A slothful suspense drama in which the victim most grievously killed is your time, HIDDEN FEARS starts with Maureen Dietz (Meg Foster) helplessly watching her husband clubbed to death in public after a brief altercation with redneck roughnecks.
Years later, her bad memories return when she inherits a dossier from the late investigating officer on the still unsolved case. It points to two likely suspects, drifters Calvin and Marty VanBeeber (Fred Ornstein, Marc Macauley). Maureen broadcasts a TV appeal for news of the pair. The
older-but-no-wiser VanBeebers happen to be among the viewers and proceed to stalk Maureen. Meanwhile, long-ago witnesses to her husband's murder are also brutally attacked, but in the ineptly-staged final confrontation with the VanBeebers, Marty claims no knowledge of those crimes before he's
blown away by a shotgun. The glum closing reveals that Maureen's teen son Barry (Scott Hayes) has been savagely beating all the bystanders he believes could have saved his father.
The point of all this, apparently, is how people deal (or fail to deal) with random, shocking violence in the humdrum world, and maybe Jean Bodon's flat, flavorless direction is supposed to communicate the tedium of the everyday. If so, it succeeds too well. The pic is a bore, leaving talented
performers (like the undervalued Frederic Forrest, as Maureen's new boyfriend) adrift as events creep to an unrewarding conclusion. Foster, often an intriguing presence, spends most of her role in a numbed daze, though she looks impressively pumped up for Maureen's avocation as an aerobics
instructor, an aspect of screenwriter Stuart Kaminsky's source novel thankfully not exploited for easy T&A. There is a change of venue, from the midwest of the original tale to sunny Florida--not that it gives HIDDEN FEARS any juice. (Adult situations, violence, profanity.)
Cast & Details See all »
- Released: 1994
- Rating: R
- Review: A slothful suspense drama in which the victim most grievously killed is your time, HIDDEN FEARS starts with Maureen Dietz (Meg Foster) helplessly watching her husband clubbed to death in public after a brief altercation with redneck roughnecks. Years lat… (more)