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It’s a crime that “Hider in the House” wasn’t released in theaters. It stands up to any early 90s thriller that launched a few A-listers.

Hider in the House

A psychiatric patient hides in the attic of a family’s new home, dismantling them from within. Let’s dig into 1989’s HIDER IN THE HOUSE, directed by Matthew Patrick!

As I See It

With a title that sounded like a six-year-old had picked it, I wasn’t hopeful for a lost gem. I learned a valuable lesson from that initial bias: don’t count Gary Busey out in a jam. Unfortunately, Vestron Pictures went under before its release, relegating it to home video only.

Hider in the House was filmed in September 1988, just two months before Busey would have his fated motorcycle accident that left him with permanent brain damage.

He certainly had good roles with strong performances after the accident, including a reunion with his Lethal Weapon co-star Danny Glover in Predator 2 as the ultimate asshole (Keyes) and as a PTSD-ridden soldier living in isolation in the Chris Farley/David Spade comedy Black Sheep.

However, that crash would rob the cinematic world of one of the most powerful actors of the eighties. No one could play a villain quite like Busey.

The story of a former psychiatric patient invading a family home elicits memories of a bunch of nineties dramas, including Mark Wahlberg in Fear as he infiltrates a family and woos the daughter, and even Scorsese’s remake of Cape Fear starring Rober De Niro in one of his most intense roles as ex-con Max Cady.

Busey is equally as malevolent and seems scarier than Cady because he’s not as unhinged, and for most of the movie, it seems like he can assimilate to “normal” life.

Famous Faces

Gray Busey (Tom), before he was being exploited on reality TV, was cutting a deep channel as a villain throughout some Hollywood blockbusters like Lethal Weapon and Predator 2.

Mimi Rogers (Julie) had a pretty epic love scene with Jim Morrison (Val Kilmer) in Oliver Stone’s The Doors and played Mrs. Kensington — the mother of Liz Hurley’s character — in the first Austin Powers movie. She was also married to Tom Cruise many moons ago.

Michael McKean (Phil), whether it’s as Mr. Green in the live-action adaptation of the famous Milton Bradley board game Clue or as David St. Hubbins in the brilliant satire This is Spinal Tap (among many other roles in Christopher Guest projects) or as Jimmy McGill’s brother in Better Call Saul — I can not think of a single thing Michael McKean has been in that I didn’t love. Coneheads, too!

Of Gratuitous Nature

It is not often a shower scene has relevance to a story. Usually, it’s a vehicle to see an actor nude just for the sake of it, but here, it’s a great way to pull at the strings of vulnerability and the naive expectation of safety within one’s own home.

Heartthrob

As I said, Busey is great, and maybe I’m lamenting what could have been, but I’m sure none of my grief is as hard as Busey’s recovery and life following his accident.

Ripe for a Remake

The story is comedic and less about trespassing, but I feel like the Wahlberg/Will Ferrell Daddy’s Home films hit some of the same pressure points, obviously with more laughs than discomfort.

Spawns

No progeny to report.

Where to Watch

With no high-definition physical release, you can stream Hider in the House on The Roku Channel or rent it on Apple TV, Amazon, Google Play, YouTube, or Vudu.

Overall Rating (Out of 5 Butterflies): 3.5


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