HIDE AND SEEK. Scary and atmospheric horror movie
Certainly, couples in love will enjoy Hide and Seek because it has several scenes where the terrified girl will tightly hold her boyfriend’s hand. The film will also appeal to viewers not well acquainted with the genre, as for them, the super-surprising ending will be the pinnacle of innovation and originality. The least demanding, popcorn audience should also be satisfied, as the trace amount of blood will be compensated for by the intriguingly dosed tension. Only… what will the rest get?
Other movie enthusiasts will get a pseudo-psychological story with a thrill and a surprising but, to be honest, not very innovative finale, which could have already been noted in two other productions (interestingly enough – with a similar plot structure, a close location, and the way characters are created as in Hide and Seek). The beginning is truly promising – the wife of the respected psychologist David Calloway commits suicide. Seeing how troubled his daughter Emily is, the doctor decides to move with her to a quiet, peaceful town to help her return to normal life in a new environment, away from painful memories. The situation complicates when the little girl starts talking about her imaginary friend – Charlie (a nod to Tony from The Shining?). Initially innocent children’s play takes on an increasingly drastic turn: the imaginary companion becomes bolder with each moment, progressing to terrifying deeds and finally taking on shapes that are very real.
Interesting, isn’t it? Of course, but let’s not forget that a big studio stands behind it, which cannot afford to intellectually exhaust the audience too much (because how unfavorably it looks in the Box Office comparison!), a young director-craftsman, and a debutant screenwriter who admitted in one of the interviews that he wanted to create a genuinely frightening script. He achieved his primary goal… and nothing more. Hide and Seek, besides a considerable dose of tension, has absolutely NOTHING to offer. Despite a good performance by the actors – after all, DeNiro and the little but very talented Dakota Fanning play the main roles, and in the background, there are beautiful Famke Janssen and Elizabeth Shue – all the efforts of this, seemingly star-studded cast, seem to be pointless. The story turns out to be shallow, not very intriguing (although the idea has potential), and undemanding.
– revealing significant plot elements, do not read if you haven’t watched the film!
It is worth adding here that there are two versions of the ending. The first version shows a conversation between Emily and Katherine (the psychologist lady, the girl’s friend), after which we learn that our heroine is recovering in a psychiatric hospital. In the second version, the Doctor’s daughter and Katherine live together in New York. In the last shot, we see a picture of Emily, where she has two heads. The conclusions are obvious… An interesting, quite ambiguous ending.
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Undoubtedly, Hide and Seek is scary. With interesting, atmospheric music, atmospheric shots, a creative opening sequence (not without reason presented in such a form), and strong but not long-lasting scenes, supported by decent acting. And we are scared – in uncertainty, we await the next scene, new facts, hints to solve the mystery, we jump in the chair with the accompaniment of intense music, in the meantime, our trembling hand reaches for the popcorn bag.
Yes, I can recommend this film – although it is just undemanding, pure entertainment for an hour and a half with a bit. However, after this time, Hide and Seek loses its value, becoming another average horror, from which the viewer leaves satisfied, but after a few days, struggles to remember even its title. With such actors, with such an intelligent idea, with such technical possibilities, this way of presenting things is more frightening than the scariest horror…