Hide And Seek

Hide And Seek (2005)
20th Century Fox Home Entertainment
Cast: Robert DeNiro, Dakota Fanning, Famke Janssen, Elisabeth Shue, Amy Irving
Extras: Commentary Track, Deleted Scenes, Alternate Endings, Featurette

With this latest onslaught of thriller and suspense films to hit DVD, all with similar pace and storylines, it’s easy to get them confused with one another. Though not groundbreaking, ’Hide and Seek’ manages to rise slightly above the pack, thanks to solid performances and well paced thrills and chills, I found myself pleasantly surprised with this latest addition to the genre.

Psychologist David Callaway (Robert De Niro) moves his young daughter Emily (Dakota Fanning) from New York City to the rural town of Woodland, N.Y. to treat her for the trauma she suffers after witnessing her mother’s supposed suicide. Things start to get a little creepy when Emily develops an imaginary friend named Charlie, who turns out to be anything but likeable. Attempting to persuade Callaway to return Emily to New York for a more challenging treatment is friend and fellow psychologist Katherine (Famke Janssen). Ignoring Katherine’s request, Callaway winds up with more than his share of problems ranging from recurring nightmares to unsettling discoveries throughout the house, leading up to a shocking twist which might not ambush everyone, but worked appropriately for the overall presentation of the story.

20th Century Fox Home Entertainment presents ’Hide and Seek’ in a nice looking anamorphic widescreen transfer that is free from any visible compression artifacts with very minor edge enhancement noticed. Considering the very dark and often murky-look of the film, the transfer succeeds in reproducing deep rich blacks with excellent shadow detail throughout. Colors are well saturated where needed and skin tones appear quite natural, given the overall dark-tone of the film.

The soundtrack comes presented in a well balanced dts or Dolby Digital 5.1 mix that uses the full spectrum of sound, from Emily’s whispering voice to pulse-pounding bass to create tension and suspense, this soundtrack will definitely please the senses. Dialogue is well reproduced and appears quite natural throughout.

Extras consist of four alternate endings, which can be chosen at the beginning of the film through the main start-up menu. Also included are deleted scenes, storyboard sequences and a featurette ’The Making of Hide and Seek’. Rounding out the extras is a full feature-length commentary by Director John Polson, Editor Jeffrey Ford and Screenwriter Ari Schlossberg.