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Lupercali4 July 2005
Warning: Spoilers
This horror/thriller/(maybe)supernatural movie is nothing really remarkable, or anything that you haven't seen before, but it's quite watchable. After the suicide of his wife, Robert de Niro's psychologist character withdraws to an isolated rural location as therapy for his traumatised daughter. Things start to get creepy when she develops an imaginary friend who has a decidedly vicious streak.

I've been complaining for some years now that de Niro really needs to pay a bit more attention to the sort of parts he accepts: he's been in far too many stupid comedies. Here we finally see him in a dramatic role, and whereas he pulls it off professionally, it's not really an inspired performance, and you have to wonder where his next classic role is going to come from.

That aside, 'Hide and Seek' is a suitably creepy and dark movie. Its major fault, at least as far as I was concerned, is that its crucial 'secret' was obvious by about half an hour from the end. I still held out hopes that I was wrong, but I think anyone who's seen enough films of this sort would work it out by a process of elimination, and besides, the movie blows its own cover completely a good 10 or 15 minutes from the end, which leaves you with a rather disappointing and predictable run home.

The DVD includes four alternate endings, three of which the directors eventually decided were too 'dark', and that the audience deserved some kind of positive 'reward' after having sat through so much traumatic stuff. I disagree. At least two of the three 'dark alternate endings would have improved the film by giving it a sting in the tail. Good god, go through a mental list of great horror movies, and you won't find many that shy away from endings that are 'too dark'.
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Come out wherever you are.....
jotix10012 February 2006
As a psychological thriller, or a horror film, "Hide and Seek" doesn't break new ground. In fact, once it's over, the viewer feels somehow manipulated by what we have just witnessed. There are, supposedly, four different alternative endings for the movie, but unfortunately, the one being shown, doesn't add anything to what we have already seen.

Although the film has some interesting moments, director John Polson has gone for the Grand Guignol effect. Ari Schlosberg's screen play gives us hints about what to expect, yet, when we realize the mystery at the center of the story, we keep scratching our heads.

Suffice it to say, this film doesn't add anything to Robert DeNiro's brilliant career. Mr. DeNiro's last choices in films puzzle us, as well as his fans because we know he is capable of doing much better. Yet, as shown with this film and "Meet the Parents", and its sequel, "Meet the Fockers", "Analize This", and "Analize That", the actor keeps us wondering about his choices.

Dakota Fanning is a young actress who shows an uncanny sense of how to upstage Mr. DeNiro in most of their scenes together. As Emily, in this film, this girl shows an enormous range in what she is capable of doing. One can see Ms. Fanning growing to be another Jody Foster in later years.

The rest of the cast is completely underused. Amy Irving is only seen in flashbacks, which is a shame since she is a valuable actress. Famke Janssen has a few key scenes. The same goes for Melissa Leo, Elisabeth Shue and Robert John Burke.

The only consolation was it was shown on cable and we felt lucky not having spent the price of admission.
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Good Thriller, With an Excellent Very Dark Alternative End
Claudio Carvalho16 July 2005
Warning: Spoilers
After the suicide of his wife, the psychiatrist Dr. David Callaway (Robert De Niro) decides to move with his traumatized daughter Emily (Dakota Fanning) from New York to the country to give more attention to her. In their huge old house, Emily finds a new and violent invisible friend called Charlie, making David very concerned with her mental state.

"Hide and Seek" is a good, but predictable thriller. Dakota Fanning has another outstanding performance, on the contrary of in the just-released "War of the Worlds", where she is histrionic. Robert De Niro is too old to act as the father of Emily, but in the end, this movie is enjoyable. The DVD shows three alternative ends, and there is a very dark one, which is excellent, with Emily in an institution. Unfortunately, the commercial end prevails and becomes the "official" conclusion of the movie. My vote is seven.

Title (Brazil): "O Amigo Oculto" (The Hidden Friend")
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A great movie down the tubes
MovieBuff141431 January 2005
Warning: Spoilers
When I first saw the preview for Hide and Seek, i thought that it was just another creepy kid movie. but after going to see it with a clear mind, i was pleasantly surprised. The movie was well-crafted and suspenseful with incredible performances from the cast. Dakota Fanning played a scarred young girl who develops a dangerous "imaginary" friend named Charlie. Her father(Dinero) moves with her to a remote place out of the city for a new start after his wife's suicide.

I loved the first hour of this movie. The characters showed true depth and the effects of what Fanning's character had seen were wonderfully shown. The neighbors were introduced and seemed very creepy.

Okey, now to the second hour...Why? Why? The writers had so many ways to go, why did they do the second personality ending? For those who hadn't seen it, the Dad was Charlie. It's not even the lazy routine ending that bothered me, it's that they had so many other choices! one, the couple who lost their child. The father saw him speaking to his daughter. When he went over to their house, he talked to the neighbor's wife who broke down, saying that her husband did something bad. What was that about? Also, the neighbor who was returning a key at 3am who seemed very suspicious. With any of these endings, they could have scared audiences with the modern fear of kidnapping and child abduction. But no, they went with the alternate personality.

This movie leaves the audience wanting their money back and wondering why they didn't see "Earnest goes to the Beach" instead. The writing is inconsistent, leaving loose ends with the neighbor's stories. I suggest watching the first hour and then leave or change the channel (if you're watching it on TV).
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A classic underachiever.
jdesando26 January 2005
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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Good little suspenseful thriller
After the suicide of his wife (Amy Irving), David Callaway (Robert De Niro) takes his mentally disturbed 9-year-old daughter, Emily (Dakota Fanning) to a new home in the country in upstate New York. Instead of getting better, Emily begins to withdraw further, and she announces to her father that she has a new imaginary friend named "Charlie." At first, her father sees Charlie as a way for Emily to express her feelings. Then a series of vicious acts such as menacing writings appearing on the bathroom walls, and other mysterious occurrences start happening around the house. David blames Emily for doing them, but Emily says that Charlie did it. But is Charlie imaginary? You'd have to ask Emily, who is the only one who can see Charlie. Charlie may actually be both real and very dangerous. The movie is well crafted and suspenseful with a great cast. For a thriller, I did jump a few times. The ending was a little disappointing, but not unpredictable. (20th Century Fox, Run time 1:40, Rated R)(8/10)
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Fluff n' stuff. (spoilers)
Pepper Anne29 July 2005
I wasn't impressed with 'Hide and Seek.' If you've seen Secret Window or any of the recent horror=thrillers with endings of an identical twist, you'll understand how tired and utterly formulaic this has become. Hide and Seek lacks imagination anyways because the viewer is asked to be confounded by a series of disconnected scare tactics such as things jumping of closets, the last minute awareness of the culprit before the death of an unsuspecting victim, and above all, modern horror-thriller filmmakers determined to creep you out with some weirdo kid.

All the while, however, the story is very thin: that of a father and his young daughter coping with the gruesome death of the wife/mother who supposedly slit her wrists in the bathtub where she bled to death. However, we are led to believe that in fact, her death was no accident. And the weird little girl and her mysterious, elusive friend "Charlie," seem to be behind the whole thing as they taunt the father who just seems to want to get on with things. Something like 'The Omen,' if you will. But, it doesn't end that way, of course.

Instead, a cast of pretty good actors star in a film of cheap tricks and an even cheaper ending (including the infamous last scene where you think that all is well until there is some last minute evidence that in fact, the evil will continue unabated). Formula one hundred percent. If you've seen films like 'Secret Window' or 'Taking Lives' or other similar pseudo-mind benders (sorry, other titles don't come to mind at the moment), then you're in for nothing new if you watch 'Hide and Seek.' In any event, De Niro didn't over act and Dakota Fanning did a fine job creeping me out.
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Low Temperature De Niro
jnation551114 February 2005
Warning: Spoilers
De Niro, though he gives a nice performance, is not exactly in overdrive, which probably explains why this film is released in February instead of the blockbuster periods. It is a nicely-cast and shot film, and De Niro avoids any temptation to munch scenery. The film has a Sixth Sense-type surprise, but just doesn't have the "oomph" of that movie. The scenes involving the neighbors are confusing and perhaps there was sub-plot that got cut. You might also say that the ending was telegraphed to some degree. I wouldn't go if you dislike violence against women (or cats). Won't be at the top of De Niro's resume.

Rated R (dead kitty; gratuitous shower curtains and sinister facial expressions).
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ajaws4ever29 October 2006
Hide and Seek is a really creepy psychological thriller directed by John Polson (Mission: Impossible II, The Sum of Us) and it has one of the most memorable and most shocking/surprising endings ever. Another movie that had that creepy-ending thing was Wes Craven's 'They'. (sorry, no other titles come to mind. but see They, it's extremely scary).

Anyway, Robert DeNiro (Shark Tale, Cape Fear (1991)), for once, did not over-act in this movie. His acting was actually great! And Dakota Fanning just literally blew me away. She is definitely THE BEST young actress that has ever been and that will ever be (I hope I said that phrase right, but if I didn't, I'm sure you know what Ii mean). She did the same thing in War of the Worlds, too. She has a very, very, very, very, very, very, very rare gift of acting. She has such a talent that God gave her. She just passed through the part easily, as if there was nothing too it. Her part as Emily Callaway really creeped me out. She also won an MTV Movie Award for, 'Best Frightened Performance' in this movie. She really seemed actually frightened! Everything else was wonderful in this movie! See Hide and Seek! You won't be disappointed!

Original MPAA rating: R: Frightening Sequences and Violence

My MPAA rating: R: Violence/Terror and Frightening Sequences

My Canadian rating: 14A: Violence, Frigtening Scenes, Mature Theme
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an acceptably mysterious typical thriller
spoiled_angeles165 July 2005
Warning: Spoilers
this had all the sufficient details and mystery of a typical thriller. as usual fanning displayed her enormous amount of talent, and De Nero portrayed his role or should i say roles quite satisfactory. the whole time i did not throughly pick up on the whole base of the movie as well as the plot until the near end when everything was cleared up. although things surely did not come to be as they seemed. i will have to give credit to the writers for that. it may have disappointed most but i wouldn't call it the all time worst horror movie. it was more on the physiologically thriller side than anything else.basically i enjoyed the creepiness of Dakota fanning's character through out the whole movie and the basic way everything was set up to happen and the whole time it kept the audience in silence and without much expecting of what was going to happen. i definitely think you should give a try it won't hurt. you pass the time and you have something to think about the rest of the day. although it took 2 times for me personally to completely grasp the movie other people might have understood it right away. and I'm not the type who is clueless about movies.
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What a Disappointment
Kerry Branine29 January 2005
Warning: Spoilers
I was anxious to see this film, and I honestly enjoyed the first hour of it. And then...Charlie was revealed, and I was so angry I considered walking out of the theater.

Not every horror movie has to be "The Exorcist" or "The Sixth Sense." Not every movie--horror or otherwise, has to be intelligent. With a little bourbon, even "Night of the Lepus" can be fun. Twists in a horror film are great--if executed correctly. And "Hide and Seek" misses the mark completely.

For one, it asks us to be stupid and go along with the second half of the film. The second half of the film doesn't add up, nor does it make us say, "I should have seen that coming," as films such as "Sixth Sense" and "The Others" did. There's no equation for this movie--none. In the end, I had no idea what the movie was really about (that drawing in the final scene--what IS that? What does it say?) The only thing good about the movie was the performances by every member of the cast. Hey Amy Irving! Good to see you! Same for Elisabeth Shue. Dakota Fanning is very talented, and we should keep our eyes on her. But the cast isn't worth the money.

Save your dollars for Blockbuster if you're really curious. Again, I was hopeful at 7pm this evening, and very angry two hours later. Little plot, no resolution. The film descends into utter nonsense. A true disappointment.
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Top Notch Acting In A Good Suspense-Mystery.
Mr_Ectoplasma29 January 2005
"Hide and Seek" is one of the best horror films I've seen in awhile. It is about a psychologist, David Callaway (Robert DeNiro) whose wife commits suicide, and he decides to move to upstate New York with his daughter, Emily (Dakota Fanning), whose personality has severely changed after her mother's death. A family friend/psychologist/co-worker of David, Katherine (Famke Janssen) disagrees with David's decision to move, and thinks that Emily should stay where she is. Then after David and Emily move into their new house, David meets Elizabeth (Elisabeth Shue), who becomes a friend to David and Emily. Then strange things begin to happen - Emily discovers a new imaginary friend, Charlie. And then people start to die.

Robert DeNiro and Dakota Fanning are both brilliant, their performances were extremely real and convincing. Dakota is quite talented for her age, and DeNiro gives another great performance like he always does. Famke Janssen ("Don't Say A Word" and "House on Haunted Hill") also does great, and Elisabeth Shue ("The Karate Kid") is also very good. In fact, the whole cast was great. The whole film was really suspenseful, and it tricks you a lot. The atmosphere was heavy, I loved the whole feeling of the secluded upstate New York small-town, and the large house David and Emily move into.

I liked this movie because it was more psychological rather than chop and slash gore that most horror films use to scare people. "Hide and Seek" has a good, solid story behind it, which is why it is such a good horror film, and the acting is top notch on top of it all. I don't understand everyone's problem with this movie, it was actually quite good. Sure, the ending is a little cliché, but the rest of the movie was good enough on it's own. 8/10.
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Amazing performances and atmosphere with an intelligent script
Brandt Sponseller31 January 2005
All's not well at the home of the Callaways. David (Robert De Niro) and Alison (Amy Irving) have obvious tension in their relationship. When it leads to suicide shortly after the film begins, David, a psychologist, packs up his young daughter Emily (Dakota Fanning) and heads from New York City to bucolic upstate New York to try to start over. Unfortunately, the suicide was just the start of their problems. It seems that something evil may have followed them into the woods.

Hide and Seek is not your typical thriller. For much of its length, it is a much quieter, slower-paced drama, resting almost entirely on meaty, complex performances from two actors, one of whom--Fanning--was only 10 years old while making the film! It also is veers back and forth from thriller to horror territory (which have a notoriously gray border anyway) depending partially on one's interpretation of the film. The ending is marked by a clever twist that most viewers may not see coming, and which will pleasantly broach more questions than it answers long after you have seen the film. Those facts might turn some potential viewers off, but anyone able to slow down and appreciate fine acting housed in a dense, creepy environment will be rewarded. The film was a 10 out of 10 for me.

Newcomer screenwriter Ari Schlossberg has said that he grew up in the city, so just the idea of the woods, as well as children in general, frighten him. Those may be unusual sentiments, but director John Polson has translated them with remarkable ease into Hide and Seek. The country setting feels eerie from the moment David and Emily arrive, and Fanning's outstanding performance has her gradually changing from a cute kid to a scary little pseudo-Goth monster more slyly than native New Yorker slipping into the subway car before you to grab the last seat. Of course De Niro is good, too, but that goes without saying. Hide and Seek gives both performers a chance to show their range, but the biggest surprise is perhaps that Fanning can match De Niro step for step. The rest of the cast doesn't slouch, either, but they're not the focus. Their role is more to provide the necessary little nudges to justify our stars' next dazzling feats.

While I cannot talk at length about various subtexts and interpretations without giving spoilers, they range from the purely psychological to the supernatural. It is worth noting before watching that little of what you see playing out on the screen may be actually happening, and there may be something more sinister at work that is never fully stated in the film.

Schlossberg has said that among his many influences for this script were The Shining (1980), and in fact, that masterpiece is directly referenced a few times. Those are big shoes to try to fill. While the style and content of Hide and Seek are very different than The Shining--Hide and Seek is even more understated--that's also a slower-paced film that finds much of its effectiveness from its thick atmosphere and commendable performances, and fans of Kubrick's great horror film should find enough to enjoy here as well.
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A Hackneyed Plot
Rey Alvarez2 August 2005
Warning: Spoilers
***This comment definitely contains spoilers!!!*** Robert de Niro's recent movie "Hide and Seek" is, as another IMDb commentator stated, a "watchable" movie. Although it is decently made, its failure to become a box office success was due to its script which was rather cliché. The plot line that the central character of the movie turned out to be the real villain is nothing new. Probably it was first used by Agatha Christie in her novel "Murder of Roger Ackroyd" approximately eighty years ago. Even with the further twist that this central character/villain himself probably did not remember the crimes due to memory suppression, the plot line is still nothing new. Rod Serling and others used this kind of plot line decades ago. (Some readers may recall a 1963 Twilight Zone episode "The New Exhibit" in which the central character played by Martin Balsam kept on killing and killing but did not remember any of his crimes due to his memory suppression. He blamed the murders on supernatural acts by his wax statues.) Because of this hackneyed plot, the so-called surprise ending of this movie was not much of a surprise. The only unexpected thing about the ending of the movie which is worth mentioning is the fact that the screenwriters steered the moviegoers to think that this movie was a horror movie in which an apparition named Charlie was behind all the horrible things occurring in the Calloway household. The screenwriters of the movie borrowed liberally from the Japanese movie "Dark Water" to make the movie look like a horror movie. For example, just like in the Japanese movie "Dark Water," 1) Calloway household consists of one parent and one child, 2) Charlie initially revealed himself only to the child and 3) Charlie seems to be associated with water, especially to the bathtub. At the beginning of "Hide and Seek," many fans of Asian horror movies and similar movies assumed this movie to be a horror movie, similar to "Dark Water." To the surprise of some of the moviegoers, the movie turned out to be a suspense movie in which none of the horrible events in the movie was supernatural. They were all the acts of the dual personality of the insane central character played by de Niro.

Although de Niro did an admirable job playing the mentally ill psychologist, his acting was not good enough to save this rather cliché script. "Hide and Seek" was merely watchable, but not very unique.
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Come out come out whatever you are
Jessica Carvalho2 January 2006
Warning: Spoilers
I liked ''Hide and Seek''a lot! It's the first horror/Thriller movie I watched with Robert De Niro, and he is great in his role of David Callaway! Dakota Fanning is one of my favorite child actors, and she is also awesome in the role of little Emily, not only because of her acting skills, but also because of her new look, with long and dark hair who really suits her. (Much better then the natural blonde hair she has, in my opinion). I don't want to write too much about the story of this movie, because I guess it could ruin the movie. I only can say that I liked the ending of this film VERY MUCH, and it's very surprising and dark in some way, what makes it great.

Famke Janssen is beautiful as always by the way! =)
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You know its not that bad
Bryan Raymond29 January 2005
Movie Buffs (snobs) will not be surprised by the stereotypical Hollywood ending, but the movie is not too bad throughout. Dakota Fanning puts on the typical scary little girl show to a above average level, and the cinematic action will make you squirm in your seat a few times. Therefore this movie isn't one that I would say you definitely need to see, but if you have some time to waste its a pretty good time. Also it gets bonus points for being a good date movie. The absolute worst thing about this movie is its lack of humor, though the dark overtones are necessary for a true horror movie there needs to be an element of humor(saving The Exorcist), even the Ring had its moments at the beginning with the two girls in the bedroom, this movie has no humor which makes us feel very little for the characters. This is the major downfall, but its still worth a viewing.
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Possibly Passable For One Viewing
ccthemovieman-127 January 2006
This was okay but nothing special. Frankly, I hate to see a young likable talent like Dakota Fanning play morose, ugly roles like this. Let her be a kid who laughs, has fun and acts like a kid, such as she did in "The Cat In The Hat." Since then, she's playing in rougher and rougher films although "Dreamer" with Kurt Russell, I am told, is a nice film.

Anyway, you know that with her and Robert De Niro, you're going to get some excellent acting. The movie also offers a lot of suspense. While it was not fun seeing a young girl mentally tortured and depressed all the time, it was nice to see De Niro play such a low-key role for most of he film.

I would think, without giving anything away, that one viewing of this film would be enough, even if one likes it. Once you know the ending, well......

If you are not a big fan of either Fanning or De Niro (I am) , I wouldn't even give it one viewing.
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Mediocre at best
kuito6929 January 2005
Warning: Spoilers
I went to the opening night of this movie... and I must say, I am very disappointed. The trailers really made the movie look amazing, but when I saw the movie, I thought, "When is something actually going to happen?" I found it disappointing that it took a long time for something to happen, and when it finally did, it was a very weak way to finish off a movie. As someone stated in another comment, the only thing worth seeing in that movie is Dakota Fanning. For an 11 year old, she is very creepy and sure knows how to keep an audience at the edge of their seats. I suggest to anyone who wants to see that movie to consider seeing another one, or wait until it comes out on VHS/DVD so you can rent it for cheap.
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SnowBoardersSuck19 July 2005
Warning: Spoilers
Deniro needs to stay away from thrillers and stick to playing bad guys or cops. In Hide and Seek, he portrays probably the worst psychiatrist/single father I've ever seen. Okay, I won't really spoil the ending but after "the revelation" of this Who's Doin It, it did NOT work for me. The writer of this movie Ari Schlossberg must have logged a lot of how-to-be-a-Hollywood screenwriter hours in class. Deniro's last thriller, Godsend, was also terrible, and he played a goofy doctor in that one, too! Typical stupid sheriff in this one who doesn't call for back-up and thinks his flashlight is a better weapon than his handgun. The daughter's role could have been played by anyone, but Dakota Fanning is the latest young darling hob-nobbing from movie to movie with big names. Her best-and only-good role as 'The Daughter' was in I Am Sam, where I thought she was fantastic. Famke Janssen was average and fluff as was Elisabeth Shue. The one and only good part of this movie is the one that didn't make it; be sure to see the alternate ending of Emily where she is institutionalized. A much smarter choice than the original ending. But then, making this movie at all was not a smart choice anyway.
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Extremely well acted and directed!!!
sammast1230 January 2005
I was absolutely on the edge of my seat the entire time. The acting was terrific and the mood and pace was unlike any thriller I have seen before. I really didn't know how it was going to play out and it almost didn't matter who 'Charlie' even was. I was just enjoying the setup. De Niro and Fanning are a solid match and did a wonderfully job conveying the desperate but paralyzed father and the tormented frightened child.

Even though we've seen various parts of this before, the way it was done was fresh and as scary as hell!! I thought "Hide and Seek" was great fun and a pleasant surprise and I hope it brings De Niro back to doing what we love him to do - Drama!

Check it out!
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Great psychological thriller and what the drawing meant
lorrie4131 January 2005
Warning: Spoilers
This thriller scared the daylights out of me. I loved it and the ride was so intense I thought I'd burst at the end of the movie. I never saw it coming, never predicted who or what Charlie was about--and was shocked. I LOVE IT! I love it when a movie sneaks up on me.

Its great and I would wholeheartedly recommend it to anyone who wants a good psychological thriller. Dakota Fanning was wonderful and shows great promise as an awesome actress. What can I saw about DeNiro--he delivers in spades (?) and never lets you down. I found myself gripping my fiancé at times and almost burying my head when I knew something scary was about to happen. I would have never predicted what the truth was and it was right there all the time. I loved this movie, will see it again, and buy it when its out on DVD. What a great and awesome piece of work. I am so glad I went. Go, you won't regret it. Oh and in case you don't know about the ending. The little girl was letting us know SHE HAS ANOTHER PERSONALITY. Just like daddy had Charlie, she too, has another personality! Prepare ye for part 2. Lorrie
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Is Hide and Seek worth the Peek?
Vasco Cid18 April 2005
Warning: Spoilers
The answer to the title is a mixed opinion. Hide and Seek suffers from the usual bad in most of the recent movies: the trailer gives away much of the movie itself, but watching the movie (and those of you who have know that), the trailer is cleverly edited in order to not reveal any of the actual plot twist in the end about the mysterious Charlie. For starters, the movie starts off with one thing in its favour: the cast. Robert DeNiro, the stunning rising Dakota Fanning, Famke Janssen and Elisabeth Shue. Well it is an almost perfect line up for the four main characters; but do they deliver? Only Dakota does. I'm realising that being Dakota 11 years old she steals the movie from any other actor even De Niro. She shows real emotion, real agony and we truly believe that girl is troubled. Although De Niro still marks some presence, and after all he his the genius we all know he is, his last few movie choices and performances are lacking, and here is no exception. Famke Janssen is merely an accessory to move the movie on, and Elisabeth Shue is clearly suffering from the "once-successful-but-not-anymore" syndrome. The script is not by all means perfect, nor above average, but it is my feeling that if it were handled by a more talented and trustable director, the movie could be a lot better. Hide and Seek is not an awful movie, but it is miles away from being a good one. Dakota Fanning is worth the movie alone, but the way the final twist (although farely indiscoverable) could be bombastic if better filmed. Too Bad.
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Creepy little kids.
cmivie16 November 2005
You know what I don't get? Why is it that creepy little boys or girls seem to always get away with anything? Look, when I see a creepy little kid, I will say that that kid is a creepy little bastard! I call it like I see it. I realize that most kids in the world are not disturbed, but some are, and should you ever come across one, then please save humanity and do all us humans a favor by making sure that said creepy little kid is locked away for life. I realize that creepy little kids have been a staple for horror films, but to suggest that they should never be thought of as criminals is insane. Hollywood loves to portray kids as angels. Like I said, most are, but I think Hollywood needs a reality check.

This leads me to Hide and Seek, a movie that is mediocre even with powerful actors like DeNiro, Fanning and Shue. For some reason, Bobby makes more mediocre films nowadays then he does quality. I realize you have to pay the bills, but come on. DeNiro is one of the best actors ever, and his movie choices lately (Godsend, which is horrible)have sucked. DeNiro should have looked at the script and then decided to burn it after reading the first 3 pages. Either that or he should have demanded a love scene with Elisabeth Shue for extra compensation. Fanning parents saw the $$$$ there little girl would earn, and signed her up real quick. Well, that is my theory, cause she is way better than this garbage.

Fanning plays the "creepy little kid", and DeNiro plays her psychiatrist dad. Mom kills herself in the beginning of the movie, or at least that is what it looks like. Darling daughter becomes depressed and creepy, and daddy decides to move from the city to the country for a new start. Turns out the move is a bad idea, cause (excluding Shue's character) all the residents of this small town that we meet are creepy too. And why is it that small town folk are always creepy? Big cities have there fair share of freaks as well, but for some reason, this movie (along with many others) wants you to believe that small town folks are crazy as hell. Anyways, this movie goes from okay to flat out ridiculous in no time at all, and once the big "surprise" comes at the climax of the film, you feel as if you have seen this movie somewhere before. That is due to the fact that Hide and Seek turns into a rehash of many other films. Sad thing is the fact that Hide and Seek wants to be different........but it isn't.

I'll give Fanning credit. She does play her role well, and it was because of her that I watched this whole thing. This is a dark role for her, and she seems to eat it up. She does have a bright future ahead of her, but she needs to avoid crap like this.
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It'll do till something better comes along
Neil Welch11 April 2008
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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What I Think
moody_cow_66628 February 2005
Warning: Spoilers
Well, what can I say? It's scary for one thing, but the storyline IS in fact good in my opinion...not everybody has to like it, but I have to say the only disappointment was the fact that 'Charlie' turns out to be Robert DeNiro's character, David, after he sees his wife kissing another man at a New Year's party. It was confusing at first, but after working out that Emily (Dakota Fanning) knew her dad was Charlie and didn't want to tell him, just in case he thought she was crazy, or just in case she didn't want him to think that he was more traumatised at his wife's death as his daughter was. After that, I was able to enjoy it more...EXCEPT when we see everything fall into place, i.e: seeing that it was DeNiro pushing Elizabeth out of the window, how fast did he get there and become Charlie? Because he, as David was listening to music when Elizabeth knocked on the door to see how everything was. Hmmm... anyway, the music added drama and made me jump every time the music climaxed along with the film...No matter how many people think it is a poor film, I think that it was excellent acting, music and storyline.

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