Movie: Hide and Seek (2005)
Writer: Ari Schlossberg
For about a decade now, Robert De Niro's penchant for lazily acting in crappy movies has been both sad and infuriating. One of the two-time Academy Award winner's most egregious role choices came in Hide and Seek, the clichéd 2005 genre flick about a father trying to figure out who killed his wife while his young daughter (Dakota Fanning) leads him to believe it's her supernatural/imaginary BFF "Charlie."
To be fair, De Niro does give a strong performance as David Callaway, nearly selling the dad character's desperation to solve his wife's murder, the recent deaths of others around him, and save his little girl from her seemingly malevolent pal Chuck. But a mutant thespian made from the combined DNA of Marlon Brando, Daniel Day-Lewis, and James Stewart couldn't help the film's seriously lazy reveal that Charlie has been David all along, and that David and his split personality killed his wife after he caught her cheating on him.
If that sounds familiar, Stephen King and/or Johnny Depp fans, it's pretty much the exact same twist from 2004's Secret Window, based on King's novella Secret Window, Secret Garden. Yes, the twist also sucks in Secret Window, but that film opened 10 months before Hide and Seek, thus giving the latter movie the unfortunate fate of beating an already dead, brain-dead-when-it-was-alive horse further into the ground.