Monday, October 26, 2015

31 Days of Halloween 2015: Hidden

2015, The Duffer Brothers -- download

Full disclosure. I may have marked these things for the date they were watched, but I am writing them days if not weeks after. Life, procrastination, whatever.

So, how appropriate that as I start a new po-ap (post apocalypse) game (Fallout 4) I am writing a bit on such a movie. A family living in a bunker, fearful of creatures that are stalking them in the world above. Short of food, low on patience, doing their best to stay positive. At least in the game, they get to come out.

There is something about bunker movies. Ever since Graig and I saw The Divide, the idea has sat in the back of my mind. Not that the idea has been captured a lot on film. But the isolation, the scarcity and the close quarters are something that make my gut twist. I wonder how the idea of bunkers ended with the close of the Cold War but we still tell  tales of them, which often leads to these bunkers being stale holdovers, replete with the aged resources. Will there ever be more tales of new bunkers, where people ride out the zombie plague or comet fall? Does the one from Lost count?

Alexander Skarsgård (True Blood) and Andrea Riseborough (Oblivion) are keeping their daughter safe in the dark. The bunker is not so far below ground as they are not aware of the surface, so every day, nighttime or not, they keep alert to whomever could be hunting for them. The Breathers have been looking for them ever since whatever happened on the surface. We get the impression the Breathers may be monsters or merely the hungry infected. The family has rules: stay calm, stay quiet, stay alert and don't talked about the Breathers.

We get the occasional flashback, as the family deals with the breakdown of their stable if utterly soul sucking life. We learn of a disease, a distant thing but something looming closer. I have always liked the way information seeps in slowly, via the Internet and news, when we know that news would spread over social media like wild fire. Nobody would not know if something big was going on. Between flashbacks we see things going wrong, rats eating their food and fire destroying some prized possessions. And fire means smoke, and smoke escapes. And can be seen.

SPOILERS. Do I have to keep doing this?

The third act of the movie is the twist, the alteration of the direction the movie had taken. The Breathers have found them! And guess what, as I was beginning to suspect, they are not so much as monsters as they are.... us. Soldiers, the American government, are who is looking for them. Normal people. And if the soldiers are the normal ones, then... oh wait, that means... wow. Yep, the flashbacks to a disease spreading and the subsequent firebombing and blocking of the mountain pass reveal our lovely family to be the monsters. "Stay calm" was not just a way of staying hidden but kept the real horror of the disease in check -- rage virus. They suddenly get all veiny and powerful jumping on the pursuing soldiers, ripping them limb from limb.

I loved it, it was quite the turnaround. And so we didn't lose complete faith in the family, they are are able to draw it back, rein it in after the soldiers are dispatched. They may be the infected but they are still people. Somewhere in there. Hidden.