The Hidden – USA, 1987 – overview and reviews


‘It’s only human on the outside…’

The Hidden is a 1987 American science fiction horror feature film directed by Jack Sholder (Arachnid; Wishmaster 2: Evil Never Dies; A Nightmare on Elm Street 2: Freddy’s RevengeAlone in the Dark) from a screenplay written by Jim Kouf [as Bob Hunt] (National Treasure; Wacko; The Boogens). The movie stars Kyle MacLachlan, Michael Nouri, Claudia Christian and Clarence Felder.


An alien parasite with the ability to possess human bodies goes on a violent crime spree in Los Angeles, committing dozens of murders and robberies.

In pursuit of the extraterrestrial criminal is an FBI agent, and the local officer investigating the rash of violence. As they close in on the vicious intruder, the city faces a brutal threat like no other it has ever encountered…

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Reviews [click links to read more]:

” …a sleeper that talks like a thriller and walks like a thriller, but has more brains than the average thriller. It also has a sense of humor and some subtle acting by MacLachlan, whose assignment is to play a character who always is just a beat out of step.” Roger Ebert

“Mostly The Hidden comes across as a police-action movie rather than a sci-fi thriller, and that may hurt the cause a little bit. It doesn’t stand up that well as a gritty shoot-’em-up, and the sci-fi premise promises a lot more than it delivers. Still, the flick clicks along, wasting little time on motives or explanations.” San Francisco Chronicle, September 1, 1995

” …a string of hard-hitting 80’s rock/heavy metal tunes (by the likes of Concrete Blonde,The Truth and Shok Paris), Sholder handling the practical stunt-filled action set-pieces like the champ that he is, gratuitous violence left and right, effective practical special effects/cool use of stop-motion, and an ending that becomes more disturbing every time I see it…” Arrow in the Head

“Action junkies will certainly applaud Sholder’s frequent forays into areas usually reserved for more traditional cop-buddy movies, and if you can forgive those rocky shape-shifting scenes that just get sillier, you’re guaranteed a good time: right up to a gratifying, if totally unsurprising finale.” The Spinning Image

“Body switching sci-fi/horror fun from director Jack (Nightmare On Elm Street 2) Sholder, this can’t quite keep up the breakneck pace or promise of the first half throughout but it manages to throw out an entertaining story that’s loaded with a pleasing amount of action, some alright effects, and solid acting from its two leads.” The Video Graveyard

Cast and characters:

  • Kyle MacLachlan … Lloyd Gallagher
  • Michael Nouri … Tom Beck
  • Claudia Christian … Brenda Lee Van Buren
  • Clarence Felder … Lt. John Masterson
  • Clu Gulager … Lt. Ed Flynn
  • Ed O’Ross … Cliff Willis
  • William Boyett … Jonathan Miller
  • Richard Brooks … Sanchez
  • Larry Cedar … Brem
  • Katherine Cannon … Barbara Beck
  • John McCann … Senator Holt
  • Chris Mulkey … Jack DeVries
  • Lin Shaye … Carol Miller
  • James Luisi … Ferrari Salesman
  • Frank Renzulli … Michael Buckley

Filming locations:

Los Angeles, California

Technical details:

  • 97 minutes
  • Audio: Mono | 5.1 remix for DVD and Blu-ray releases
  • Aspect ratio: 1.85: 1

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