Meanwhile, a family consisting of father Hatch Harrison (Jeff Goldblum), mother Lindsay (Christine Lahti) and teenaged daughter Regina (Alicia Silverstone) are out on a drive. A car accident ensues and even though Lindsay and Regina escape with superficial injuries, Hatch is pronounced dead.

All is not lost. Specialist Dr. Jonas Nyebern, played by Alfred Molina, is able to revive him. The drawback to this miracle is that he begins to see through the eyes of a serial murderer of women. After one too many news clips reporting these women as ‘missing’ and a trip to a psychic, Hatch comes to learn that the murderer is Vassago, the devil worshiper who killed his mother and sister before turning the knife on himself. Wait a second….isn’t he supposed to be dead? Well, let’s overlook the rubbery nature of the knife he falls on (you don’t have to look that hard, plus imdb points this out in the goof section). Vassago’s real name is Jeremy Nyebern, and his father is the same doctor that revived Hatch. Too bad Vassago kidnaps Regina and takes her to his abandoned amusement park hideout as the ultimate sacrifice….

This movie had a good cast, and a fantastic soundtrack for you goth/industrial fans including acts such as Miranda Sex Garden and KMFDM. Godflesh even makes a cameo appearance in the nightclub scene where Regina (who snuck out with a friend) first meets Vassago in darkly gorgeous yet creepy as hell glory. The story was solid on its face, but a few things seemed a bit needless and overall, it fell flat as did some of the acting. Part of me wonders if Alfred Molina took some of his Dr. Nyebern character to his later performance as Doctor Octopus in Spider Man 2. I really wanted to like this movie, but it was tedious, and the ending showed a needless twist that fell flat with the rest of the story. It’s a solid rental if you want a psychic twist to a horror movie, or if you have a thing for goth guys and Jeremy Sisto, who is an appealing villain, but I can understand some of the Rotten Tomato reviews.



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