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HIDEAWAY ($25) is a solid little supernatural thriller that Iíve taken a liking to, although it doesnít seem to have caught on with too many other people that I know. Hopefully, now that itís available on DVD, they will get turned onto this flick as well. HIDEAWAY stars Jeff Goldblum as Hatch Harrison, a family man, who has a brush with death. Perhaps you can call it more than a brush. While driving with his wife Lindsey (Christine Lahti) and their daughter Regina (Alicia Silverstone), the Harrisons are involved in an automobile accident in which Hatch is killed.

Because he has been submerged in freezing water for two hours, the doctors utilize a radical technique that restores Hatch to life. After returning from the dead, Hatch finds himself with a new zest for living. Unfortunately, that zest isnít the only thing Hatch has brought back with him from the other side. It seems that Hatch is now telepathically linked to a serial killer and has begun witnessing the crimes from the madmanís viewpoint. Hatch soon discovers that his connection to the killer works both ways, and as a result, his daughter Regina could wind up as the next victim. Director Brett Leonard, who was responsible for THE LAWNMOWER MAN brings a similar visual style to this filmís otherworldly moments, as well as allowing his actors the leeway they need to create well-defined characters. The cast of HIDEAWAY also includes Jeremy Sisto, Alfred Molina and Rae Dawn Chong.

Columbia TriStar Home Video has made HIDEAWAY available on DVD in both full screen and wide screen presentations. The wide screen version of HIDEAWAY is framed at 2.35:1 and has been enhanced for playback on 16:9 displays. HIDEAWAY looks remarkably good on DVD, displaying a crisp, nicely detailed image. The element used for the transfer is very clean, although there is a bit of film grain that crops in a handful of shots. Flesh tones appear quite natural, while the rest of the colors display realistic saturated. There are no signs of chromatic distortion during the presentation. Blacks are accurate and the picture delivers a very good level of shadow detail. Digital compression artifacts are virtually absent from this DVD.

The Dolby Digital 5.1 channel soundtrack has a very effective mix that makes good use of all the discrete channels to create a 360-degree sound field. Sound effects are well placed, and pan effectively through the channels. Dialogue is always clean and fully intelligible. The bass channel lays a solid foundation, although the material doesnít provide any ground shaking moments. French, Spanish, Portuguese language soundtracks are also encoded onto the DVD, as are English, French, Spanish, Portuguese, Chinese, Korean, Thai subtitles.

The basic interactive menus provide access the standard scene selection and set up features, plus a few nice supplements. There is an entertaining running audio commentary with director Brett Leonard, who imparts a lot of information about the production, as well as holding the actors in high regard. The DVD also includes an alternate ending that is somewhat different from the one contained in the film. A short Making-Of featurette and talent files fill out the extras.

HIDEAWAY is an enjoyable thriller that is well worth spending the evening with. Thanks to Columbia TriStarís solid presentation, itís a DVD you may want to keep around a while longer.





DVD reviews are Copyright © 2000 THE CINEMA LASER and may not be copied or reprinted without the written consent of the publisher.
THE CINEMA LASER is written, edited and published by Derek M. Germano.



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