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The Hide (2008)

 -  Thriller  -  5 June 2009 (UK)
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Ratings: 6.5/10 from 631 users  
Reviews: 21 user | 29 critic

On the windswept Suffolk mudflats creaks a bird-hide, inside which hovers Roy Tunt, a prematurely aged, mildly obsessive-compulsive birder. With one more sighting - the elusive sociable ... See full summary »



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Complete credited cast:
Roy Tunt (as Alex MacQueen)
Dave John (as Philip Campbell)
Laura Hopwood ...
Pumpkin (voice)
Howard Ward ...
D.I. Weston (voice)
Fred Perry ...
Dennis (voice)


On the windswept Suffolk mudflats creaks a bird-hide, inside which hovers Roy Tunt, a prematurely aged, mildly obsessive-compulsive birder. With one more sighting - the elusive sociable plover - he will have 'twitched' the entire British List. Tunt has his shortwave radio, packed-lunch and a portrait of his ex-wife Sandra for company. Suddenly, in the midst of a conversation with Sandra's portrait, the hide door blows open and a bedraggled stranger - unshaven, edgy and bloodied introduces himself as Dave John, a fugitive from the storm. After a tense introduction, the two men discover that they have a good deal in common, sharing sandwiches, tea and personal exchanges which are frank, poignant and often funny. As the two men begin to form a close bond news of a police manhunt sets them both on edge driving their fragile relationship to a tragic conclusion. Written by Poisson Rouge Pictures

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5 June 2009 (UK)  »

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The Hide  »

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Written and Performed by Sister Bliss
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User Reviews

Acting Masterclass
16 September 2009 | by (London, England) – See all my reviews

Roy, a somewhat retentive middle-aged loser, hunkers down in the eponymous hide --a birdwatching shed on the marshes -- apparently hoping to spot the one rare bird that has eluded him so far. Into his little haven comes lurching Dave, a towering, laconic figure with a secret. The two men warily circle each other as their respective pasts slowly unspool.

This is a wonderfully low-key little film with a wonderfully simple set-up that slowly but surely ratchets up the suspense as it goes along. What powers it so beautifully is the acting, which is just stunning. Phil Campbell, new to me, at first exudes weary menace which gradually gives way to a greater sadness, and Alex MacQueen, as Roy, deserves awards to be showered upon him for the performance he pulls off here. Better known for playing stuffy and/or supercilious characters on TV, here he plays Roy with a dweebishness and deadpan humour but keeps a deeper vein of underlying tension bubbling under before it erupts entirely. He manages to be both irritating, vulnerable, clueless, tragic and frightening all at the same time, and delivers some real laugh-out-loud moments amid the suspense.

Unfortunately, when the truth comes to the surface, the film begins to lose its power: The motives, once revealed, are outlandish and unconvincing and the film subsequently slips into the melodramatic. But, even then, the acting from both of them is never less than top-notch, the chemistry between them lights up the screen, and the finale, deftly delivered, stops the heart.

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