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Hide and Seek

A movie directed by John Polson

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'Come out, come out wherever you are...'

  • Jul 8, 2005
  • by
HIDE AND SEEK is a multileveled film that raises as many questions as it answers. Even the screenwriter Ari Schlossberg and director John Polson seem as though they weren't sure about the mysterious workings of their characters: there are four alternative endings on the DVD, each of which suggests something much different than the final moments of this sleekly drawn suspense thriller. I like that! This is a story that the audience will feel seduced by the odd behaviors of ALL of the characters: everyone is suspect for the spooky derring-do that fills this film.

Psychologist Dr. David Calloway (Robert DeNiro) and his daughter Emily (Dakota Fanning) are decimated by their discovery of the apparent suicide of their wife/mother Alison (Amy Irving) and against the advice of David's fellow psychologist Katherine (Famke Janssen), they move to a spooky old house in the woods of upstate New York. Emily remains withdrawn, electing to be friends only with 'Charley', a probable fictive ideation. Neighbors (Melissa Leo and Robert John Burke) extend kindness but at the same time are a bit ominous. Even the sheriff (Dylan Baker) and the realtor (David Chandler) are weird. The only bit of light in this disturbed household radiates from Elizabeth (Elizabeth Shue) who offers friendship but whom Emily dislikes because she sees her as a threat to her father's memory of the deceased mother.

Bizarre and heinous incidents happen with more and more regularity, each time the tragic situations attributed to Emily are blamed on her friend Charley. When everyone outside the house become suspect the story really takes a turn that results in the unsuspected ending.

More than just a strange scary movie about the game of hide and seek this is a rather disturbing document on the extremes that mental illness can cause. The capable roles growth and change between DeNiro and Fanning is superb and while there may be a little too much for the average movie buff to swallow, the points are well presented. Give this little thriller a chance and see if you can diagnose the endings - better than the filmmakers could! Not a great movie, but at least as good as others in this genre, plus it has the bonus of DeNiro and Fanning! Grady Harp, July 05

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More Hide and Seek reviews
review by . October 04, 2009
This is a great horror film and it's not cheesy like most similar types of movies. I don't want to say anything to give the movie away so I will make it short. I have to say this is one of the most unpredictable movies that I have ever seen. Robert De Niro and Dakota Fanning were both very believable characters. I bet you can't predict the ending! I would highly recommend this movie.
review by . August 20, 2005
posted in Movie Hype
"Hide And Seek" is okay. It's better than De Niro's other recent thriller, which involved cloning(the title escapes me right now). But in the long run, it's just another run-of-the-mill, cookie-cutter thrill flick.     Dakota Fanning is sufficient as DeNiro's daughter who has become rather silent and stand-offish since walking in on her mother's successful suicide attempt. DeNiro moves to the country hoping to bring her out of her shell. Unfortunately for the both of them, Fanning …
review by . January 27, 2005
Pros: Good cast and Premise.     Cons: Lousy ending, horrible pacing.     The Bottom Line: A waste of time and talent.     The mind is a deep a complex organ that science still struggles to fully comprehend, despite the countless hours of research and study that have been expended in unlocking the mysteries contained within.   In the new thriller “Hide and Seek”, audiences are introduced to Dr. David Callaway (Robert De …
About the reviewer
Grady Harp ()
Ranked #97
Grady Harp is a champion of Representational Art in the roles of curator, lecturer, panelist, writer of art essays, poetry, critical reviews of literature, art and music, and as a gallerist. He has presented … more
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Dakota Fanning--the elfin star ofUptown Girls,The Cat in the Hat, andMan on Fire--trades in her blond locks for a semi-gothic brunette do inHide and Seek. Fanning plays Emily, a young girl whose mother commits suicide. To help Emily through the trauma, her father David (Robert DeNiro), a psychologist, takes her to an isolated house in upstate New York. But instead of healing, Emily gets dark circles under her eyes, mutilates her favorite doll, and develops an imaginary friend named Charlie. In no time at all, things get spooky and David suspects this imaginary friend isn't so friendly.Hide and Seekowes a lot toThe Shining, but whether the creepiness is borrowed or not, there's a decent dose of it (though the twist at the end is unlikely to surprise many viewers). DeNiro does his job with professional gloss, but Fanning carries the movie; she's got the kind of charisma that goes beyond acting ability--that ineffable glow that makes an audience want to watch her.Hide and Seekalso features Famke Janssen (X-Men), Elisabeth Shue (Leaving Las Vegas), and the ever-dependable Dylan Baker (Happiness).--Bret Fetzer
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Director: John Polson
Screen Writer: Ari Schlossberg
DVD Release Date: July 5, 2005
Runtime: 101 minutes
Studio: 20th Century Fox
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