Hidden World Image

Hidden World

By Alan Ng | June 11, 2022

Will we ever learn that it’s never okay to be home alone on dark, spooky evenings? Writer-director Anthony Vazquez’s Hidden World proves that there’s no exception to the rule. This short thriller opens innocently enough with Charlotte (Emily DeForest) being concerned about her husband Graig’s (Austin Cassel) pending work trip. In a tender moment, he explains this trip is essential for their future, only to be quickly interrupted by a notification his Uber is seven minutes away.

It’s not long before she begins hearing strange noises. At first, it’s just the dog getting into mischief, but soon Charlotte is confronted by an intruder. She is able to fight him off, though only momentarily. Ultimately she’s bound and gagged in a prone position by a knife-wielding assailant.

“…soon Charlotte is confronted by an intruder.”

In the world of short films, horror, thriller, and comedy often have the same structure. The narrative tells a straightforward story revealing details about character and plot and then takes an ironic turn at the end. Certainly, Hidden World does exactly this as small clues are dropped during an intense struggle that blurs the lines of reality and fantasy. I’ve already said too much, but filmmaker Vazquez does an incredible job of guiding us throughout his plot.

Hidden World masterfully sets the right tone from the start. The lighting, sounds, false scares, and cinematography put us right into Charlotte’s shoes. Emily DeForest is great as our conduit to terror. The stage is now set perfectly as the final payoff starts to unfold. I think fans of the thriller genre may figure out where Charlotte’s tale is headed, but Vazquez’s strong storytelling is exciting and compelling.

Catch Hidden World as it is currently on its film festival run.

Hidden World (2022)

Directed and Written: Anthony Vazquez

Starring: Emily DeForest, Austin Cassell, etc.

Movie score: 8/10

Hidden World Image

"…Vazquez's strong storytelling is exciting and compelling."

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