TV

'Hidden,' streaming, Acorn

NEW YORK (CNS) -- Its striking look and good performances can't salvage the grim and languidly unfolding psychological thriller "Hidden."

The Welsh-language version of the drama, entitled "Craith" (Scars), first aired on BBC Wales in January of this year, while the English version debuted in June. It began streaming July 16 on Acorn, and all eight episodes are available now.

As the series opens, concern for her aging father, Huw (Ian Saynor), has prompted Det. Insp. Cadi John (Sian Reese-Williams) to return to her home village in the mountainous Snowdonia region of northwest Wales.

Unable to sleep one night, she encounters her dad, the town's former chief of police, outside the home they share. He warns her "the east wind always brings trouble," and soon Cadi is called in to investigate a young woman's murder.

Working with her partner, Det. Sgt. Owen Vaughn (Sion Alun Davies), Cadi discovers the bloodied woman found on the side of the road was Mali Pryce (Greta James), a local reported missing several years earlier. She was trying to break free of a captor when she died.

The investigators connect Pryce's murder to three similarly situated women's deaths, including one case Huw worked on, which resulted in Endaf Elwy's (Mark Lewis Jones) false conviction. Huw's guilt over this failure, which is tied to Cadi's present case, understandably colors her investigation and complicates her relationship with her dad.

Acknowledging Huw's fallibility may oblige Cadi to agree with her bossy sister, Elin Jones (Nia Roberts). A doctor, Elin believes her father, prone to seizures, will eventually require palliative care. But Cadi isn't ready to accept Elin's assessment. Aware her sister has always been Huw's favorite, Elin resents Cadi's reluctance to face facts as much as she resented her staying away from home for as long as she did.

The impact of the siblings' argument on the investigation is one of several subplots complicating the narrative of "Hidden." The series also tracks district nurse Lowri Driscoll (Lois Meleri-Jones), who's being harassed by the boyfriend she scorned, Marc Lewis (Gwydion Rhys). And viewers learn about troubled college student Megan Ruddock (Gwyneth Keyworth), who habitually cuts herself.

Lowri and Megan's lives eventually -- and harrowingly -- intersect with that of laborer Dylan Harris (Rhodri Meilir), a troubled sad-sack with serious mother issues.

Besides the murders and the self-injury, other violence depicted in "Hidden" includes a stabbing and some beatings. The series also portrays a lesbian relationship.

Additionally, there's a reference to a forced abortion, as well as to sexual harassment. While the strong profanity throughout the series is sometimes consistent with how such characters would speak, moreover, it often feels unnecessary.

"Hidden" verges toward being, but doesn't actually become, uncomfortably lurid. Undeniably difficult to watch, nonetheless, it's only suitable for grownups.

Yet even those adults who can stomach its grotesque world will likely become frustrated with the series' maddeningly slow pace. Viewers have to wait three episodes, for instance, before they comprehend Megan's central role in the plot.

By contrast, "Hidden" mystifyingly reveals Dylan as the culprit in its awful crimes almost from the outset, depriving viewers of the pleasure of figuring out whodunit. One episode also loses track of the investigation and of Cadi entirely to focus instead on Dylan's twisted demimonde.

Constantly berated by his wretched mother, Iona (Gillian Elisa), Dylan has developed a penchant for locking young women in his cellar. That's what becomes of the suicidal Megan, whom Dylan injured when she stepped in front of his pickup truck.

Alternating between ignoring and ministering to his captive, Dylan perversely assures her: "All you have to do is give me your life, and I will give you everything else." And, reflecting the mother and son's distorted symbiosis, Iona says to Megan: "You belong to my son now, and as long as you make him happy, nothing will happen to you."

The program may portray this sordidness authentically. But telling the story from the deviant's perspective compels the audience to wallow in an amount of misery many may prefer to avoid.

Despite the excellent rapport between Reese-Williams and Saynor and Stuart Biddlecombe's cinematography, which highlights the stark beauty of the story's setting, viewers may not want to stick around for "Hidden's" drearily predictable conclusion.

- - -

Byrd is a guest reviewer for Catholic News Service.

Nation
Archbishop Lori assures diocese he's with them in journey toward healing

WHEELING, W.Va. (CNS) -- In his celebration of Mass at the Cathedral of St. Joseph in Wheeling Sept. 15, Archbishop William E. Lori of Baltimore said ...

World
Bishop takes a (sky) dive to get pilgrims to Lourdes

HOVE, England (CNS) -- "The Moth has landed," tweeted the Diocese of Arundel and Brighton. The tweet Sept. 14 and a similar post on the diocesan Facebook ...

World
Words, promises are not enough to prevent abuse, archbishop says

VATICAN CITY (CNS) -- Inviting presidents of the world's bishops' conference to the Vatican to discuss abuse prevention reflects an understanding that ...

World
Pope praises Capuchin order's charism of authenticity, simplicity

VATICAN CITY (CNS) -- Capuchins are called to be men of peace, reconciliation and prayer and to be close to all people, Pope Francis told members of the ...

Nation
Path to healing starts with seeking forgiveness, Cardinal Wuerl says

WASHINGTON (CNS) -- A "Season of Healing" for sexual abuse survivors began in the Archdiocese of Washington with a Sept. 14 Mass at the Cathedral of St. ...

World
Archbishop McCarrick's unofficial role in Vatican-China relations

Vatican City, Sep 17, 2018 CNA.- Following reports that the Holy See and the People’s Republic of China could be about to sign an agreement ...

Nation
Archbishop Chaput: When we forget faith, we forget our humanity

Spokane, Wash., Sep 14, 2018 CNA.- When man tries to cling to reason and separate himself from faith, he forgets who he is and loses his source of hope, ...

World
Pope Francis warns priests against living a double life

Palermo, Italy, Sep 15, 2018 CNA/EWTN News.- During a day trip to Sicily Saturday, Pope Francis told priests and religious to fight their vices and strive ...

World
What is the pontifical secret?

Vatican City, Sep 14, 2018 CNA.- Following the allegations made by Archbishop Carlo Maria Viganò about the case of Archbishop Theodore McCarrick, ...

World
Vatican publishes list of synod participants, including papal nominees

VATICAN CITY (CNS) -- To the list of members of the Synod of Bishops elected by national bishops' conferences, Pope Francis added cardinals from 14 countries, ...

Nation
Addicts and their loved ones talk about life with opioid addiction

ARLINGTON, Va. (CNS) -- It was a Saturday night, and Billy was eating pizza and watching a sporting event in the basement bedroom of his residence, a ...

Nation
Signers of letter hope Vatican meeting will bring needed steps on crisis

WASHINGTON (CNS) -- Signers of an open letter from Catholic women to Pope Francis urging "truth" and "transparency" on the growing sex abuse crisis expressed ...

Local
Community 'overwhelmed and shell-shocked' after gas explosions, says pastor

LAWRENCE -- Volunteers at St. Patrick Church's Cor Unum Meal Center were serving dinner when multiple natural gas explosions and fires broke out in homes ...

World
Down to earth: Vatican brings together world's meteorite curators

CASTEL GANDOLFO, Italy (CNS) -- Rocks, mineral debris and even dust from space are kept in special collections, museums and laboratories all over the ...

World
Algerian martyrs to be beatified in Algeria Dec. 8

VATICAN CITY (CNS) -- The beatification of 19 martyrs of Algeria, including the seven Trappist monks of Tibhirine, will be celebrated Dec. 8 in Oran, ...

Nation
'Anything but a picnic' - Cardinal Dolan on the Church's summer of scandal

New York City, N.Y., Sep 14, 2018 CNA.- Cardinal Timothy Dolan has spoken about how the extended sexual abuse scandals facing the Church have taken a ...

Local
Restoring and reimagining: Transformation at the Cathedral of the Holy Cross

BOSTON -- Considered by many to be the heart of the Archdiocese of Boston, the Cathedral of the Holy Cross is the largest Catholic church in New England, ...

Local
Archdiocese says Cardinal O'Malley will personally review all abuse letters

BRAINTREE (CAN) -- The Archdiocese of Boston has announced changes to the way it will process and respond to letters addressed to Cardinal Séan P. ...

Local
CM receives $2.5M grant from Yawkey Foundations

West Roxbury -- Catholic Memorial, a college-preparatory school for boys in grades 7 to 12, announced Sept. 5 that they have received a $2.5 million grant ...

Local
Father Christian Ohazulume removed from ministry

BRAINTREE -- The Archdiocese announced on Sept. 11 that it had removed a priest from ministry after receiving an allegation that he sexually abused a ...

Local
From Cardinal Seán's blog

This week I am in transit to Rome in anticipation of the next meeting of the C9 Council of Cardinals. So, I have asked Vivian Soper to share some reflections ...

Nation
Kavanaugh's birth control comments spur controversy -- What did he say?

Washington D.C. (CNA) -- Opponents of Judge Brett Kavanaugh have suggested that a reference to birth control pills as "abortion-inducing drugs" during ...

Nation
Missouri to enforce abortion regulations in wake of appeals court ruling

Jefferson City, Mo. (CNA) -- Missouri's health department announced Monday that it will immediately being enforcing state laws regulating abortion clinics ...

Nation
Book tells about behind-the-scenes search for St. Peter's bones

HOUSTON (CNS) -- Two Houston men shared a journey through centuries of history and a decades-long archaeological dig under the Vatican to unveil a story ...

World
Update way priests are chosen, accompanied, pope tells new bishops

VATICAN CITY (CNS) -- The best way to help the Catholic Church, Pope Francis told new bishops, is not by pointing fingers and creating scapegoats, but ...

World
Vatican confirms ongoing Sistine Chapel Choir finance inquiry

VATICAN CITY (CNS) -- The Vatican confirmed an ongoing investigation into financial irregularities involving the directors of the Sistine Chapel Choir. ...

World
After meeting pope, cardinal says he's hopeful about addressing crisis

VATICAN CITY (CNS) -- Cardinal Daniel N. DiNardo of Galveston-Houston struck a determinedly hopeful tone after his long-awaited meeting with Pope Francis ...

Nation
DA clears Indiana bishop of misconduct, says claim has harmed prelate

FORT WAYNE, Ind. (CNS) -- The Diocese of Fort Wayne-South Bend welcomed findings by a Pennsylvania district attorney that cleared Bishop Kevin C. Rhoades ...

World
Cardinal DiNardo calls meeting with pope lengthy, fruitful

Vatican City, Sep 13, 2018 CNA/EWTN News.- Cardinal Daniel DiNardo has called a Sept. 13 meeting between Pope Francis and leaders from the Church in United ...

Nation
What do Church abuse policies mean by 'vulnerable adult?'

Denver, Colo., Sep 12, 2018 CNA.- A Vatican summit this February will gather the presidents of bishops’ conferences from around the world. While ...

World
'Elitist, clericalist' church allows abuse to thrive, pope says

VATICAN CITY (CNS) -- Sexual and physical abuse by priests and religious and the scandal of its cover-up by church authorities thrive in countries where ...

World
Cardinal Wuerl to ask pope to accept his resignation

Washington D.C., Sep 12, 2018 CNA.- An archdiocesan spokesman has confirmed that Cardinal Donald Wuerl will soon ask Pope Francis to accept his resignation ...

Nation
Pope accepts resignation of West Virginia bishop as inquiry into abuse claims launched

Vatican City, Sep 13, 2018 CNA/EWTN News.- Pope Francis Thursday accepted the resignation of Bishop Michael J. Bransfield from the pastoral government ...

World
Leaked German report shows 3,700 cases of abuse of minors in 68 years

WASHINGTON (CNS) -- A 350-page document leaked to German media and published Sept. 12 documents nearly 3,700 cases of alleged sexual abuse of minors by ...

World
Pope accepts resignation of Brazilian bishop arrested for embezzlement

VATICAN CITY (CNS) -- Pope Francis accepted the resignation of a Brazilian bishop who was arrested and charged with embezzling thousands of dollars in ...

World
Love breaks chains of slavery to sin, pope says

VATICAN CITY (CNS) -- Only true love for God and neighbor can destroy the chains of greed, lust, anger and envy that enslave humankind, Pope Francis said. ...

Nation
Washington cardinal to meet with pope to discuss resignation

WASHINGTON (CNS) -- Cardinal Donald W. Wuerl of Washington has told the priests of the archdiocese that he will meet soon with Pope Francis to request ...

World
Pope to convene world meeting on abuse prevention with bishops' leaders

VATICAN CITY (CNS) -- Pope Francis is calling the presidents of every Catholic bishops' conference in the world to Rome Feb. 21-24 to discuss the prevention ...

Nation
Supreme Court petition next step in effort to stop natural gas pipeline

WASHINGTON (CNS) -- A Pennsylvania religious congregation planned to petition the U.S. Supreme Court to consider whether their religious freedom rights ...