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Anna Ivers returns home to her sister Alex after a stint in a mental hospital, though her recovery is jeopardized thanks to her cruel stepmother. Her dismay quickly turns to horror when she is visited by ghastly visions of her dead mother.
Hide and Seek revolves around a widower and his daughter. They move to upstate and Emily soon creates an imaginary friend named Charlie... but this act takes an unexpected and terrifying turn, where her father and doctor start to worry about Emily's gruesome habits. Written by
For the first time in 70 years, 20th Century Fox shipped prints of Hide and Seek (2005), without the final reel, which would be shipped separately. This was done as a security measure as so people wouldn't be able to reveal the final ending. To further ensure the safety of protecting the film's ending, security guards would hand-deliver the reel to theaters showing the film. Fox had individually numbered each reel as well as a final security measure. Fox executive VP and sales manager Richard Myerson stated it was "to ensure everyone's enjoyment of the film and to prevent 'spoilers', we've instituted extraordinary measures. We think it's worth the effort." See more »
Elizabeth's scarf changes position when she enters Emily's room. See more »
Maybe Robert De Niro's doctor in Godsend (2004) went to the same medical school of horrors as his Dr. David Callaway in Hide and Seek, this year's De Niro toss away film, from which he deposits his considerable paycheck along with cash from Meet the Fockers. Why he doesn't concentrate his fortune and connections (as Clint Eastwood does) to craft an artful small film that would allow his acting gifts is the only mystery for me from his prolific but arguably spotty career.
Young Emily Callaway (Dakota Fanning) has lost her mother (Amy Irving) to suicide. Psychologist dad moves her to an older, rambling house in the woods in upstate New York to start a new life. Not new are the abundant clichés of the horror film: the suspicious neighbors, whom director John Polson makes as creepy as possible; the questionable sheriff; the doors leading to scares; the mutilated dolls; Emily's imaginary friend, Charlie, who appears to be causing numberless offenses in the house; and knives placed as objects of intrinsic interest; and a vulnerable girl friend, Elizabeth (Elisabeth Shue). I stopped counting, for the film is one extended cliché after another.
The interest for serious filmgoers might be the depiction of the psychological stat after a loss to suicide. Whatever the term might be such as "post-traumatic stress disorder syndrome," the film does a credible job showing how difficult it is for Emily to lead a normal life after the loss of her mother (and for her father as well). While there are echoes of Stephen King (The Shining's "Here's Johnny" comes to mind) and Hitchcock (think shower scene), there is no comparison in quality with those classics. The audience at the preview enjoyed some of the stock shock moments behind the many closed doors. Hide and Seek will titillate horror fans but disappoint discerning film buffs, who look for some believable edge and innovation.
Milton in Paradise Lost expressed the descent from happiness to despair: "Farewell happy fields, Where joy forever dwells: hail, horrors!" Hide and Seek is not a classic horror film; it is a classic underachiever.
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