Thank you for reading in advance
Hide and Seek is a 2005 American horror film starring Robert De Niro and Dakota Fanning. It was directed by John Polson. In the aftermath of tragedy, Strange events plague a widowed psychologist and his daughter who claims her imaginary friend - ‘Charlie’ - is real.
Generally speaking, horror movies are not my friend. I am the biggest scaredy-cat alive, and because of that I spend a lot of time preparing for jump-scares and sometimes I find that this distracts from the overarching plot. With that in mind, ‘Hide and Seek’ has moments here in there that will catch an audience member by surprise, but the majority of the time suspense and speculation are used to create an otherwise “creepy” atmosphere. If you're looking for a film that doesn't depend on gimmicky visual effects to startle its viewers then we’re off to a good start and you've come to the right place.
Sadly, you won't be in the right place for a long.
It would be fair to say that this film has a lot of potential, but as the storyline develops it becomes painfully predictable and ultimately beats the dead horse that is the plot to death. Characters are haphazardly killed as a means to an end, and the overarching intrigue as it relates to processing trauma fades away like dust in the wind. Key scenes that could have been written to more explicitly touch on the complexity of emotions that could explain reasons for what is going on - like guilt and grief - are thrown out, compartmentalized, and waste away as fleeting moments that subsequently feel tacky and unresolved. On a good note, however, this is a fair reflection of one character's attempt to reconcile with the parts of individuals that are loved and the parts that are jagged and potentially harmful (Was this the director's intention? I don't know, but , let's just pretend it is. . . .) If curiosity is what provokes you to start watching this I certainly won't blame you, but just be prepared to do an astronomical amount of projecting and heavy lifting in order to make the experience of watching this film a notably meaningful one.
For the sake of ending on a positive note, the performances by De Niro and Fanning - especially Fanning - do well enough at combining the attributes needed to make their characters and the situation they are facing at hand seem conceivable and believable. De Niro is just the right amount of ambiguously suspicious and conspicuously charismatic. Fanning is equal parts perplexed and certain about the warped sense of reality she finds herself unwillingly wrapped inside of with little chance of escaping. Regardless - even these performances seem to conjure the bare minimum of effort to chug from point A to point B, and it is hard to say whether this is in some ways directly related to or even a result of my previous point above. ‘Hide And Seek’ is a cage and its cast members are like mimes: Desperate to get out with little resources made overtly available to them
Surprisingly enough, I did actually enjoy this film - but I use that word extremely loosely.
The subject matter contained is inherently provocative, but it is handled rather recklessly and comes to a full stop once the conclusion reveals itself in a way that is both disappointing and particularly lethargic.
Overall, I conclude that watching this film at least once if the opportunity happens to fall in your lap wouldn’t be the biggest waste of time, but do keep in mind - what this film ends up being and what this film could have been are on completely different planets