Hidden Treasures (Review)
Hidden Treasures is an interesting film, because the lead woman Elizabeth is manipulative over her former roommates/lovers, who eagerly go along with whatever weird junk she’s selling. They then drag their girlfriends into the mess, and commit a million sins that would end any relationship immediately. You have to take some of the scenes with a huge iceberg-sized grain of salt that anyone would go along with the shenanigans.
Initial premise aside, Hidden Treasures is an interesting “erotic thriller”, I use thriller because it’s not really any other category. We know Elizabeth is manipulative, but we don’t know how much, or if she’s even the most guilty party.
Someone does know something about plants (I haven’t determined if Tina Hawthorne is the real name of the writer of the bulk of Mainline Releasing’s films), because in addition to some of the lingo straight out of wikipedia is some actual plant knowledge. Maybe it’s just watching this film while in the middle of reading a book that also has a character who mentions plants by their scientific names all the time (the book is Caliban’s War by James S.A. Corey), but I don’t really do that. But again, I can barely remember the common names for the different heirloom plants I have growing in my garden without saving the seed packets. It’s probably easier when you have someone you can talk plant shop with, but my wife and I are the only people we know who garden.
Sadie Katz’s character Cat is the plant enthusiast here, while Elizabeth Pierce’s father made his fortune in alternative medicine herbal plants and has a lush garden (tended by hunky gardener Jackson, who also knows a lot about plants.) Plants play into the plot with the characters continually talking about them. But there is also a bunch of missing jewels that Elizabeth’s late father somewhere on the property, which is the excuse she uses to bring in her old sex pals Mason and Chris. Judging by what happens next, its as if the characters are convinced the jewels are hidden on one of their bodies, because they keep getting naked and exploring around each other.
It’s hard to break down Hidden Treasures because you have to believe that Cat and Rachel would put up with their idiot boyfriends dropping everything to go help out an old hot friend who they probably had lots of sex with. And neither girl is too pleased, Rachel is openly hostile, while Cat attempts to be positive but runs into interference from everyone, including her boyfriend Mason, but not Jackson. Hmmm…. But basically the lesson is don’t be a manipulative horror and don’t be manipulated by said horror.
Elizabeth just wanders right into Jackson’s house on her sprawling mansion grounds and they get it on after some adversarial foreplay talk.
Mason and Cat are about to have a weekend alone when Elizabeth calls and Mason immediately makes plans to go see her, and to drag Cat along. Cat is less than thrilled that their weekend is ruined by going to see a girl Mason used to live with and possibly was more than roomies with. Mason isn’t even honest with his past with her, it’s obvious that things are more than the seem. He mentions that Elizabeth’s dad just died. He only gets her to reluctantly agree by mentioning the house is huge and they’ll probably be alone for most of the weekend anyway. So they make up by making love.
Mason and Cat arrive at the Pierce estate, which has lots of medicinal plants growing that Cat recognizes and is impressed with. Jackson is impressed that she knows the plants and reveals that he planted most of them and grew them so she’s impressed. Mason is not impressed, as he’s not a big fan of plants.
Chris and Rachel are already at the Pierce house and having the exact same argument Cat and Mason had last night, Chris being another exroommate of Elizabeth and he didn’t even tell Rachel that he was until they got there. Of course Rachel has all the reasons in the world to be suspicious, because Elizabeth walks in, asks her to stay to “hear her out”, but to first go downstairs because Cat and Mason are there. She leaves, and then Elizabeth says accusatory things to Chris about how Rachel hates her and will turn him against her and soon they are getting it on. This takes a very long time and they aren’t quiet at all, so it’s a wonder why Rachel didn’t storm in wondering wtf was going on.
The excuse used by the two later is Chris was needed to help Elizabeth bring some boxes of her dad’s journals down, which would obviously require a long time and a lot of moaning and groaning because of the heavy lifting of two boxes. Just imagine hiring some movers and they are like “I’m cumming!” every time they picked up a couch or a lamp. That means it’s time to burn every possession you own in the front yard and never sleep again.
Elizabeth’s dad took out some things from his safety deposit box and hid them around the house before he died, I guess he really liked to play clue games or something? Or maybe he was paranoid about the bank, because old people are old and crazy. He’s probably one of those sovereign citizen nutjobs and rants about gold-fringed flags and the US being a British owned corporation. Elizabeth needs Mason to look over blueprints of the house looking for secret compartments, while Chris will go through dad’s papers. Yes, she brought in two guys to help her look around the house and to look through papers. She mentions she might lose the house otherwise.
Then Elizabeth kicks the two women out of the room to talk to the guys alone (Rachel is not happy!), and reveals it is secret gemstones they are after. How thoughtful of her father to turn his death to a scene right out of a video game where you go in peoples’ houses and smash stuff and find treasure.
Cat and Rachel talk in the garden, theorizing about why Elizabeth has a hold over their dudes, and Cat is totally into the plants and talking botanicals and pseudoflirting with Jackson.
Back in their room, Cat helps Mason feel better after he’s been working by himself all day (Chris and Elizabeth mysteriously disappeared….) Why Cat is doing anything to help her loser boyfriend is a mystery, especially when after they’re finished their lovemaking, he goes and badmouths plants once more. Cat is too excited about the plants, and also suspects that Elizabeth is having an affair with Jackson. Mason suddenly gets incredibly defensive of Elizabeth in a totally non suspicious way and defends her honor.
Elizabeth is upset Chris hasn’t found anything in the papers, and gets upset when Rachel snipes at her based on what was in the papers. Rachel storms off again, Chris goes to check on Elizabeth, and Mason gets all defensive of Elizabeth to Cat for some reason.
Chris attempts to apologize to Elizabeth but she blows him off, and then dumps more adversarial conversation against Jackson, which hints towards Jackson suspecting that Elizabeth probably offed her father (using all the poisonous plants at the house!) before her and Jackson get it on some more.
The next morning Elizabeth plans to work right alongside Mason…dun dun dun!
Chris and Rachel are back together and leaving because the place is toxic, literally. They tell Cat that Elizabeth’s dead dad had cicutoxins in him – which is found in water hemlock.
Cat then spies Mason and Elizabeth getting it on… so she packs up to leave. But not until she spies on them for a good while. Cat sits in the garden, yanking leaves. Unfortunately she yanks a spiky leave and gets injured…so Jackson can save her with a special cream he makes!
Cat tells Jackson about dead dad’s cicutoxin and that Elizabeth was sleeping with Mason, so she asks him if he wants to get it on, and the on is gotten. Jackson curing her again with a different special cream.
Cat sneaks around the house and finds dried herbs and a vial of poison. I guess the cops missed the whole vial of poison thing when her father first mysteriously died, but they arrive just again right when Mason and Elizabeth find the bag of missing gems. The cops arrest Elizabeth for murder thanks to what Cat found, and Cat dumps Mason as well. The cops take custody of the gems as they bring Elizabeth in, so who knows if they’ll ever be seen again. Cat and Jackson are free to live their plant-loving lives, except he’s probably fired as everyone who employed him is dead or in jail.
And now we all know the true Hidden Treasure is…calling the cops on your ex!
Rated 7/10 (MRG treasure, decoration treasure, grape treasure, jug treasure, poison treasure, Goonies treasure, copper treasure)
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