NO PLACE TO HIDE- Prism US video cover
3  stars   
"A sinister, haunting tale"

directed by: John Llewellyn Moxey
starring: Kathleen Beller, Keir Dullea, Gary Graham (I), Mariette Hartley, Sandy McPeak, Milton Selzer, Arlen Dean Snyder

(back of video blurb):

"At Death Cabin - The Terror Continues...

Is there really a sinister stranger following Amy (Kathleen Beller) or is it all in her tortured mind? Frightened, Amy runs to the police, but they don't believe her. She turns to her stepmother, Adele, played by Kodak's own Mariette Hartley, for help. Adele convinces Amy to seek psychiatric aid and sends her to Cliff Letterman (Kier Dullea). Cliff tells Amy she is guilt-ridden from her father's drowning death at the family cabin and that she must absolve herself of the responsibility for his death. Amy returns to the cabin only to be confronted by the phantom man and her own lifelike ghost. As the terror and confusion escalate, the phone lines are cut and the power goes out and Amy finds she has "No Place To Hide.""

choice dialogue:

"Now I've got you *and* your nonexistent bogeyman!."

The police are less than sympathetic

slash with panache?

This is Kathleen Beller's second excursion into TV slasher movie land, but, thankfully, this is a whole lot better than the 1978 bore, ARE YOU ALONE IN THE HOUSE?

Amy plays peek-a-boo with her 'non-existent' bogeyman ...

Here, Beller plays Amy, a well-to-do 20 year old Art student, living with her Step Mother, Adele (Mariette Hartley), whose Father recently drowned whilst fishing in what was taken as a tragic accident up at the family's remote lakeside cabin. Since the death she finds herself plagued by a man clad in black, wearing a balaclava helmet and dark glasses, who taunts her with the same three words over and over again- "Soon Amy, soon". The first time we see this phantom (a genuinely goosebump inducing scene) is when Amy is driving back from classes after getting spooked in an underground car park, when her name hissed from behind causes her to look in her rearview mirror and see the figure sitting on the back seat. Almost crashing she manages to flee the car just as the figure slowly reaches out to her, but when a passerby answers her pleas for help and looks in the car there is nobody to be seen.

Even her drawings of the bogeyman don't convince the police she isn't nuts

It turns out that this incident is by no means the first, and she has contacted the police several times to report being stalked by this mysterious man. Clearly exasperated the Sheriff berates her and points out that the only time they ever caught anyone it turned out to be a blind man in dark glasses that Amy had incorrectly fingered!

Adele convinces Amy to seek psychiatric help under the pretense of proving that she is actually seeing this figure and it's not a figment of her imagination. Reluctantly, Amy agrees and goes to meet Dr. Cliff Letterman (BLACK CHRISTMAS' Kier Dullea), who later gets her to ponder the theory that it's her subconscious at work and that, as she feels guilt over her Father's death and secretly wants to commit suicide but is unable to, so she has created this bogeyman who will enable her to destroy herself.

Amy further questions her sanity when she receives a flower box containing a black funeral wreath and a note with the mantra, "Soon Amy, soon."- ostensibly from this man, and goes to seek answers from the florist who sent it, is shocked to discover that he insists it was, in-fact, actually her who placed the order.

school's out forever!

Still haunted by the figure and increasingly unsure about her sanity, Amy (who is just three months shy of 21- when she's due to inherit the bulk of her late Father's estate) decides to confront her past by returning to the lakeside cabin where the tragedy occurred. Joined by her StepMother, Amy soon realises that escaping her own private bogeyman won't be quite so easy...

As far as the influence of, the then in vogue, slasher cinema on NO PLACE TO HIDE, well, the scenes at the lakeside cabin, later in the film, are pure FRIDAY THE 13TH (1980) (including a shot of black gloved hands cutting the outside telephone wires), and there's a, thrilling little cat 'n' mouse scene at the University as Amy's fantastically creepy Phantom chases her through darkened classrooms and past row after row of lockers (which echoes but easily outdoes the similar scenes in PROM NIGHT (1980)).

can Kier Dullea piece together the mystery?

However, NO PLACE TO HIDE follows the ARE YOU IN THE HOUSE ALONE? TV thriller formula religiously, inasmuch as that after two-thirds, or so, of the way through the film shifts gear considerably. Luckily, though, for the viewer, this shift is no less intriguing and continues to keep some of the horror elements from the first part of the movie (unlike Beller's earlier movie).

NO PLACE TO HIDE is a strictly PG-rated affair, though - there's no gore, little violence (there's only one death in the entire film) and certainly no nudity. However, this doesn't prevent it from scoring points as a highly effective little thriller that owes as much to the twisty-turny mysteries of the 60's and 70's (explained by the presence of ace screen-writer Jimmy Sangster) as it does to the slasher cinema of the early 80's.

BODYCOUNT 1   bodycount!   female:0 / male:1

       1) Male shot dead