Newest Reviews
Prisoners of the Ghostland
Duel to the Death
Dona Flor and Her Two Husbands
Yakuza Princess
Djinn, The
New Order
Original Cast Album: Company
Martyrs Lane
Paper Tigers, The
Conjuring: The Devil Made Me Do It, The
ParaPod: A Very British Ghost Hunt, The
Collini Case, The
Hitman's Wife's Bodyguard
Snake Girl and the Silver-Haired Witch, The
Plan A
When I'm a Moth
Tigers Are Not Afraid
Misha and the Wolves
Yellow Cat
When the Screaming Starts
Sweetie, You Won't Believe It
Lions Love
Night Drive
Toll, The
Last Bus, The
Purple Sea
Pebble and the Boy, The
Mosquito State
Lina from Lima
Newest Articles
Intercourse Between Two Worlds: Twin Peaks Fire Walk with Me/The Missing Pieces on Blu-ray
Enjoy the Silents: Early Universal Vol. 1 on Blu-ray
Masterful: The Servant on Blu-ray
70s Sitcom Dads: Bless This House and Father Dear Father on Blu-ray
Going Under: Deep Cover on Blu-ray
Child's Play: Children's Film Foundation Bumper Box Vol. 3 on DVD
Poetry and Motion: Great Noises That Fill the Air on DVD
Too Much to Bear: Prophecy on Blu-ray
Truth Kills: Blow Out on Blu-ray
A Monument to All the Bullshit in the World: 1970s Disaster Movies
Take Care with Peanuts: Interview with Melissa Menta (SVP of Marketing)
Silent is Golden: Futtocks End... and Other Short Stories on Blu-ray
Winner on Losers: West 11 on Blu-ray
Freewheelin' - Bob Dylan: Odds and Ends on Digital
Never Sleep: The Night of the Hunter on Blu-ray
Sherlock vs Ripper: Murder by Decree on Blu-ray
That Ol' Black Magic: Encounter of the Spooky Kind on Blu-ray
She's Evil! She's Brilliant! Basic Instinct on Blu-ray
Hong Kong Dreamin': World of Wong Kar Wai on Blu-ray
Buckle Your Swash: The Devil-Ship Pirates on Blu-ray
Way of the Exploding Fist: One Armed Boxer on Blu-ray
A Lot of Growing Up to Do: Fast Times at Ridgemont High on Blu-ray
Oh My Godard: Masculin Feminin on Blu-ray
Let Us Play: Play for Today Volume 2 on Blu-ray
Before The Matrix, There was Johnny Mnemonic: on Digital
  Hide and Seek See Emily Play
Year: 2005
Director: John Polson
Stars: Robert De Niro, Dakota Fanning, Famke Janssen, Elisabeth Shue, Amy Irving, Dylan Baker, Melissa Leo, Robert John Burke, Molly Grant Kallins, David Chandler, Jake Dylan Baumer
Genre: HorrorBuy from Amazon
Rating:  6 (from 2 votes)
Review: Emily Calloway (Dakota Fanning) had a happy home life with her parents in New York City, and as they had had her late in life they doted over her, especially her mother (Amy Irving) who would tuck her in every bedtime and play games of hide and seek with her daughter to amuse her. She always let Emily know she loved her more than anything else in the world, which made what happened one fateful night all the more distressing. Father David (Robert De Niro) awoke just after two in the morning sensing something was wrong, and went into the bathroom to check on his wife - then found her dead.

If you're wondering what a cross between Rosemary's Baby and The Shining would be like, then apparently so was the director of this, John Polson, who arranged the title sequence so that it featured both the singsong music of the former and the aerial shots of the car through the countryside of the latter, just to keep the audience guessing about what it was precisely they had let themselves in for. The whole thing was so centred around its misdirection that even having an inkling that there was going to be a big twist, a major revelation, at a crucial moment was likely to set your mind racing on what it could possibly be.

Therefore those who claimed to have guessed the ending before it arrived may well have been telling the truth, but it wasn't too painful to watch even if you were ahead of the characters. Indeed, it was pretty professionally made, and if you were wondering which among De Niro's creepy kid movies this was, then the other, demonic one was The Godsend - this was more of a slasher effort, though you're never quite sure how until the final act when all hell broke loose. Not that the beginning was meant to be any the less traumatic for both David and Emily, as he finds her mother with her wrists slit in the bath and she witnesses the disturbing scene, resulting in understandable withdrawal.

But Emily does have one friend who she finds when her father takes her to live in the country, giving up his day job as a psychologist to look after his daughter full time. Alas, he's an imaginary friend, and the subject of those should really be fertile ground for horror movies, as many in real life had or have them, and all sorts of strangeness can arise when children believe they can see someone nobody else can. This appears to be the route that Hide and Seek is taking, and in a way you wouldn't be wrong to assume it, except you may also suspect that the "friend", who the girl names Charlie, could be more real than any of the other characters cared to admit - but is he some kind of ghost?

Polson worked from the script by Ari Schlossberg, who himself went on to create the cult slasher whodunnit TV series Harper's Island, and made great play of how unsettling the little Dakota Fanning could be when she made her face blank and stony, with her piercing blue stare used to full effect. In fact, she's so insistent without saying as much that Emily was seriously messed up that some found her hard to take seriously, and at times she does come across as every bad seed cliché rolled into one. Then again, just about every adult character except for two or three were cast for their unnerving qualities, from the weird next door neighbours to the Sheriff (Dylan Baker) who gives David a parking ticket mere days after welcoming him to the area. Once De Niro is encouraged to go places in his performance that are either atypical or all too typical you may give up on the film, but as an amusing, generic shocker yarn you could do worse. Music by John Ottman.
Reviewer: Graeme Clark


This review has been viewed 2210 time(s).

As a member you could Rate this film

Review Comments (0)

Untitled 1

Forgotten your details? Enter email address in Username box and click Reminder. Your details will be emailed to you.

Latest Poll
Which star probably has psychic powers?
Laurence Fishburne
Nicolas Cage
Anya Taylor-Joy
Patrick Stewart
Sissy Spacek
Michelle Yeoh
Aubrey Plaza
Tom Cruise
Beatrice Dalle
Michael Ironside

Recent Visitors
Graeme Clark
Darren Jones
Enoch Sneed
Andrew Pragasam
  Desbris M
  Paul Tuersley
  Chris Garbutt
  Sdfadf Rtfgsdf


Last Updated: