Hide and Seek (2005)
Director: John Polson
Robert De Niro/David
After her mom winds up pushing Daisies; Emily (Fanning) moves into a secluded (i.e. creepy as shite) house with her head-shrinking Daddy (De Niro). Once there she makes a new friend named Charlie. The snag is that Chuck is imaginary and likes to torment or on occasion… KILL PEOPLE! Is it on? Is it?
How freaking maddening! Hide and Seek had me by the throat for most of its running time via its infectious “slow burn” pace. I was so into the film and couldn’t wait to see where it was going to lead me! But when it was finally time to pay the Piper, it held out on the change like a cheap date and let me down big time! Think eating a delicious bowl of chocolate ice cream, and getting to the bottom to find out that it was marinating in Sheep feces for all that time. Damn you! DAMN YOU!
It all began on the right stab though! The initial premise fascinated me! I mean how many horror movies have you seen lately that had to do with a psychotic imaginary friend? EXACTLY! Then there was the well executed and poignant human drama which firmly drove the tale forward, rubbing my ticker the right way. We all know that dealing with children is hard enough; now imagine handling a kid saddled up with Post Traumatic stress! Not easy, not pretty and that’s precisely why witnessing the ordeal was captivating. Having Robert “You talking to me” De Niro and the adorable Dakota Fanning in the leads definitely upped the ante on this game! Talk about great casting! Both actors were exceptional as always and made the goings-on even more gripping than they already were! Double down that with some polished directing, a sinister score and a couple of potent nail-biting bits and you get a horror winner right? RIGHT? WRONG!
Hide and Seek cheated me by slumming it and taking the easy way out. First off, I have to scold it for the pathetic red-herrings it tossed my way. It was pitifully obvious that the movie was trying hard to mislead me in phony directions; hence all I could do was laugh at the sad-sack attempts. You know the drill; every side character acted "guilty" for no other reason than to keep me guessing while the story kept suggesting “possibilities” that I knew damn well weren’t true. If you’re going to try to swindle my ass…do it right! But the ultimate ball-breaker was the abysmal final plot turn which fully revealed what was going down in this madhouse. What a flick-killer! It ruined it all for me! Not only was the twist far from air-tight when looking at the events that previously took place, it was beyond PLAYED OUT as well! I've experienced this dry-stroke way too many times over the last two years in genre jamborees…enough is enough! It’s over guys! Let it go! Do something else for Pete’s or Wanda’s sakes! Sadly, the simpleton curve-ball wound up bankrupting my entire experience. I didn't want to know jack-all from this baby after that, which turned the last 20 minutes into a chore to sit through.
Hide and Seek could've been something special; it had all of the ingredients to make for a tasty genre Cup-a-Soup. Unfortunately, it shot itself in the foot with its lazy and tired conclusion. Hide this seek up your hide!
We get some blood and dry knife slashing. Nothing to get hard or wet about.
Even when slumming, Robert De Niro (David) is a better actor than most, if not all. I mucho grooved to his subtle and controlled performance here. Good stuff! Dakota Fanning (Emily) is easily the best young actress within her age group. She was uber focused and rocked as per usual. Famke Janssen (Katherine) did fine with what she was given to do. It was slick to see Elisabeth Shue (Elizabeth) again; I haven't seen her do her thing since Hollow Man! Her acting chops and her ta-tas were in top form! And was that Robert John Burke I saw in a small role? You bet! The Dust Devil so owned his limited screen time. I wanted to see more of him! Somebody give this guy a lead in a big budget flick already! No, not like Robocop 3...a real lead!
T & A
Elisabeth Shue's cleavage looked like a place I'd love to reside in. How much is the rent? The ladies get Robert DeNiro's nose.
Polson conveyed the appropriate morbid atmosphere, handled his suspenseful scenes adequately and came up with a couple of fly shots. I dug his vibe!
The eerie score by veteran John Ottman came through when it came to tapping into and upping the chilling feel at hand.
Hide and Seek stimulated my noggin through its compelling basis and its unnerving fear scenarios while topping those goodies with top notch acting and a yummy lick the gravestone feel. Sadly the flick dragged all of that worth straight into the gutter with its final, overdone twist that launched the story to a “snore” conclusion. Is that all they got in Hollywood man? Drink some JD, chew on soap bars, bang some midgets… do something to stimulate your imagination already! That “trick” was pummeled to the ground by the end of 2004! All that to say; see the flick on video where it belongs. Or better yet play hide and seek with your pecker and some dame's mouth instead. Marco...Polo...ZIPPP! Yup...much more rewarding!
Director John Polson also helmed "Swimfan"
Robert John Burke was born in Montréal, Québec, Canada
Ari Schlossberg wrote the screenplay. He only wrote one script before called "Lucky 13".
Dakota Fanning was born on February 23 1994
VISIT THE OFFICIAL HIDE AND SEEK WEBSITE HERE