Hide and Seek (2005)

Genre(s): Drama / Horror / Mystery / Thriller
Fox || R - 101 minutes - $19.98 || July 5, 2005
Reviewer: Brian Oliver || Posted On: 2005-08-25

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.:: F I L M ::.
The Film

.: F E A T U R E S :.

Special Features

A U D I O &
.:: V I D E O ::.

Audio and Video

.:: O V E R A L L ::.
Director: John Polson
Writer(s): Ari Schlossberg (written by)
Cast: Robert De Niro, Dakota Fanning, Famke Janssen, Elisabeth Shue, Amy Irving, Dylan Baker

Theatrical Release Date: January 25, 2005

Supplemental Material:
  • Director, Editor & Writer Commentary
  • 4 Alternate Endings
  • Deleted/Extended Scenes
  • Rough Conceptual Sequences
  • "Making of" Featurette

Technical Information:
  • Number of Discs: 1
  • Widescreen (2.40)
  • English (Dolby Digital 5.1), English (DTS 5.1), French (Dolby Digital 2.0), Spanish (Dolby Digital 2.0)
  • Subtitles: English, Spanish

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.::THE FILM::.

Hide and Seek is about psychologist David Callaway (De Niro) who moves with his daughter, Emily (Fanning), to a remote part in upstate New York with the hope that it would help her deal with the death of her mother who had committed suicide. However, within a short time something or someone is talking to Emily and something strange begins to happen at the house.

The film begins well enough with some interesting and semi-scary moments. De Niro and Fanning seem to work nicely together, but going into the last third, Hide and Seek devolves into a mundane and mediocre suspense thriller that was anything but suspenseful or thrilling. SPOILERS The problem with the film as a whole (including some of the better parts) was while there is indeed a "twist" of what is actually going on, if you have seen any variety of movies from the past few years... I don't think I need to name them, do I? END SPOILERS

As a whole, Hide and Seek isn't a bad film per se and is probably worth a rental, but this isn't a movie I really want to see again anytime soon. For their parts, Robert De Niro and Dakota Fanning are both good (Fanning could certainly be creepy, though the jet black hair and chilling eyes help), but neither of them could dig it out of the murkiness of a sludgy and predictable plot.


This disc has a decent amount of features for a film that basically came and went in the theaters.

First up, the commentary from the writer, director and editor is pretty good up until the end. There's one part on the track where they talk about a scene that doesn't have logic but they merely play it off as just going along with the "emotional truth" and that it "doesn't matter". Now, maybe they are being honest, but that truly sounds like a cop-out to me... In any case, the track is filled with interesting comments (about what these characters are doing and why they're doing them) but ultimately it's only a decent track. Thankfully, while there is a little congradulatory stuff, it's limited making the commentary a little better.

There are 14 deleted scenes which span a healthy 15 minutes that were cut for the normal pacing reasons. The commentary that accompanies each scene is basically the same with Polson or one of the other two noting that it's a nice scene but had to go to move the story along or else the movie would be two and a half hours long. For me, there wasn't anything there that needed to be back in the film, so it's good to watch once, but after that, you won't miss it.

The Making-of Featurette is standard fare with on-set and promotional interviews with the cast and crew (although De Niro is noticebly absent giving no input what-so-ever). It also has behind-the-scenes footage but doesn't really add anything to the disc. It's a nice nugget to have so it's not a waste of time. Be warned, however, this featurette was made specifically for the DVD (I would hope) as it gives away the twist.

Rough Conceptual Sequences are just more alternate sequences that are extended from the film but were not filmed and replaced with storyboard drawings. One of them, which would've been another alternate ending might've been interesting so it's a shame they didn't film it.

Last are 4 alternate endings, one ("Emily's Fate"), which was used in some of the film's rereleases, is only a little different from the theatrical one. Without giving away the original one, I won't go into detail, but for me, I'd say it is a little better than the one a majority saw. The other three are just variations on "Emily's Fate" and the original version. One is called "Happy Ending" which, well, is a bit lighter ending but it just didn't fit in with context of the film.


The disc is presented in the standard 2.40:1 aspect ratio and looks very nice with the horror and suspensful moments coming across nicely on the TV screen. The film also has the regular Dolby Digital 5.1 mix as well as (surprisingly) a DTS mix. Both are good enough and the DTS mix sounds just fine, but you can't go wrong going with the DD either.


The Hide and Seek is for the hard core suspense thriller fans only. Personally, I didn't think it was all that scary and the "twist" wasn't all that surprising. However, if you liked the film and features on this DVD are worthwhile to watch and you might be able to get this in the bargain bin soon.