Hidden in the Woods [En las afueras de la ciudad] (2012) Review


Let’s get this out there straight away; Hidden in the Woods was most definitely one of the worst films at FrightFest 2012. A sexist, misogynistic, sadistic, mess of a movie its biggest offense is it’s boringly banal attempts to shock in every scene by upping its grotesqueness ever further till the finale so safe to say I wasn’t a fan.

Set in Chile the story allegedly based on real life events involves sisters Anny and Ana (Carolina Escobar and Siboney Lo) brutalized and beaten in isolation by there disgusting drug dealing father (Daniel Antivilo) who has sole possession of them after killing their mother when they where children.

Raping them frequently as they are raised one of the siblings gives birth to a deformed incestual offspring which the father keeps in a shed and feeds raw meat to. When one day a pair of police officers visit the unhappy family the father decides to kill them rather than letting his daughters go however in the ensuing chaos the trio of abused children make their escape.


On the run from their demented dad and the drug dealing kingpin who has sent his goons to find them the misfit family hide out in the woods with one sister selling her body to get them food, that is until a couple of backpackers try to rape the other sister and she and her brother/son kill them and eat them.imgres

To be honest the above 3 paragraph encapsulation of the film makes it sound much better than it is and if that synopsis is your sort of thing then I am sure you will love Hidden in the Woods as I know all too well from the mountain of horror movies that come out each year and pass by LoveHorror’s dedicated, unrelenting and impartial eyes that there is a massive market for movies such as this.

The fact as well that Chilean writer and director Patricio Valladares has already been asked to direct the Hollywood remake of Hidden in the Woods further proves the point as well as demonstrating the terrible state the American movie industry is in not only in that they would want to back a film like this but that they weren’t even intelligent or creative enough to make up their own stupid sick story instead.


In his Q and A at FrightFest Valladares claimed his movie was a comedy because he found watching what happens to these children who suffer through abuse, molestation, psychological torture and a whole lot more really funny.

It is true that some extreme horrors either intentionally or unintentionally are very funny either going so far with gore and violence they are ridiculous or containing jet black gallows humor invoking a laugh in the most inopportune moments.


Hidden in the Woods is not one of these films and the fact that it makes so much of being based on a real life story makes it even more impossible to find laughs in the sick disturbing situations it constantly throws at its audience.

To use Hidden in the Woods as an example in a larger debate about misogyny in modern movies or the mainstream acceptance of torture porn or boundaries of brutality in horror would be giving the film way too much credit and attention, so I wont.

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As I said Hidden in the Woods did nothing but annoy and bore me but if you like your horror high on rape, torture, incest, violence, cannibalism and mutilation and low on plot, character development, style, direction and story then this is the film for you.

Oh and also we can’t be friends any more.

Movie Rating: ☆

☆ ☆ ☆ ☆ 



Alex Humphrey

Alex studied film at the University of Kent and went on to work for Universal Pictures in their Post Room gaining an inside look at the movie industry from the very bottom. Constantly writing reviews in everything from local magazines to Hip Hop sites Alex honed his critical skills even spending a brief period as a restaurant critic. Read more

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