HIDE AND SEEK

Creepy, But Ultimately Very Dark

Content -4
Quality
None Light Moderate Heavy
Language        
Violence        
Sex        
Nudity        

Release Date: January 28, 2005

Starring: Robert DeNiro, Dakota Fanning, Famke Janssen, Elizabeth Shue, and Amy Irving

Genre: Horror

Audience: Teenagers and adults

Rating: PG-13

Runtime: 100 minutes

Distributor: 20th Century Fox

Director: John Polson

Executive Producer: Joe Caracciolo, Jr.

Producer: Barry Josephson

Writer: Ari Schlossberg

Address Comments To:

Rupert Murdoch
Chairman/CEO
News Corp.
Peter Chernin, President/COO
The Fox Group
20th Century Fox Film Corp.
A division of Fox, Inc. and News Corp.
10201 West Pico Blvd.
Los Angeles, CA 90035
Phone: (310) 369-1000
Website: www.fox.com

Content:

(HH, AbAb, L, VVV, S, AA, M) Strong psychological, humanist worldview where psychological abnormalities and traumas are ultimately incurable, and there is no God, family or community to help us achieve complete victory over psychological evil, with unbiblical, immoral and negative views of families, parents and authority figures, all of whom are unable to help us achieve complete victory over psychological evil; one “f” word and three light profanities; psychologically disturbing, though not gruesome, scenes of implied and depicted violence, including doll faces smashed, butterfly killed, dead suicide victim sits in bloody bathwater, man picks drowned cat out of dirty bathwater, and people shot, stabbed, shoved out window, and hit with shovel; implied adultery; no nudity; alcohol use and man is clearly drunk; no smoking; and, lying and disturbing behavior by parents and child.

Summary:

In HIDE AND SEEK, Robert DeNiro plays David Callaway, an unemotional psychiatrist who, after his wife commits suicide, moves to rural, upstate New York to get closer to his young daughter, Emily, who becomes disturbingly obsessed with an imaginary friend. HIDE AND SEEK is an effective psychological horror movie, until it becomes somewhat predictable, depressing and increasingly disturbing.

Review:

HIDE AND SEEK is an effective psychological horror movie, until it becomes somewhat predictable about midway through its running time. Also, the ending, including a little twist in the very last scene, is depressing and disturbing.

In the story, acclaimed actor Robert DeNiro plays David Callaway, an unemotional psychiatrist in New York City who wakes up one morning to find that his troubled wife has committed suicide in their bathtub. The death of his wife traumatizes David’s young daughter, Emily, played by Dakota Fanning. Emily loved playing Hide and Seek with her mother, who promised Emily that she loved Emily “more than anything else in the world.”

David decides to escape the big city, and work on his relationship with Emily, in a secluded house in rural, upstate New York, next to some woods. One day, Emily walks into the woods and finds something disturbing about a small cave there. Later, she tells her father that she no longer wants to play with her little doll, because she’s found a new friend, whom she calls Charlie.

Emily’s games of Hide and Seek with her invisible friend Charlie become increasingly disturbing. She admits to her father that Charlie doesn’t really like him, nor does he like divorced the blonde woman and the woman’s own daughter whom David has tried to befriend so that he and Emily can have some company. A series of terrifying events leads David to imagine the unimaginable, that Charlie may actually be real and, if so, he must be stopped before someone gets killed.

The main twist in this scary plot is somewhat predictable, beginning about midway through the movie. A final twist in the last scene, however, is not predictable, but it is depressing and disturbing. In fact, HIDE AND SEEK contains a disturbing, negative view of families and parents. It also seems to say that psychological abnormalities and traumas are ultimately incurable, even in young children. MOVIEGUIDE® cannot recommend such a movie with such negative and depressing, if not abhorrent, views. It is also disappointing that a movie like this with such good performances cannot find a more uplifting resolution to the terrible psychological conflicts within it.

The negative, depressing endings in Hollywood’s horror movies are becoming increasingly tiresome. Why can’t the monsters in our public nightmares ever be destroyed or, better yet, redeemed, especially by the Gospel of Jesus Christ?

In Brief:

In HIDE AND SEEK, Robert DeNiro plays David Callaway, an unemotional psychiatrist who moves to rural, upstate New York to get closer to his young daughter, Emily, who’s clearly traumatized by the suicide of her mother. Played by Dakota Fanning, Emily begins to become obsessed by a new imaginary friend, whom she calls Charlie. A series of terrifying events leads David to imagine the unimaginable, that Charlie may actually be real and, if so, he must be stopped before someone gets killed.

HIDE AND SEEK is an effective psychological horror movie, until it becomes somewhat predictable. Also, the ending, including a little twist in the very last scene, is depressing and disturbing. The movie, in fact, contains a disturbing, negative view of families and parents. It also seems to say that psychological abnormalities and traumas are ultimately incurable, even in young children. MOVIEGUIDE® cannot recommend such a movie with such negative and depressing, if not abhorrent, views. It is also disappointing that a movie like this with such good performances cannot find a more uplifting resolution to the terrible psychological conflicts within it. The negative, depressing endings in Hollywood’s horror movies are becoming increasingly tiresome.