Newest Reviews
Poly Styrene: I Am a Cliché
Madchen in Uniform
Fire Will Come
Jailbreak Pact
News of the World
Beyond Clueless
Stylist, The
Sky is On Fire, The
Wrong Turn
In a Year with 13 Moons
Strange Affair of Uncle Harry, The
Sinners, The
Tammy and the T-Rex
State Secret
Mogul Mowgli
Owners, The
Twentieth Century, The
Story of Gilbert and Sullivan, The
What Lies Below
Dead Pigs
Willy's Wonderland
It's in the Air
School's Out Forever
Stump the Guesser
Last Warning, The
Ascent, The
Hurt by Paradise
Newest Articles
British Body Snatchers: They Came from Beyond Space on Blu-ray
Bzzzt: Pulse on Blu-ray
The Tombs Will Be Their Cities: Demons and Demons 2 on Arrow
Somebody Killed Her Husband: Charade on Blu-ray
Network Double Bills: Maroc 7 and Invasion
Network Double Bills: The Best of Benny Hill and The Likely Lads
Network Double Bills: Some Girls Do and Deadlier Than the Male
Absolutely Bananas: Link on Blu-ray
Network Double Bills: Hawk the Slayer and The Medusa Touch
The Price of Plague: The Masque of the Red Death on Blu-ray
Network Double Bills: Seance on a Wet Afternoon and Ring of Spies
Chaney Chillers: Inner Sanctum Mysteries - The Complete Film Series on Blu-ray
Adelphi Extras: Stars in Your Eyes on Blu-ray
Toons for the Heads: Fantastic Planet and Adult Animation
Nature Girl: The New World on Blu-ray
Network Double Bills: Perfect Friday and Robbery
Network Double Bills: The House in Nightmare Park and The Man Who Haunted Himself
Newley Minted: The Strange World of Gurney Slade on Blu-ray
Bad Love: The Night Porter on Blu-ray
Brevity is the Soul of Weird: Short Sharp Shocks on Blu-ray
Get Your Ass to Mars: Total Recall on Blu-ray
Call the Professionals: Le Cercle Rouge on Blu-ray
When There's No More Room in Hell: Dawn of the Dead on Blu-ray
The Butterfly Effect: Mothra on Blu-ray
Living Room Theatre: Play for Today Volume 1 on Blu-ray
  Hider in the House All Mad Cons
Year: 1989
Director: Matthew Patrick
Stars: Gary Busey, Mimi Rogers, Michael McKean, Kurt Christopher Kinder, Candace Hutson, Elizabeth Ruscio, Chuck Lafont, Bruce Glover, Leonard Tremo, Johnny Green, Bob Neill, Carole King, Jake Busey, Ryan Sheridan, Martin Goslins, Rebekka Armstrong
Genre: ThrillerBuy from Amazon
Rating:  6 (from 1 vote)
Review: Tom Sykes (Gary Busey) suffered a troubled chldhood as he was beaten by his parents and never knew a happy family life. This has led him as an adult to a succession of incarcerations in mental hospitals, but now it seems as though he might be on track for a normal life, though his psychiatrist (Chuck Lafont) is unaware Tom assaulted the desk clerk at the boarding house he is staying at when he felt pressured to pay his rent. With his sessions nearing their end, he needs to find a better place to live, and it just so happens he is passing the construction of a large house in the suburbs when he has a brainwave...

Well, who wouldn't want Gary Busey living with them? Even if you didn't know he was there, he'd be a reassuring presence, hiding out in your attic, emerging at night to creep around the house, setting up listening devices to eavesdrop on your activities, yeah, that wouldn't be unsettling at all, would it? Actually, although Busey's inclusion in the cast list meant works such as this became rather camp latterly when he was judged to be, shall we say, eccentric, the premise was not unknown the real world - no, not Gary Busey moving into people's houses unnoticed, but instances of genuine hiders in the house, usually homeless folks who were desperate for somewhere to stay.

Needless to say, their illegal residency did not play out as a psychological examination of the modern family as the movie did, and didn't end up with the hiders going nuts as events detailed here head inexorably towards, but it was an interesting example of life mirroring art, if you could call this art. Although the film crept out across the world without making much impact, initially at any rate, something about Busey's handling of what could have been a stock psycho role made it more captivating as about halfway through you recognise this may be a high concept thriller, but contained within was a very credible performance since he came across as so humble in most scenes.

Those scenes where he wasn't being threatening, that was, but for a movie menace Tom Sykes was strangely sympathetic when we were aware of how tough his background had been. Not that this excused the murders he goes on to commit to keep his secret, but you do feel as though you understand his cracked mental state. The family who move into the house of the title are the Dreyers, husband, wife and two kids plus dog, the latter being the first to sniff out Tom and therefore the first to get slaughtered and buried in the back garden under cover of night. When the Dreyers hear the odd thump and scuffle, they think they have rats so call the exterminator, but he succumbs to Tom's heavy-handed approach to security as well.

This idea of the outsider coveting the family ideal, which turns out not to be so ideal after all, was a very nineteen-eighties theme in thrillers and horrors, and if director Matthew Patrick resisted slasher movies which may have been more commercial, he and screenwriter Lem Dobbs did manage to make a comment on the falsity of the "grass is greener" theory, as husband Phil (Michael McKean) is having an affair now his wife Julie (Mimi Rogers, matching Busey's quirks with her sensible reason) is resisting his advances thanks to a dissatisfaction with their marriage when he was so offhand with her otherwise, leaving the two little kids stressed out, not helped by the new environment. Cue Tom's further introduction into their lives, wanting to sustain the family unit by posing as a friendly neighbour but actually obsessed with them and what he can do to orchestrate their lives so they can achieve this ideal his twisted mind cannot see must endure bumps along the journey, and may not even survive. If Busey was better than the material, it was still pretty good material, including his "weird-off" with Bruce Glover. Music by Christopher Young.
Reviewer: Graeme Clark


This review has been viewed 2417 time(s).

As a member you could Rate this film

Review Comments (2)

Untitled 1

Forgotten your details? Enter email address in Username box and click Reminder. Your details will be emailed to you.

Latest Poll
Which star probably has psychic powers?
Laurence Fishburne
Nicolas Cage
Anya Taylor-Joy
Patrick Stewart
Sissy Spacek
Michelle Yeoh
Aubrey Plaza
Tom Cruise
Beatrice Dalle
Michael Ironside

Recent Visitors
Graeme Clark
  Chris Garbutt
  Sdfadf Rtfgsdf
Darren Jones
Andrew Pragasam
Stately Wayne Manor
Enoch Sneed
  Geraint Morgan


Last Updated: