Hide and Seek

A Film Review By Jason L. King

Rating:Rated R for frightening sequences and violence 
Starring:Dakota Fanning and Robert DeNiro 
Directed By:John Polson 

Final Grade: 

I don’t normally like to give away the big plot points of movies in my reviews. I like my audiences to go enjoy the thrills, the twists and the turns the same way I do: with as little knowledge as possible. But in order to really talk about what bothers me with this film, I am going to have to give away the big twist to Hide and Seek. So, if you want to see Hide and Seek and not know any huge spoilers, then do not read My Review. It should be noted that I do not recommend that anyone on this planet ever view Hide and Seek, ever. With that Being Said, let the reviewing begin.

Hide and Seek is the formulaic tale of Psychiatrist David Callaway (Robert DeNiro) and his Daughter, Emily (Dakota Fanning) When David’s wife kills herself, he decides to move with his daughter to a large country home as a change of pace. Thinking this would help ease the pain for both himself and his daughter, David quickly learns that his daughter is taking the loss of a parent pretty badly. Suffering from post traumatic stress, Emily tells David that she met a new friend named “Charlie.” At first David found this harmless, but Emily’s new imaginary friend starts to become an outlet for Emily’s supressed anger towards her father, who she believes contributed to her mother’s suicide, and towards other people in her new surroundings. As time passes, David starts to question, just who exactly is Charlie, is he really real or imaginary and why does “Charlie” have it out for him?

Hide and Seek had two things going for it. Robert DeNiro and Dakota Fanning. DeNiro is a great actor, who unfortuanately has decided to slum it the last few years churning out a crapfest of mediocre cinema. The actor must have developed poor taste with age, because Hide and Seek should not be a film that should taste good on anyone’s cinematic pallet. Dakota Fanning who is that cute little obnoxious girl in every film is a great little actress with a bright career ahead of her. While this child actress has the potential to become the next Drew Barrymore, there is something about her that charms you on the big screen. Hide and Seek doesn’t let her charm us at all though. Instead it just makes you wonder, why is she in this film?

The plot (once again Spolier alert) is the most predicatable things I have ever seen. They try to throw this huge shocking twist at us, but anyone who didn’t see it coming is living in a dream world the entire film. What makes it even funnier is that watching the opening credits they give you clues towards the major plot points. Certain letters are accecented in child like hand writing. Words like “DeNiro – Its Me, Cat, woman, and red all be found if you have an attentive mind. If you haven’t figured it out (for the 3rd time: Huge Spoiler!) The secret is multiple personality disorders! Gasp! I swear I will tear out my own eyes if I have to watch one more film where they try to pull the “Ah HA! I bet you didn’t guess Multiple Personalities Routine!” one more time. It’s over played, over done and not even original anymore. Somewhere after the film Identity played in 2003 all suspense writers must have signed a pact that said “I will make a multiple personality disorder film in the next few years.” Now I know that the multiple personality film has been around for years, so I can’t say this is a new thing. Even classic Hitchcock (Psycho) dealt with the issue. But for the love of god guys! Give it up! It’s old! It’s annoying and it’s just plain dumb!

DeNiro stumbles though this shoddy film with ease and one can’t but help to think of Cape Fear by the end of the film. In fact watching DeNiro search for Emily at the end of the film had me near rolling with Laughter because I could not stop thinking of that great scene in Cape Fear where Max Cady (DeNiro) is calling out Sam Bowden (Nick Nolte) in the parking lot. “Counsellor…come out come out where ever you are!” DeNiro uses the same tone of voice and everything. The only difference was, Cape Fear was a great thriller. This was just annoying.

This film relies on bad cheap pops, bad characters, bad plot, bad twists and bad directing to give us a great film. It doesn’t work at all (Gee I wonder why.) I love DeNiro, but I want my time back. Hide and Seek is a great example of the crap movies Hollywood Churns out in January and February. Avoid this film like the plague. You’ll Be Glad you did. 

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