the hidden II

(Welcome to DTV Descent, a series that explores the weird and wild world of direct-to-video sequels to theatrically released movies. In this edition, we take a look at a sad little cash-grab hoping to capitalize on the cult popularity of 1987’s third-best sci-fi/action movie.)

One of my favorite things about consuming entertainment media – whether it be film, literature, or television – is having the opportunity to share terrific but lesser known favorites with people who haven’t seen or sometimes even heard of them. I do so whenever possible at my various online homes like Film School Rejects and Twitter, via my bi-weekly column here at /Film, and even when talking in person with friends. (“In person” refers to conversing face to face with real people in the real world.) One such example of a lesser known favorite I’ve shared over the years has been Jack Sholder’s 1987 gem The Hidden.

It was far from a hit despite earning double its $5 million budget in theaters, and while it’s become a cult favorite over the years for fans of great things, far too many people still haven’t seen it. Seek it out immediately if that’s you, as Sholder delivers a wickedly fun tale of feuding aliens, bloody encounters, and the power of friendship. It’s also one hell of an ’80s time capsule complete with flashy cars, loud music, and a young Kyle MacLachlan.

The film was ripe for a sequel and had it been an actual hit, it probably would have gotten one for the big screen. Instead, six years later, New Line Cinema quietly released a follow-up direct to video. As sacred as I find my duty for pointing people towards fantastic but underseen movies, I’m equally compelled to divert you away from absolute duds on the off chance you come across one while browsing for something to watch. It’s why I devote time to DTV Descent, and it’s why I’m here to warn you about 1993’s The Hidden II.

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