Hide and Seek—Sometimes
Simple Child’s Play
Can be a Very Scary
by The Blonde and
the very beginning of Hide and Seek, we get the
impression that all is not well in the Calloway home.
Allison Calloway, starring Amy Irving (Yentl and
Crossing Delancey) commits suicide and is found by
husband David, portrayed by Robert DeNiro (Analyze That
and Meet the Fockers). If that's not bad enough, we see
nine-year-old daughter Emily, played by Dakota Fanning
(Man on Fire and Uptown Girls) standing in the doorway
of the bathroom as dad finds mom in a most disturbing
and bloody death scene. In the following scene, we find
Emily staring out of a window, without emotion of any
kind. At this moment, dad feels he needs to move to the
country and make a fresh start for them both. He calls
his daughter's therapist Katherine, played by Famke
Janssen (X-Men and Don't Say a Word) and explains to her
that he is taking Emily upstate to remove her from all
the bad memories.
When the Calloways arrive at their new home,
you just know things are not going to go well for them.
The house is gothically huge, the area is surrounded by
woods and most of the neighbors in the community are
gone during the winter months. (You kind of expect
Vincent Price to appear at any given moment!) Since this
takes place in January, there are not many people around
except for…YOU GOT IT, the strange neighbors that live
behind them. (Aren't they always!) In addition, as
strange as it seems, the sheriff seems to be around a
lot. For the most part, however, Emily and her father
are alone. Or are they?
The first night, Emily
dumps her treasured doll for a new friend. She says his
name is Charlie and when dad asks to meet him, she says
he's sleeping. David is curious, but figures his
daughter has made up a new friend to deal with her pain.
As a psychologist himself, he understands his daughter's
grieving, so he lets her have this imaginary friend.
What could it hurt?
While in town the next day, he
meets a young woman watching her niece. David decides
the little girl would be a perfect friend for Emily. The
two arrange a play-date for the children. This doesn't
work out as he hopes, for Emily is quite unfriendly and
disturbed. In fact, she is downright rude! (Obviously he
hasn't met the little girls in Boca Raton!)
Surprisingly, though, David and the aunt hit it off
quite well, so they get together for dinner. Emily isn't
very keen on this dinner date, either.
begin to go badly (we won't tell you what those things
are), David starts to suspect that Charlie may not be so
imaginary after all. Emily seems to be under Charlie's
spell and David has doubts about everyone around him,
including Emily. To say much more would give everything
away. Go get under Charlie's spell for
Blonde: Hide and Seek was like What Lies Beneath meets
The Omen meets Whatever Happened to Baby Jane meets
Godsend meets The Shining meets The Ring meets Psycho
and Fatal Attraction meets my ex-husband FOR REAL! This
is SO not one of your typical Robert DeNiro films. Many
of Robert's colors are displayed on this reel of film.
It would be cliché to state that he was terrific, as he
ALWAYS IS! I still want him to remove that mole on the
side of his face, though! As far as Amy Irving goes, I
don't want to be mean, for that as we all know is not my
style…however, with all that money Steven Spielberg had
to give to her in their divorce couldn't she come up
with a better plastic surgeon? She looked terrible. I
was happy she had such a small part. She depressed me.
Speaking of depressing, I want to thank Johnny Carson
for all the magical years of comedy he gave to all of us
for so many years. No one COULD or EVER will replace
him. Snuggling up with our families late at night has
never been the same. You will always be the king of late
Maven: I like Amy Irving too much to reply to your last
catty comment, even though it was true! It seems I'm
going to see a horror/scary movie once a month according
to all the previews lately. I thought Stephen King was
going to retire. This film looked like a Stephen King
movie. It felt like a Stephen King movie, but it didn't
quite scare like a Stephen King movie.
Blonde: I thought it scared pretty good! Dakota is such
a precious child. That's why it disturbed me to see her
as such a dark and troubled character. As far as I am
concerned, no child actress has ever been as believable
as she is. She is like watching “acting poetry.”
Maven: I was intrigued throughout most of the film.
Watching Robert DeNiro WILL do that to you. However, I
felt he drifted through this role. I was waiting for his
brilliance to shine, but it never did. Dakota is another
story. She more than held her own with DeNiro. It was
Dakota who sustained the eerie mood throughout the film.
Blonde: I disagree about your DeNiro comment. What you
felt was drifting through was how outstandingly subtle
and real he is as a method actor. He makes you believe
him and it APPEARS so easy that you took it as
Maven: Apparently DeNiro was SO SUBTLE I totally missed
Blonde: You must have PMS and so YOU DRIFTED!
Maven: I don't know, maybe I'm just a little exhausted.
I'm still recuperating from the Trump wedding I told YOU
that I wasn't at!
Blonde: Oh you little FITCH! Drifting along, the movie
took such a long time to build, get to the point, or
reveal anything that it worried me. I was so grateful
that all of the suspense did add up in the end. Speaking
of adding up, that reminds me of the lack of adding up
in some of the Oscar nominations. Sideways? Give my
blonde soul a break! There were so many wonderful movies
this year, so how did they come up with this nothing
movie! I just don't get it. There were MANY terrific
films that were completely ignored that I am
embarrassed. There must have been a ton of politics for
some of these nominations to occur. I, for the sake of
the Maven, am not going to go into REAL politics at this
point. However, for the SAG awards, I voted Hotel Rwanda
for Best Picture, Hilary Swank for Best Actress and
Jamie Foxx for Best Actor. But a nomination for Sideways
as Best picture of the Year? So, speaking of good
gossip, Maven, do you think Bill Cosby did
Maven: Who do you think I am, Marcia Clark? As for the
Oscar nominations, it just goes to show that THEY
haven't been reading OUR reviews. IT'S THEIR BAD!!
Readers have no fear! We will go into the Oscars in much
more detail in the very near future! Blonde, who did you
want to win in the Iraq elections?
Blonde: Bush or Condoleeza Rice!
Maven: Good one! As far as this film is concerned, it
did have a slow beginning, an intriguing middle and an
anticipatory ending. All your mystery buttons WILL be
pushed. I rate it a C+ for calculating the right amount
of gotchas, but sorry, Stephen King did it better.
Blonde: Hide and Seek is a truly suspenseful and
interesting movie. It keeps your attention and has a
wonderful unexpected twist in the end. If twisted, mind
playing, scary, bloody-bloody, dark and disturbing tales
are not your bag, miss this movie. If all of that is
cool for you, then go! You'll love it! I rate it a
B for bloody. For snacks, I suggest you have a huge
bucket of popcorn (throw some kernels at people all
around you to scare them just for your own fun), some
red vines and cherry soda to go with all of the blood!
Enjoy and Goodnight Johnny!
DON'T MISS, DON'T MISS, DON'T MISS HOTEL RWANDA: Not
since Schindler's List or The Pianist has there been a
more moving, chilling, revealing or important piece of
film. We warn you, however, that it is hard to sit and
watch. What is wrong with us as people today? How do we
look the other way and keep a blind eye just because it
isn't U.S.? Please RUN to see this worthy, brilliant,
informative movie! This film IS what the OSCAR is meant
AGAIN: Million Dollar Baby, which we weren't excited to
see, turned out to be a wonderful sleeper of a movie.
This film about a female fighter who displayed courage,
eye of the tiger determination, devotion and loyalty was
beautifully directed by Clint Eastwood. Hilary Swank,
who has already won an Oscar, will surely be a contender
this year. This film is definitely well spent time at
the By: Two movies to look for soon are The Upside of
Anger with Kevin Costner (and boy does he need a good
film) and also The Weatherman with the nutty Nicholas
Cage and Michael Caine. Both look terrific!
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