Hide and Seek movie review

Hide and Seek is a 2005 mystery/thriller/horror movie starring Robert De Niro and an 11 year old  Dakota Fanning.

De Niro is David Callaway, a successful wealthy New York City physiologist. One night at 2:05 am his beautiful wife commits suicide. His little daughter Emily (Dakota Fanning) awakens just in time to witness her mother’s bloody body.

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Emily becomes so withdrawn that she is almost catatonic. David decides that the best thing to do is to move them both to a completely new environment with no bad memories. They move upstate to a very large house in a rural town. It seems nice at first but a lot of the neighbors seem a little strange. Then bizarre events start to happen.

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OK, so far it seems like this will be a run of the mill horror flick. But what makes this movie great is that the audience is never exactly sure which direction the film is going to take.  Odd and destructive things start happening in the house usually at 2:05 am (exactly when the mother died). When David asks little Emily what is causing them, she keeps saying all the destruction is being done by her friend “Charley.”

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This is where it becomes a mystery movie. Is Charley going to turn out to be an evil spirit in a haunted house, or is he really one of the creepy neighbors who keep showing up at odd times? Or  is there a psychological explanation whereby Emily is acting out destructively due to the trauma of witnessing her mother’s death?

This film is worth watching just to see how amazingly talented an actor Dakota Fanning was even at an early age.  Many of the scenes in the movie contain only Robert De Niro and Dakota Fanning yet are riveting to watch.  He is trying to use all his skills as a psychotherapist to  decode exactly what is going on in his daughter’s mind. At the same time he is as tormented as any father would be in this situation.

We will not give away any more of the movie other than to say that it has many turns and twists and that the ending is unexpected.

We give this movie our highest rating of 5 stars *****

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