Hide and Seek

Kind of Recommended. A spooky thriller about a father, Robert DeNiro whose daughter meets an “imaginary friend” who might be a ghost or a something else, and this friend, named “Charlie” starts to wreak havoc on DeNiro’s life with some violent intentions. Very spooky, excellent first 2/3 of the movie. Very subtle spookiness played brilliantly by Dakota Fanning as the little girl. It’s subtle enough so you don’t know if it’s a ghost or what. But the final third isn’t quite as good when the revelation occurs of just who this friend, “Charlie” really is. All right. If you have any inclination to see this thriller, then don’t read any further, because I am going to totally ruin the story for you by revealing the plot twist. This is a Dr. Jekyl and Mr. Hyde story, where the main character, DeNiro discovers that he has multiple personalities and HE is the friend, “Charlie.” Well, even though this story wasn’t a great version of it, I still think this is a genre of movie that is a very powerful pointer to the Christian truth of our evil nature. The essence of Jekyl/Hide stories is that we have an evil side to us that we suppress and deceive ourselves into disbelieving. We think WE are not evil at all, So the discovery of the dark half is a discovery that we have deceived ourselves and we are evil. I like this genre in a postmodern world that negates evil and certainly denies that we are evil, preferring instead to belief in the inherent goodness of man or some such lie. There is this unsatisfied feeling one has when discovering that the hero is actually the villain, and he is evil and not really a hero at all. It leaves us groping and grasping for a foothold. Our whole picture of reality is shaken up and we don’t like it. It bothers us. Heros aren’t supposed to be the villains. But the moral thrust of this genre is precisely to upset that viewpoint to remind us that there really are no absolute heros (outside of God), we are all “villains,” that is, we are inherently evil and need to be redeemed ourselves. This is a case where I think the turning upside of the traditional hero story is acceptable. It is to tell us the audience, as Nathan the prophet did to David, “YOU are that man.”

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