Hide and Seek

This is a deeply unoriginal horror film that suffers from a slow middle section and a plot that has more holes than a Goth kid’s ear. Robert De Niro plays psychologist David Callaway. When his wife commits highly cinematic suicide, his 9-year-old daughter Emily (Dakota Fanning) starts acting like Wednesday Addams. In an attempt to soothe the scared child, Callaway packs her up and moves to a scary house in the middle of a dark woods. Is this a good idea? Apparently not, because shortly thereafter, dolls get mutilated; cats get drowned; and Elisabeth Shue shows up in some unflattering outfits. This would be interesting if the surprise, twist ending was in anyway cohesive with what had gone before, but it violates the plot integrity of much of the early part of the film and winds up feeling like a cheap rip-off. I’m hoping this is the movie that convinces De Niro that it’s time to stop taking any script that he just happens to find floating in the sewer, and maybe go back to doing the kind of quality films that made him one of America’s most accomplished actors.

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