Hide and Seek review

horror movies&stuff

[Hide and Seek] (Plot:A widower moves to the country, to start a new life with his daughter after his wifes apparent suicide. Things start out okay, but soon change drastically as his daughter Emilys new friend only known as "Charlie", sets in motion a hurricane of destruction upon both their lives.) (Cast: Robert De Niro, Dakota Fanning, Famke Janssen, Elisabeth Shue, Amy Irving, Dylan Baker, Melissa Leo, Robert John Burke, Molly Grant Kallins, David Chandler) (My Thoughts:Ironically enough I had already knew the ending to this film going into seeing it, since it was posted on various movie sites. Still despite all of that, the film did a pretty good job trying to fool me with it's assortment of red herring suspects.) (Review: David Callaway and his daughter Emily move to a quiet country community. The reason for this, is because Davids wife Alison commited suicide one night in the bathtub, by sliting her wrists with a razor. Or so it seems she killed herself. Upon their arrival, Davids daughter Emily played very well I might add by Dakota Fanning, is obviously withdrawn a bit from the new people her and her dad meet after arriving at their new home. Totally understandable for a young girl who witnessed her mom lying dead in a tub full of bloody water. "Hide and Seek" does a crafty job of setting up Dakota as a possible killer. Emilys pale face, not all there stares, and passive withdrawn attitude, would lead the viewer to believe maybe her moms suicide wasn't a suicide after all. Shortly after arriving at their new home, David meets the creepy looking guy who sold him the house, the creepy looking sheriff, the neighbors a husband and wife, and a woman named Elizabeth who has a niece around Emilys age. Things are going fine until one night before bed time, Emily mentions to her dad that she has a new friend named Charlie. Her dad is a bit startled by this news, seeing as how he doesn't remember him or his daughter meeting anyone else other than the neighbors and Elizabeth. Davids friend Katherine played by Famke Janssen tells him it's pefectly normal for a child whos been through what Emily has to make up imaginary friends. This film was advertised as a ghost story, but as it goes along, you kind of get the feeling that maybe a human hand is at work. The scene where David discovers his wife dead in the bathtub at the beginning sort of suggest this also. We also get flashback scenes to a party of some sort which David and his wife attended. This eventually plays into the climax of the film later on. Things get stranger for David and his daughter as she continues to become more and more withdrawn from everyone around her, including her own dad, and becomes growingly fixated on this Charlie character, who her dad seems to just miss every time he checks in on her in her room. Her dad becomes more and more concerned about his daughter, so along with spending time with her, he invites Elizabeth and her niece over to the house. Emilys withdrawn borderline psychotic actions scare Elizabeths niece, and even Elizabeth in a few scenes later on. Dakota Fanning really carries most of this film. Her characters growing attachment to Charlie and growing detachment from her dad and everyone around her is interesting to watch on screen. Charlie also becomes more and more malevolent, which is evident in one scene where he recreates the scene of how David found his wife in the bathtub, and scribbles demented messages on the bathroom wall. In fact, every new person Charlie kills, they are found by Emilys father in the same set up as he found his wife, dead in a tub of blood, with candles lit around the bathtub. As a few bodies start to pile up, one of which includes the carcus of the family pet, Emilys continues to tell her father that Charlie was responsible. David thinks his daughter is, so he resorts to disposing of the evidence. This is where things start to get really interesting and the film picks up considerably. Deniros character starts to break down a bit, and suspects everyone hes met so far of possibly being this Charlie Emily speaks off. He pleads with his daughter to tell him the truth about Charlie, and if she actually IS Charlie. The red herrings start to pop up more and more often as the film nears its shocking climax. The neighbor, the sheriff, and even the guy who sold David the house are all used as red herrings near the end, but the sheriff and the male neighbor stand out the most. The revelation of who exactly is Charlie would be shocking to someone who didn't already know the ending, like I did. Still however, I was a bit shocked myself as to who turned out to be Charlie, and also the revelation of how Charlie came about. The way things are connected together, and as the flashbacks explain things, it all makes sense as to who turns out to be the aforementioned Charlie, and why. Famkes character is also brought back from way early in the film, and a few phone call scenes, and plays a vital role in the movies climax, but I won't spoil it for those of you who haven't seen the film yet. The films total end does two things, sets it up for a sequel, and leaves the viewer with a feeling of dread for the poor soul whos unaware of the danger they're in.) (Pros: Dakota Fanning gives a brilliant performance in this movie. She emotes well in the scenes where she cries, and plays a cold distant disturbed young girl very well also. She shows us two sides of her acting ability in this movie, very good performance, even upstaging Deniro in most scenes. Deniro gives a good performance as the single dad trying to start over. Famke does a good job in her role and is mostly involved at the end. Elisabeth Shue does a pretty good job also.) (Cons:The film takes a bit too long to pick up it's pace from slow and mostly boring, to intriguing and exciting. But ms Fannings performance washes away most of the boredom in the early scenes. Also the scenes where Deniro shows up and Emily mentions that Charlie was around seconds or a minute ago were too large in amount. It would've made things a bit more believable if they did those scenes sparingly.) (Overall:A pretty good horror/thriller, despite it's obvious false advertising in which it tried desperately to pass itself off as a ghost story.)