Hiding in Daylight short film

Updated: Nov 8, 2018

★★★

Directed by #CherylAllison

Written by #GregoryGAllen

Starring #JudyMcLane, #JuleeCerda, #JimNewman, #GaryHilborn

Short Film Review by #HannahSayer





“We only get to do this once a week. Let us play our game.”


In her directorial debut, Cheryl Allison’s #HidinginDaylight is set in a #dystopian future where there has been a gay purge. At the time of the making of the film, Allison highlights that homosexuality still remains illegal in 71 countries, and it is also punishable by death in 8 countries. With these stats in mind, Hiding in Daylight feels all the more relevant and poignant, and not as far fetched as might be believed at first glance.


Hiding in Daylight opens with a couple walking through a seemingly nice neighbourhood, as they arrive at their friends’ house for dinner. As they shut and lock the front door behind them, there is a strong sense that what goes on behind closed doors, stays behind closed doors. The viewer learns that these two couples have in fact pretending to be together for over three years, as they are four gay best friends who are unable to be with their true spouse who is in the opposite couple. One night each week they secretly meet so they can forget about the dystopian practices being undertaken outside. This one night makes all four of their lives bearable, but they do so at the risk of being discovered at any moment. This imagined reality means they are not subjected to having to put on a facade, yet the growing fear and paranoia fuelled by the growing isolated tensions outside the home filters into the dinner party discussion.


As the majority of the action takes place within the confines of the house, the dramatic music and long, sweeping shots reinforce the claustrophobic intensity of the dynamic these couples are forced into by their situation. The acting between the four leads feels natural and works well at bringing out the frightening and desperate situation that they find themselves in.


The current political climate and media such as #TheHandmaidsTale reinforce that imagined dystopian futures such as the one portrayed in Hiding in Daylight are not far from becoming reality. In its short running time, Hiding in Daylight successfully captures the intense paranoia felt by these couples. With this dystopian future being fully realised and captured, it feels as if the film is over too quickly and ends just as the action really gets going.