In ‘Hider in the House,’ Gary Busey Squirrels Away in the Attic of a Historic Monrovia Colonial

Real Estate

Halloween is my favorite holiday. (So basic, right?) Dressing up, the fun of playing a character for a night, the decorations, the crisp weather, being scared – there’s pretty much nothing I don’t love about October 31st, as well as the entire season leading up to it. As such, for years on my blog, I have dedicated my October postings to macabre locations, whether it be true crime sites, horror movie locales, or spots purported to be haunted. The articles, which I’ve dubbed my “Haunted Hollywood” posts, have always been some of the most popular with readers and are definitely the most fun to write, so I thought it only appropriate to continue the tradition here at Dirt. And first up – the Colonial at the center of the 1989 psychological thriller “Hider in the House” – is a real doozy!

I initially learned about the Matthew Patrick-directed flick via a February 1990 ”Los Angeles Times” article detailing filming in the San Gabriel Valley. In the blurb, area filming coordinator Linda Proctor mentioned, “For a recent Gary Busey movie in Monrovia, they completely took apart the front yard of a house, transplanted the plants, put up a picket fence and put a two-story facade on the neighbor’s house.” Intrigued, I headed to IMDB to search for a Gary Busey movie filmed around that time and landed on “Hider in the House,” which was noted as being shot in Monrovia. The website’s plot summary – “A deranged man hides in the attic of a new house and becomes obsessed with the unsuspecting family that moves in” – practically had me drooling! Currently streaming on Vudu, Amazon, and Vimeo, I plowed right through it. “Hider in the House,” which is a mix of “The Hand that Rocks the Cradle,” “Fatal Attraction,” and “One Hour Photo,” with a little Dolly Oesterreich thrown in, is a solid thriller (though Nick Nicewonger of “The Index-Journal” quite humorously disagrees). And man does it deliver in the eerie department! The hairs on the back of my neck were standing up all the way through! As a Decider article raves, Busey’s performance “is so disconcertingly creepy that you feel like you can’t take your eyes off of him lest you miss him doing something that makes your skin crawl.”

Considering my affinity for all things frightful, I, of course, promptly set out to ID the house where Busey’s deranged voyeur character, Tom Sykes, took up residence. Finding it turned out to be a snap.

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