Hide and Seek

May 20, 2006 - Robert De Niro seriously needs to stay in the city. It seems that when he heads for the countryside, bad movies happen.

If you recall, in 2004's Godsend, De Niro ran a creepy fertility clinic in middle-of-nowhere New England and used an unsuspecting couple to try to resurrect his own dead son. I'm still trying to figure out why De Niro thought being in that movie was a good idea.

In Hide and Seek, a 2005 suspense thriller, De Niro is married to Amy Irving and Dakota Fanning is their daughter, Emily. Mom and daughter have a ritual of playing a little game of hide and seek before bed. But, all that fun ends when mom is found dead in a bathtub filled with bloody water.

De Niro's character, David, is a psychologist. He thinks that taking Emily away from New York City will help her recover from the trauma of seeing mom in the bloody tub. So, he buys a house in a vacation community in upstate New York and off they go to their isolated new home.

Soon enough, Emily quits playing with her dolls and starts hanging out with her new friend "Charlie." Thing is, daddy David can't see Charlie, so Emily must be making him up, right?

Overall review: ** This movie is marginally better than Godsend even though Greg Kinnear is not in it. Hide and Seek kind of lazes along for extended periods, with bursts of terror here and there. The last 30 minutes is when things really start to happen.

The supporting cast includes Famke Janssen as a psychologist friend of David and Melissa Leo (from Homicide: Life on the Street) as a troubled neighbor. Elisabeth Shue also shows up for a while. She must be saying, "I left Las Vegas for this?!?"