After her mother commits suicide in the bathtub, Emily Callaway is taken to live upstate in new surroundings to forget her traumatic past. Psychologist David, her father, learns that his daughter has a new friend, the enigmatic, never to be seen, imaginary (or not?) Charlie. A deadly game of hide-and-seek ensues. Who is Charlie? And what is troubling David in his dreams?Written by
Both the international and domestic versions submitted to the BBFC were actually released to UK cinemas. One version ends with the Dakota Fanning character being kept in the hospital, the other sees her staying with the Famke Janssen character, drawing a picture of a two-headed figure. See more »
I'm not the greatest figurer out of plot twists, and I didn't figure this one out. If you did, then I can see that there would have been an air of disappointment over that aspect of the film. I didn't so, plot-wise, I had no problem with enjoying the movie.
I thought the ending was fine.
And, as usual, I thought Dakota Fanning was quite remarkable, holding the screen with an assurance well beyond her years (although I find her manner in the "Making of.." documentaries worryingly un-childlike).
I did have some other problems, though.
De Niro's character must have been the worst psychologist in the world, given his complete inability to apply any of his knowledge to dealing with his daughter's problem in any constructive way (and, yes, I know "That's because blah blah blah", but it's still a distraction when you're sitting there watching him to fail utterly to exercise a shred of competence.
I failed to understand some of the child's motivation for her actions and attitudes vis-a-vis Charlie and Dad, especially given the nature of the twist.
Elisabeth Shue and Famke Janssen - nice to see them, even if only briefly.
And De Niro - not your finest hour, Bob. Carry on like this, and Norton and Depp will be fighting over the "Greatest Living Screen Actor" crown, while you watch from the wings.
My score of 7 is a point or two higher than it would otherwise have been, solely on the strength of Dakota Fanning's performance.
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