Hippopotamus (2020) reviews and overview

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[Total: 2   Average: 4.5/5]

‘Seeing is deceiving’

Hippopotamus is a 2020 British horror thriller feature film about a young woman who wakes up in a basement trapped with her kidnapper.

Written and directed by Edward A. Palmer, based on his 2015 short of the same name, the movie stars Ingvild Deila, Tom Lincoln, Stuart Mortimer and Jonathan Cobb.


Ruby (Ingvild Deila) wakes from a bad dream to find herself in a real-life nightmare. She’s trapped in a basement, her legs are broken and she can’t remember who she is or how she got there.

Her kidnapper, Tom (Stuart Mortimer), tells her she will remain captive until she falls in love with him. Ruby is focused on trying to escape until Tom starts helping her to remember her past and she begins to question everything…

Reviews [click links to read more]:

Hippopotamus takes place primarily in the room in which Ruby is trapped, with some reliance on flashbacks, yet somehow director Palmer manages to cram the room full of significance. Throughout the film, there are clues that weave together and items that seem inconsequential at first but gain vast significance later on…” Addicted to Media

“If you think you’ve seen it all regarding the woman-in-captive plot, then get ready for Edward Palmer’s sharply directed Hippopotamus (yes, that title is perfect – you’ll see). I guarantee it will ensnare your expectations and make you forget all the mediocre movies that came before it.” Diamond in the Rough 

Hippopotamus might throw a twist too many into the plot mechanics of the finale, especially when the penultimate one is so brutally cruel, but as an exercise in sleight of hand filmmaking, it’s an unpredictable, unconventional success.” Flickering Myth

“Nicely written, acted and executed make this indie gem one of the best I’ve seen this year. The familiar setting quickly established Hippopotamus as a potentially good movie, and the genre turn-around ensured an excellent one […] Something the entire cast and crew should be proud of.” Indy Red

“We would recommend that you watch Hippopotamus the first chance you get. It’s a dark and secretive movie that will stick with you long after it’s done. Great cinematography meets outstanding performances in a gripping story.” OC Movie Reviews

“Bold, dramatic, and painfully intense, Hippopotamus captures the very essence of cinema. It’s a genre film that knows where to transcend the limitations and where to knowingly obey them. The result is something quite special.” UK Film Review

” …if you are expecting a conventional horror yarn here with the prerequisite victimhood/torment/grisly content, then Hippopotamus isn’t for you; this is instead a highly unusual exploration of theme and trope, at times tranquil and at times tense, but always a deeply uneasy watch.” Warped Perspective


Hippopotamus was released on Vimeo on 27th March 2020.

Cast and characters:

  • Ingvild Deila … Ruby Ann Wattz
  • Tom Lincoln … Nick
  • Stuart Mortimer … Tom Allcroft
  • Jonathan Cobb … Rob

Filming locations:

Harrow, London, England
Greenock, Scotland

Technical details:

77 minutes
Aspect ratio: 2.35: 1


£,5000 (estimated)

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