Mistakenly believing that 15-year old Colson Unger (Todd Swenson) is buying drugs, his father (Byron West) and brother Eric (Timothy Altmeyer) charge into the house and in the ensuing confrontation, the uncle of Colson's girlfriend, Renaye (Cathy Doe) is killed. Colson confesses to the murder, but rather than the 18-months he was expecting, Colson is imprisoned for five years. When he is paroled, Colson is sent to live with Eric in New Russia, Ohio, who has built a life for himself with his wife Renee (Kris Carr). Colson goes to work for Eric, but their uneasy relationship threatens to erupt into violence. When Eric and Colson suddenly disappear, Renee goes searching for answers and she discovers the hidden truth that threatens to shatter the foundation on which she's built her life. When the brothers return, Eric mistakenly believes that Colson has revealed his dark secret and attacks him.
Review by Andrew L. Urban:
Good dramatic material is well handled by a handy cast, notably Todd Swenson as Colson, the younger brother whose good deed - copping a murder rap for his older brother - definitely doesn't go unpunished. He's instantly likeable and sympathetic, unlike his brother Eric (Timothy Altmeyer) and Eric's wife Renee (Kris Carr), who thinks she may be pregnant and therefore licenced to be a bitch.
Told with some flashbacks, the story unravels under a country flavoured score from Deni (famous for the 1961 title song for Divorce Italian Style). The pieces of the puzzle come together gradually, and as soon as we sense where it's going, the drama intensifies.
Michael Buscemi, Steve's brother, plays the carpenter brother of Eric's wife, Renee, and it's fascinating to see the family resemblance.
Written, directed and edited by the youthful Brett Wagner, it's evidently a single thought, a holistic idea/story/movie which Wagner could see in his head before it was made. It's all the better for that singularity of vision.
February 12, 2009
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HIDDEN,THE: DVD (M)
Aka Five Years
CAST: Kris Carr, Timothy Altmeyer, Todd Swenson, Cathy Doe, Michael Buscemi
PRODUCER: David Zellerford
DIRECTOR: Brett Wagner
SCRIPT: Brett Wagner
CINEMATOGRAPHER: Chad Davidson
EDITOR: Brett Wagner
PRODUCTION DESIGN: Suzanne Wang
RUNNING TIME: 89 minutes
PRESENTATION: 16:9; DD 2.0
DVD DISTRIBUTOR: Peacock Films
DVD RELEASE: February 8, 2008