The Hidden Face (2011) – Review


Foreign thrillers are quite often astounding gems that can easily put Hollywood productions to shame. In the case of The Hidden Face, that’s a rather bold statement, however it wouldn’t be an exaggeration to say that it’s a Spanish production worthy of any positive critique.

Mysterious and agonizing are two words that could perfectly describe The Hidden Face. Starting off with a soft piano music that accompanies the movie throughout, director  Andrés Baiz offers memorable moments of suspense and agony, as the lead characters face their weaknesses, fears and ethical dilemmas.

The Hidden Face unravels the story of thirty-something-year-old maestro Adrián (Quim Gutiérrez) and compromises his inner battle to get over his sudden breakup with his girlfriend Belén (Clara Lago). After moving together from Spain to Bogotá, Colombia a few misunderstandings and spats start troubling the couple, which will eventually result in Belén leaving Adrian unexpectedly. Devastated and lost, the young maestro turns to waitress Fabiana (Martina García) for comfort and ultimately their fresh relationship gets off to a very good start.

When Fabiana rushes to move into Adrián’s big, secluded house in the countryside of Bogotá, some bizarre incidents make their first appearance. Strange ripples begin to shape in the water and weird noises are coming from the pipes. Even though these incidents are neither intense nor eerie, Fabiana tries really hard to make us believe that she is extremely scared.

Her exaggerating reactions and Adrian’s constant communication with two detectives who are investigating Belén’s disappearance begin to raise a lot of questions. It is a ghost that is living inside the rusty pipes? Could it be that Adrian is not that devastated from losing his girlfriend so suddenly considering he might be the one to have killed her? Is Fabiana just crazy or will Adrián eventually wake up from a bad dream? And what really happened to Belén?

As the story progresses, the mystery behind the noises and the unexplained ripples grows, but the viewers’ interest might face a noticeable decline. Although the questions above are answered rather quickly in the movie and the mystery is ultimately solved within the first half, The Hidden Face evolves from a suspense thriller to an agonizing drama. For the loyal horror movie fans that might sound a bit discouraging, however the story unfolds in a gripping manner that won’t let you down easily. The storyline certainly grasps the viewers’ attention and it is hard not to anticipate the ending excitedly.

The feelings towards the characters alter throughout the movie. At first, Adrián seems like a creepy loner who possibly hides a lot of dark secrets, whereas Fabiana comes as a sweet and caring girl. Gradually, he becomes quite likable and provokes sympathy, whilst Fabiana gets irritating and obnoxious. These little twists in the characters’ personalities add a very interesting flavour to the story and they certainly keep the viewer’s strict attention.

As for Belén’s character, I’ll let you figure it out yourselves, because that’s probably the best surprise that the movie hides.


8 Responses to “The Hidden Face (2011) – Review”
  1. Tuan Ho says:

    What the? Hang on, is that you in the movie? Or maybe I need a new pair of glasses. 🙂


  2. garylee828 says:

    How did you learn about this movie? Did your boyfriend recommend it to you?


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