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Hide and Seek (2005)

Film review: Hide and Seek (2005), directed by John Polson

tl;dr: Reasonably creepy and disconcerting.

When Alison Callaway (Amy Irving) commits suicide, her husband David (Robert De Niro) and daughter Emily (Dakota Fanning) are left to deal with the aftermath.

In a bid to start a new life, they move to the back of beyond. While Emily is very withdrawn and doesn’t want to socialise with anyone, she soon starts mentioning Charlie, her imaginary friend. But is Charlie really her friend? Odd things start happening around the house. Odd and frightening things. It doesn’t get better when Elizabeth (Elisabeth Shue) and her daughter are asked over for dinner. No, Charlie doesn’t like that one bit.

Also starring Famke Janssen as Dr Katherine, Dylan Baker as Sheriff Hafferty, Melissa Leo as Laura and Robert John Burke as Steven.

The funny thing is, when I saw this film, I was thinking “this seems familiar” and as the film went on, I was sure I had seen it before. And I was still taken by surprise. Good thing my memory’s shoddy, eh?

There’s no denying De Niro is a fine actor, and that Dakota Fanning has already gone far and will most likely grace our screens for years to come, so that they’re the two primary actors in this film is a good thing. De Niro as the concerned father, Fanning as the increasingly disturbed child. Great combination.

What I also really like about it is that it’s actually fairly creepy and disconcerting. That’s a good thing in a horror/thriller, as far as I’m concerned. And that you’re not quite sure what’s going on also contributes to a chilling watch that just sort of works.

4 out of 5 headless dolls.


An easily distracted Swedish introvert residing in Robin Hood Country (Nottingham, UK) with a husband and two cats. She's an eager participant in tabletop and play-by-post roleplaying, woodworking, photography and European travel, when there's not a plague on.

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