director Patricio Valladares
My personal debate regarding Hidden in the Woods, a Chilean film originally titled En las afueras de la ciudad (“Outside the City”) is whether you could classify it as an Exploitation film or not. I actually think that one of the distribution companies listed on the film itself read “Artsploitation Films”. Maybe that is what put the debate into my head.
Frankly, like a lot of horror films in my various queues, I can’t recall exactly how this got there, where I’d read about it, or if I just randomly stuck it there. I think since there is an American re-make being made of it due to come out this year that I must have read about it somewhere, sometime, and queued it up. In other words, I came into it about as cold as I ever come into a movie — which is kind of a treat.
The film touts itself as being “Inspired by True Events” and in that way, I don’t know if it’s any more specific than that. Maybe that’s a modern aspect of potential exploitation.
What it’s got: rape, murder, incest, a deformed child of said incest, drug dealers, revenge, and cannibalism. Really it’s a bit more gonzo than most other contemporary films that I’ve seen when it comes to its crazy gruesome subject matter.
The film isn’t that well-made, though. Well, at least it’s not shot or edited too well. It’s hyper-edited to the point that it can be confusing as to what is exactly going on. It’s kind of a shame because there is something here, this story about two young girls being raised by their drug cultivator sleazeball of a father who rapes them both and even fathers a child with one, possibly feeding the child raw human flesh? Again, not sure exactly what was going on. The girls escape to a cabin where they are attacked by the drug lords that want their product back.
And of course they all cannibalize their assailants in the end, a kind of final primal response to their eternal brutalization and victimization.
So, I have no idea how the re-make will handle everything. It’s got room to be improved upon, for certain. When you want to go “out there”, you really need to go “OUT there”.