Hide and Seek

  • 15
  • John Polson (2005)
  • Ger / US
  • 96 min
Film Review
Reviewed By
2 out of 5

Swimfan director John Polson demonstrates how not to make a suspense thriller with this weak tale of terror. A twist on the theme of imaginary childhood friends, it follows young Dakota Fanning as she invents a new playmate to help her cope with her mother's suicide. But her games with "Charlie" soon assume a more malevolent tone, much to the distress of her psychologist father (Robert De Niro). Although Fanning is customarily good, delivering a sullen, lugubrious performance, she's let down by De Niro, who starts off sleepwalking and ends up chewing the scenery. Not that any of the cast (Famke Janssen, Elisabeth Shue) has much to work with - the script is preposterous while the admittedly creepy atmosphere is created by abrupt noises and bursts of music rather than genuine tension. Polson compounds the mess by borrowing heavily from Stanley Kubrick's The Shining, an ill-advised decision that only further illuminates the movie's failings.

Plot Summary

Psychological horror thriller starring Robert De Niro and Dakota Fanning. Following her mother's sudden death, nine-year-old Emily invents an imaginary friend. But when her games with "Charlie" assume an increasingly malevolent tone, Emily's psychologist father starts to believe that his daughter's disruptive new playmate could actually be real.

Cast and crew


David Callaway
Robert De Niro
Emily Callaway
Dakota Fanning
Famke Janssen
Elisabeth Shue
Alison Callaway
Amy Irving
Sheriff Hafferty
Dylan Baker
Melissa Leo
Robert Burke
Molly Grant Kallins
Mr Haskins
David Chandler


John Polson

Other Information

Theatrical distributor: 
20th Century Fox
Contains violence.
Available on video, DVD and BluRay
Released 25 Feb 2005
Certificate 15