Hide and Seek—20th Century Fox
You're a New York psychologist whose wife dies tragically, leaving your little girl traumatized. Wanting to devote yourself to raising your daughter, you move her to a big, scary country house surrounded by creepy woods. What are you, crazy? The answer to that question as it pertains to David Callaway (Robert DeNiro) and his daughter Emily (Dakota Fanning) turns out to be at the core of Hide and Seek, a horror film that, while effectively disturbing, leaves a lot to be desired.
Emily blames her imaginary friend Charlie for an increasingly bizarre series of events. When the ubiquitous climax comes, there are plot holes aplenty for rational explanations to hide in. DeNiro plays his character with the barest of emotions, and Fanning's Emily is an unlikable creep, which leaves the audience relating to no one. (It's refreshing to watch Fanning's precocious interviews in the making-of featurette).
But, for those horror films that seek the bare minimum of the shocks, starling sounds, and dream sequences that spell "scary," the film delivers with a jolting Dolby Digital 5.1 mix that brings to life the woodland sounds and human screams. The 2.40:1 anamorphic picture highlights the moody, muted lighting with a picture that is crisp and well presented.
The filmmakers were seemingly confused, too, as the DVD includes five alternate endings with commentary. While it's interesting to hear about their decision-making process, I wish they'd got the entire film right the first time.