Directed by John Polson, and starring Robert De Niro and Dakota Fanning, Hide and Seek, turns innocent playtime into a deadly cat and mouse game. Come out, come out, whatever you are.
Hide and Seek opens with the Callaway family playing in the park. A picture perfect happy family of dad David (Robert DeNiro- The Godfather, Goodfellas, Taxi Driver), mum Alison (Amy Irvin- Carrie 1976), and daughter Emily (Dakota Fanning- War of the Worlds, Man on Fire), eating hotdogs and spinning on the merry-go-round.
That evening, Allison, seemingly commits suicide in the tub. We see a distraught David find her, sobbing and cradling his wife’s in disbelief as Emily stands frozen in the doorway, looking on in stunned silence. After the funeral, Psychologist David feels that a change of venue would be the best thing for him and his traumatized daughter and moves them to a small town in upstate New York, hoping to start life over again in an unfamiliar setting.
Almost as soon as Emily arrives she becomes more and more distant, peering into the nearby woods and giving up playtime for sitting lifelessly on her bed. David discovers Emily has a new imaginary friend named Charlie, which at first seems a normal way for a traumatized child to act out and deal with grief, but things begin to turn sinister and elevate at an alarming rate. David begins to believe that Emily is responsible for a number of violent acts happening.
Dakota Fanning’s dark hair, heavy eye circles, and creepy mannequin-like behavior were very effective. Rober De Niro gives a very controlled but effective performance as David Callaway, the troubled and grieving widower who is trying to keep himself and his daughter from falling apart, but it definitely isn’t up there with his best performances.
Hide and Seek plays a game with its audience delivering different assumptions and twists, some which aren’t particularly original or executed amazingly, but with Hide and Seek don’t try and guess what’s happening as you may ruin it for yourself. Just sit back, relax and you’ll enjoy it more.
Anyone want to play?
WICKED RATING: 6/10 (6 / 10)
Title: Hide and Seek
Director(s): John Polson
Writer(s): Ari Schlossberg
Stars: Robert De Niro, Dakota Fanning, Famke Janssen
Studio/ Production Co: Twentieth Century Fox Film Corporation, Fox 2000 Pictures, Josephson Entertainment
Budget: $25,000,000 (estimated)
Sub-Genre: Mystery, Thriller