Robert De Niro, Dakota Fanning, Elizabeth Shue, Robert John Burke, Famke Janssen
and Amy Irving.
Directed by: John Polson
speaking? Hide and Seek suffers from what I like to call, "Secret
Window Flu." It is a completely mediocre script, inexplicably starring
a major and genuine talent. In this case, Robert De Niro graces the lead role
- a role anyone could have played
. okay not Tom Greene or David Spade, but
you get my bitter drift.
Mother and wife, Alison Callaway (Amy Irving), commits suicide. Obviously
traumatized by such an event, her widowed psychologist husband Dr. David Callaway
(Robert De Niro) and grieving daughter Emily (Dakota Fanning), move from New York's
mean streets upstate to no-man's village, quietville, to start fresh.
fine doctor has great expectations that a new home and environment will help his
increasingly melancholy daughter accept the trauma and adjust to a motherless
life. He wants to be involved in her life and help her to come to grips with her
mother's untimely death and so on
he's a good fella.
the move turns out to be the beginning of some awful adventure in horror. Well,
a startle at least!
generic New England anti-Pepperidge Farm-ish neighbors come with spooky undertows
of suspicion. The property - on a lake - has sinister off-shoots upon its coveted
landscape, and the daughter has a new, possibly invisible, possibly subterranean,
but obviously screw-loose "friend" named Charlie.
new friend, Charlie doesn't like anyone around, especially daddy, and he has a
big old anger management raging bull-ish issue.
father upon analyzing this strange and sudden fellow, thinks Charlie may be a
manifestation of Emily's subconscious lashing out at him in regards to the mother's
death - but then again there's all that tangible proof that Charlie actually lurks
dear Emily gets more Wednesday Addams-y, and even starts to sketch morbid family
portraits involving blood and Gorey, er, gore, and mutilating members of her dolly
family, dad starts to wonder if his daughter is slipping down the rabbit hole.
Or is Charlie the cause of these sick shenanigans. Either way the doctor will
discover the truth!
This film is ultimately a waste of one's precious time. There are few legitimate
scares. The little star, Dakota Fanning, is quite a little talent - and she excels
in the "creepy kid with a secret" role. The rest of the folks involved
are fine, but there's no draw here. The story's a tad dull and even the idea of
watching a sixty-foot image of manlyberry von yumstruedel Robert
De Niro, who hasn't done a truly scary film since Angel Heart, prance
about the screen, isn't worth the dinero you'd have to shell out to see this clodhopper
of a film.
recommendation: Dinner en route to a nominated film you've yet to see.