Hide and Seek
- John Polson
- Reviewed by
- José Ruiloba a.k.a. Morris
- Review date
- Monday, March 07, 2005
After the suicide of his wife (Amy Irving), which his little daughter Emily (Dakota Fanning) witnessed, psychologist David (Robert De Niro) decides to move out of the big city and buy a house in the middle of the woods so Emily can find peace there, even if it means not visiting her psychologist (Famke Janssen) anymore. But Emily doesn’t get any better, as she soon creates an imaginary friend, Charlie, which brings on some rather disturbing consequences.
Hide and Seek has no other purpose in life than to work as a thriller and/or a mystery. That’s it. Not really that many artistic merits, but just that. And for me, movies are good or bad depending on how they work upon what they intended to achieve. This movie might piss some people off because of its ending or whatever, but there’s no denying the fact that I was scared throughout. And I was also intrigued as to what was happening. Hence, job well done.
The story is about a little girl who is traumatized because her mother didn’t love her as much as she always said, and ended up her life without caring about her. But then she has a loving father to take care of her, which doesn’t mean he’s any smart regarding difficult situations. If I have one quibble regarding this movie is the way David behaves when strange events occur. Any intelligent, caring father would have absolutely gotten out of there in a second or done something more drastic, but David chooses to “stay”. Yet, if he didn’t choose that, there would be no movie, so point taken.
The movie relies mainly upon a plot twist that happens 20 minutes before the movie is over. It is that kind of movie, yes. Some hated that ending. I liked it, not loved it. And the step between one and the other lies in the fact that in order to accept the ending you have to realize just how much psychological pain little Emily had to endure. It’s like understanding you have just watched a movie in which there was disturbing child torture, in more ways than one.
Then again, Dakota Fanning does a wonderful job in bringing that out of her character. This is one of the creepiest child performances I have ever seen, and coming from a girl who always plays adorable! That says a lot about Dakota’s acting chops, and her performance is what ultimately saves the movie from becoming lesser material.
Oh, and John Ottman’s score is pretty solid too.
“Come out, come out wherever you are.”
CriticSociety en Twitter | CriticSociety en Facebook
Share on Facebook | Share on Twitter