“Woof-woof! I want to die!” – The people involved in the making of this film.
The Hidden 2: F
I thought I wanted more from The Hidden, but I have changed my mind. It was stupid of me to want such a thing. It was fine the way it was and I don’t want any more Hidden. I should have been satisfied with a berserk alien movie that celebrates its own shamelessness as a ripoff of other science fiction horror movies. But I greedily wanted more and look what happened: The (fucking terrible) Hidden 2.
I’m sorry to be the one to tell you this, but the alien from the first film left behind some eggs. The eggs hatch in this one and they do pretty much the same thing their dad did: they possess a bunch of people and go on visceral crime-sprees with all the ambition of a cracked-out Jeff Goldblum-style Death Wish goon.
The cover of the VHS says “They live for lust. They live for power. They live forever.” I assume they are talking about the newly-hatched parasites, but that makes zero fucking sense because a) they are not sexual at all, b) they just want to do stuff like eat cheeseburgers and steal cars, and c) there is no mention of any sort of immortality, and their lives are actually very easily ended with the stupid ray gun that the stupid Good Alien has.
Maybe the tagline is talking about the new Good Alien and his human love interest. They hook up, but they have about as much on-screen sexual chemistry as a pile of wet rags. And I’m not talking about those sexy rags. I mean unsexy rags. It’s Alien Seedall over again, and this is a movie that you do not want to be compared to on any level.
The guy from Carnosauris in it. So it’s got that going for it… I guess.
I am not even exaggerating when I say that about twenty minutes of this movie are totally unaltered scenes from the first Hidden movie. They seriously edit in a LONG clip from the first movie and pass it off as an “intro” to the sequel. Then they throw in another generous clip as a “flashback.” Then (I’m not joking) they have the audacity add ANOTHER clip in the form of our heroes reviewing VHS security camera footage from the climax of the first movie. It is pretty lame. All in all, The Hidden 2 is maybe 60 minutes of original content.
And the content sucks ass.
The same brainless “homages” to Terminator and The Thingare there and they are somehow worse. There is even a scene where a dog gets possessed and there is a gross dog transformation scene like the gross dog transformation scene from The Thing. There are also some terminator-esque “files” that the Good Aliens accesses. I’m surprised there wasn’t “alien-vision” that ripped off all the first person Terminator shots. The parasites carry out some attacks outside of their hosts (like the face-huggers from Alien! Holy shit, am I just now noticing another case of plagiarism?), but they look like cheap puppets that someone threw at the actors.
The layers of meaninglessness to the movie have basically made me a level-10 nihilist. It is a shamelessly unoriginal sequel to a shamelessly unoriginal movie. The hatchlings have all the same abilities/criminal inclinations as before and there is a Good Alien with a Special Gun hunting them with the help of an “I don’t believe it!” human sidekick.
Socrates: Glaucon, my dear friend, I am curious about this film we’ve recently viewed together, The Hidden. It appears to be an amalgamation of borrowed elements from other movies, yet I enjoyed the film while you did not. Tell me, in your view, what is the essence of this cinematic creation on which you base your logic?
Glaucon: Socrates, it is a tired blend of familiar concepts. It borrows the premise of “Good Guy vs. Bad Guy from Another World” from my favorite film The Terminator and the idea of “Who’s the Monster in the Room?” from my other favorite movie The Thing. These elements, combined with mediocre production quality akin to Chuck Norris movies from this era, form a somewhat mindless experience that lasts for a full 90 minutes, yet I must admit I found it difficult to look away, which I cannot explain.
Socrates: Fascinating, indeed. But what strikes me as curious is that despite its conscious replication of other films, The Hidden garners widespread respect and praise. From esteemed critics like Roger Ebert to the faceless reviewers on Amazon.com, the film is spoken highly of. Do you not find it perplexing that a work that, as you believe, strips away the depth and meaning from its source material is celebrated as a solid film? How can you explain this paradox, Glaucon?
Glaucon: Indeed, Socrates, The Hidden deliberately replicates the plots and tropes of The Terminator and The Thing, yet it lacks the deeper allegorical and philosophical messages present in those films. While one may argue that these aspects were superficial in the aforementioned works, they were at least present and readable to some extent. The Hidden, however, revels in the futility of its own repetitive violence.
Socrates: Ah, an interesting observation, my friend. It appears you believe that The Hidden indulges in gratuitous destruction without offering any profound reflections on the human condition. I would like to return to this point in a moment, but if I may inquire further, could you shed light on the facets of the film’s premise – this tale of a parasitic alien criminal who possesses human hosts – that inspired your condemnation?
Glaucon: This is easy, Socrates! This alien parasite displays impulsive behavior, akin to the uncontrolled desires of the human Id, going on a rampage through the lens of a cheaply produced film. Possessing various hosts, the creature behaves in an extremely destructive and distressed state, as if consumed by the effects of methamphetamine. The campy depiction of a spree of grand theft auto, armed robbery, and assault is not art. The violence is meaningless and we’ve seen it in hundreds of other films before. It is not original.
Socrates: I see. I recall that this alien parasite indulges in hedonistic destruction, slaying characters who embody the stereotypes of the 1980s, while also partaking in activities such as feasting on steaks and pilfering boom-boxes through a lens of stylized violence that resembles episodes from other works. Verily, it appears that originality is absent within this film, yet, it possesses a certain degree of amusement which you concede when you admit you cannot look away as the film plays. Glaucon, I must inquire: do you truly believe that the absence of originality diminishes the value of this film? And do you then, by extension, believe that the absence of originality in any work of art diminishes the value of that art?
Glaucon: I do, Socrates.
Socrates: I believe you must now see how you are wrong. While I understand the importance of originality in art, I believe it is also crucial to consider the role of the demands of the audience. Is it not true that the greatness of a work lies not solely in its originality, but in its ability to fulfill the needs and desires of its viewers?
Glaucon: Pray tell, how can a film lacking originality still be considered great?
Socrates: Consider this, Glaucon. The Hidden, though borrowing heavily from other sources, manages to captivate its audience through familiarity. Is any great art truly original, or does it owe a debt to the art that came before it?
Glaucon: Great art is original.
Socrates: Well then your favorite movie must therefore be original art in order to be great. Is The Terminator the first movie ever about robots? Or the first movie with the foreboding threat of apocalypse? Is it Arnold Schwarzenegger’s first starring role? Is it the first film about time travel?
Socrates: And is The Thing the first movie about a man-killing alien? Is it the first horror movie built on isolation and paranoia? Is The Thing not a complete remake of an already existing film which itself is based off of a short story?
Glaucon: I think I am beginning to understand, Socrates. Great art can be original. But by drawing upon established tropes and delivering them in a manner that satisfies the desires of its viewers, it fulfills a specific need within the cinematic landscape. But are you suggesting, Socrates, that the value of a work of art lies in its ability to cater to the public? Is there not room for innovation or organic creativity?
Socrates: Ah, Glaucon, you raise a valid point. Indeed, innovation and creativity are important aspects of artistic expression. However, we must not disregard the impact of meeting the public’s desires and, vitally, how a filmmaker’s receptive observations of the time in which they live informs the way they see fit to satisfy these desires.
Glaucon: Go on…
Socrates: Great works of art can be born from striking a delicate balance between originality and familiarity, between creativity and satisfying the audience’s yearning for certain elements. In the case of The Hidden, you have explained how the film’s own overt commitment to a lack of originality makes it uniquely original in and of itself through its quite deliberate intent to deliver concentrated dosages of most beloved elements of previous works of art. Is this not what many great works of art do? Just how The Terminator and The Thing borrow from works that came before them, they do so in their own unique ways that are in tune with the public, making them original.
Glaucon: So, Socrates, you argue that greatness can be achieved by recognizing the needs of the public and fulfilling them effectively? And that this effective fulfillment is itself a work of original art?
Socrates: Precisely, Glaucon. The greatness of a work lies not solely in its originality but in its reception to the needs of the public. It is through this symbiotic relationship between artist and audience that true greatness can be attained. Perhaps this is what you could not look away while we viewed the film!
Glaucon: Your words shed new light on the matter, Socrates. The value of a work of art should be assessed not only through its originality but also by its resonance with the public, especially if this is done with such deliberate force that the result could be called original. It is in this balance that we find the true essence of greatness.