As a widower tries to piece together his life in the wake of his wife's suicide, his daughter finds solace, at first, in her imaginary friend.


John Polson


Ari Schlossberg
1 win & 5 nominations. See more awards »





Complete credited cast:
Robert De Niro ... David Callaway
Dakota Fanning ... Emily Callaway
Famke Janssen ... Katherine
Elisabeth Shue ... Elizabeth
Amy Irving ... Alison Callaway
Dylan Baker ... Sheriff Hafferty
Melissa Leo ... Laura
Robert John Burke ... Steven
Molly Grant Kallins Molly Grant Kallins ... Amy
David Chandler David Chandler ... Mr. Haskins
Stewart Summers ... Doctor
Jake Dylan Baumer Jake Dylan Baumer ... Disturbed Boy


After her mother commits suicide in the bathtub, Emily Callaway is taken to live upstate in new surroundings to forget her traumatic past. Psychologist David, her father, learns that his daughter has a new friend, the enigmatic, never to be seen, imaginary (or not?) Charlie. A deadly game of hide-and-seek ensues. Who is Charlie? And what is troubling David in his dreams? Written by RavenGlamDVDCollector, ElectricLadyLand

Plot Summary | Plot Synopsis


If you want to know the secret, you have to play the game. See more »

Motion Picture Rating (MPAA)

Rated R for frightening sequences and violence | See all certifications »

Parents Guide:

View content advisory »

Did You Know?


Auditions were held for the part of Emily because Director John Polson hoped he would be able to "find another Dakota Fanning". Amongst the hopefuls were AnnaSophia Robb, but in the end, Dakota Fanning was cast. See more »


When David says goodnight to Emily on the first day in the new house, presenting her the diary, he is wearing a green sweater, but when he leaves the room, he is suddenly wearing a gray one. See more »


[first lines]
Alison: Faster.
Emily: No, no, no.
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Alternate Versions

The DVD includes four alternate endings. The DVD also has a branching system which includes four different versions of the film. See more »


References The Shining (1980) See more »


Set 'em Up Joe
Written by Werner Tautz
Courtesy of Extreme Production Music
See more »

User Reviews

It'll do till something better comes along
11 April 2008 | by neil-476See all my reviews

I'm not the greatest figurer out of plot twists, and I didn't figure this one out. If you did, then I can see that there would have been an air of disappointment over that aspect of the film. I didn't so, plot-wise, I had no problem with enjoying the movie.

I thought the ending was fine.

And, as usual, I thought Dakota Fanning was quite remarkable, holding the screen with an assurance well beyond her years (although I find her manner in the "Making of.." documentaries worryingly un-childlike).

I did have some other problems, though.

De Niro's character must have been the worst psychologist in the world, given his complete inability to apply any of his knowledge to dealing with his daughter's problem in any constructive way (and, yes, I know "That's because blah blah blah", but it's still a distraction when you're sitting there watching him to fail utterly to exercise a shred of competence.

I failed to understand some of the child's motivation for her actions and attitudes vis-a-vis Charlie and Dad, especially given the nature of the twist.

Elisabeth Shue and Famke Janssen - nice to see them, even if only briefly.

And De Niro - not your finest hour, Bob. Carry on like this, and Norton and Depp will be fighting over the "Greatest Living Screen Actor" crown, while you watch from the wings.

My score of 7 is a point or two higher than it would otherwise have been, solely on the strength of Dakota Fanning's performance.

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Frequently Asked Questions

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Official Sites:

Official site


Germany | USA



Release Date:

28 January 2005 (USA) See more »

Also Known As:

Hide and Seek See more »


Box Office


$30,000,000 (estimated)

Opening Weekend USA:

$21,959,233, 30 January 2005

Gross USA:


Cumulative Worldwide Gross:

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Company Credits

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Technical Specs


Sound Mix:

DTS | Dolby Digital | SDDS



Aspect Ratio:

2.35 : 1
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