REVIEW: Hidden Daylight
– By Stephen Harper
February celebrates the 8th annual Women In Horror Month, so it’s fitting that I get the chance to review new short horror film HIDDEN DAYLIGHT by female director Adrienne Lovette.
Lovette, best known for her work in 2015’s WHEN I’M WITH YOU, shifts to a really dark subject matter, that of a distraught businessman trying to trace the whereabouts of his wife who’s been abducted by a depraved individual called The Hacksaw Killer. In desperation he turns to a blind psychic, who apparently has the ability to see through the killer’s eyes, in a bid to piece together the clues to trace her.
What works so well for HIDDEN DAYLIGHT is it packs so much character building within its short running time. Even though the action takes place in only two settings we find out enough about the characters and their motives. The businessman’s (David Rey) emotions are torn between the loss of trying to find his wife and the huge amount of guilt he’s feeling, as he was spending time with his mistress on the night she was abducted. It’s obvious he’s turning to any extreme in an effort to redeem himself. His wife (Ella Jane New) is probably the only pure character of the piece. She’s a nurse who’s trying to make her marriage work, but there’s suspicions she has an idea what her husband’s up to.
Then there’s the blind psychic (John Rice), who is also the writer of the piece. His strange mannerisms and piercing stare is effective as the charlatan who’s trying to deter the businessman from the scent and make a few bucks in the process.
The film’s overall look is interesting as both apartments seem to be the same setting. I’m not sure if it was intentional or a case of location due to budget, but as a narrative it raises questions of if the killer lived in the same apartment block and knows his victims? Hiding in plain sight seems the obvious theory? It’s wonderful how the writer and director made me ask these questions, which showcases how talented they are.
Not to be negative whatsoever towards the piece, but it was slightly predictable and very linear in its approach. In no way did that ruin the experience as HIDDEN DAYLIGHT is a very well constructed film, extremely well executed with a nice amount of tension.
The entire film comes off as a dangerous game of chess and seeing how far you can control others and play with fire.