Hidden in the Woods
Original Title: en las afueras de la ciudad
Directed by: Patricio Valladeres
Want to know where the new wave of horror is coming from? Well I’d say it’s Latin America! Mexico, Brazil, Chile, Uruguay… just a few of the spawning grounds for original genre fare right now – and has been for the past four—five years, amusingly just after the success of the Spanish wave. Still not sure that this is right? Well just look at your recent genre fare! Directors like Adrián Garcia Bogliano, Jorge Michel Grau, Fede Alvarez and others, are popping up in anthology flicks, getting big exposure for their domestic flicks, and in some cases even getting shots at and remaking their own films all over again but now with Yankee dollars in the USA! (where did Gustavo Hernandez go, and when does the third generation of Cardona’s break through? And No I haven’t forgotten the master of them all; Guillermo Del Toro, he just plays in a completely different league!)
Patricio Valladeres En las afueras de la ciudad (Hidden in the Woods) is no exception. This piece of savage but contemporary Mexpoitation trash did the festival circuit and then got picked up for a US remake featuring Micheal Biehn, Willam Forsyth and Robert Rodriguez regular Electra Avellan in lead roles.
Kicking off with a classic “Based on a true story” card, drug dealing drunk, Felipe [Daniel Antivil] is will stop at nothing to learn the name of his wife’s secret lover, and murders her in front of their two infant daughters. He buries her body in the woods and tells them that mommy has gone to heaven. The years pass and Felipe raises his two daughters, Ana [Siboney Lo] and Anny [Carolina Escobar] in his own disdainful way, complete with nightly visits and day after stories laying the blame on “the bogey man” for abusing the girls. Further down the road, Anny gives birth to his own grandson, an inbred mutated beast with sharp teeth and an appetite for raw meat.
Felipe makes his living by hiding drugs for regional Kingpin Costello [François Soto] who makes random visits to the cabin in the woods and looks the two young women over with an unhealthy stare and disturbing remarks about Felipe sending them over to him when they are old enough… Ironically despite all his terrible flaws as an abusive pedophilic, incestuous parent, Filipe will let no one else harm his little girls.
The so far delightfully trashy and on spot exploitative plot takes a sharp turn when Felipe is sent to jail after attacking two police officers with a chainsaw! The girls grab their mutant child/nephew/teenager Manuel [José Hernandez] and make a dash for it. Out of the frying pan… into Hell!
Being all-alone with no money or a place to stay, makes it only a matter of time before Ana takes to giving random dudes blowjobs for cash, and for some reason blowjobs lead to cannibalism. Well at least it get’s the girls, and inbred kid off the prostitution racket! Felipe find himself in his own hell too, as he’s thrown in jail with a bunch of bad-asses who all work for Costello, who just for the sake of it want’s Felipe dead before he tells of his drug dealing affairs with Costello. Ironically Felipe is the only one who knows where Costello’s drugs are hidden and uses this fact as leverage against Costello in an attempt to force the drug lord into getting him out of jail…
In a counter move, Costello sends his goons out to find the girls, Felipe breaks out of jail to save his daughters, and after being beaten and raped the girls decide to confront Uncle Costello once and for all in what promises to be a bloody mess of family resolutions and rushes of harsh insight!
Hidden in the Woods is a fun, shit-kicking movie that is more or less a concentrate of everything that the Latin American horror films stands for! It brings it all to the park, dark violence, inbred freaks, incest, abuse, rape, cannibalism, death, revenge, oh and I almost forgot the birthing scene! One could sum it up as: find a taboo and push past it. Find a body and abuse it physically, sexually, demonically or any way you can. Find a character and make it suffer and bleed. Find the rules and break them! Hidden in the Woods is a feisty little mongrel and I loved every demented minute of it! If you want a provocative piece of trash that nurses a genre “taboo fetish” majestically and has a blood lust like none other, then Hidden in the Woods is the ticket for you!
Check out the trailer!