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Another reason to be afraid of the dark, or is it?

'Hide and Seek' -- R

After viewing the nominees for the upcoming Academy Awards ceremony, I thought it was time to take a break from the serious films these nominees tend to be. Instead, it's time to sit back and be thrilled, and "Hide and Seek" is the perfect film.

This is the story of Emily Callaway (Dakota Fanning) who becomes severely traumatized after her mother's suicide. Emily cuts herself off from the world in the hope of bringing her mother back. Her psychologist father, David (Robert DeNiro), relocates them in the country. Right when David's given up on reviving Emily's social life, she befriends Charlie.

However, Charlie isn't the type of friend that dad wants playing with his kid. He's an imaginary friend who is bent on upsetting Emily's father and everyone that stands in his way.

What makes "Hide and Seek" a cut above other psychological thrillers is its stellar cast. DeNiro is unstoppable and Fanning proves she is one of the finest actresses of the decade, despite being only 10.

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However, a talented cast isn't what makes a horror film scary. The plotting is well thought out, but the story involves some predictable and cliché; scenes. Each scene is filmed with a haunting tension that builds terror until the either shocking, or ho-hum, climax.

The film drags on in the falling action and the last few scenes may either fuel your admiration for the movie, or make you wish it would just end.

Either way, "Hide and Seek" is a psychological thriller that is sure to set off mixed feelings about the characters and the climax. But it is another reason to be afraid of the dark, or is it?

Max Arnzen is a senior at John Marshall High School and a post-secondary education option student at Rochester Community &; Technical College. To respond to reviews in Sound &; Vision, call 252-1111, category TEEN (8336) or send e-mail to teenbeat@postbulletin.com.

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