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Hide and Seek is a 2005 psychological thriller starring Robert De Niro and a then relatively-unknown Dakota Fanning.
This film is about a psychiatrist named David Callaway, who moves to upstate New York with his daughter, Emily, following the suicide of her mother. While settling into their new home, Emily begins conversing with an imaginary friend named Charlie, while at the same time becoming close to a neighboring couple who lost their own daughter to cancer.
Emily's irrational behavior starts to worry David, and things come to a head when a woman he has befriended named Elizabeth is killed while she is playing with Emily. Emily blames the murder on Charlie. David confronts his neighbor, believing him to be "Charlie", and drives him away.
However, a plot twist is soon revealed: David IS Charlie. Charlie formed when David caught his wife cheating on him. In one night, David, under the Charlie personality, murdered his wife and made it look like she committed suicide. Of course, this means that David has also murdered Elizabeth. After discovering that he is responsible, Charlie takes him over for good, saying "It's okay. Daddy's gone now".
- Big Bad Friend: Charlie is Emily's imaginary friend, who also killed her mother Elizabeth. What makes it even worse is that Charlie is David's Split Personality.
- Creepy Child: Emily.
- Dull Surprise: What some critics have accused De Niro of doing as David. As Charlie, not as much.
- The End - or Is It?: At the end of the movie in the US release, after David/Charlie dies, Emily is shown at her foster home drawing a picture before going to school. Happy Ending, right? Well, the picture of her with two heads, implying she has developed an alternate personality too.
- There is an alternate ending to Hide and Seek where Emily is in a mental ward for observation. After Katherine tucks her in and leaves, Emily starts playing Hide and Seek. She open a closet door and says, "There you are." The camera then shows Emily staring at herself in a mirror with a slightly demonic smile.
- There are in fact five different endings. The third one shows her at the foster home and her drawing is completely normal, showing that she's fine. The fourth one has her being tucked by Katherine but then showing she's in the ward (different ending from the one mentioned above). And a fifth one has her in a completely different altogether foster home, playing with her reflection.
- Even Evil Has Loved Ones: Deconstructed. Even with everything that transpires throughout the film, David still loves his daughter. However, as time goes on, Charlie takes over and tries to kill Emily, forcing Emily to kill him.
- Expy: David is this to Norman Bates in Psycho. They're protagonists, they fight antagonists not shown to us, they discover that they themselves are the antagonists, and they succumb to their evil personalities.
- Hey, It's That Guy!: Katherine is Jean Grey, Laura is Det. Howard, the suspicious neighbor is that other RoboCop and Elizabeth is Jennifer.
- Irony: The protagonist is a psychiatrist who has Dissociative Identity Disorder. What makes it even more ironic is that David is concerned about Emily's unusual behavior.
- Jekyll and Hyde: David and Charlie
- Possibly leading to Stealth Pun with the title.
- Mind Screw: In the same vein as Psycho. You notice all those white spaces?
- Nightmare Fuel Coloring Book: In one of the endings.
- Psychopathic Manchild: Charlie. David makes one comment about wanting "Emily to have a better childhood than he did", so his childhood issues probably are what makes his Charlie personality so dementedly childish.
- Split Personality Takeover: "It's okay. Daddy's gone now."
- There Are No Therapists: There are several therapists, but it doesn't help at all actually.