Archive for Saturday, July 9, 2005

Hide and Seek’

Ready or not, here come the alternate endings

July 9, 2005

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The alternate ending is a classic DVD marketing ploy. Like those ubiquitous "uncut and uncensored" special editions, the inclusion of a new resolution to a movie promises consumers a seemingly brand new cinematic experience on DVD.

Hide and Seek

Hide and Seek

"Hide and Seek," a psychological thriller starring Robert De Niro and Dakota Fanning as a disturbed child with a dangerous imaginary friend, takes that promise a step further. The DVD offers not one, but four endings to this occasionally gripping, but mostly by-the-numbers shocker. Yes, in case you hadn't guessed the predictable conclusion the first time, you have four more chances to get it right.

Actually, the big "Sixth Sense"-style twist in "Hide and Seek" comes so early that the alternate endings don't even address it. As is usually the case on such DVDs, most of the new resolutions merely offer subtle variations on what happens shortly before the credits roll. The filmmakers deserve credit, however, for bagging the original finale, which is shown here and, according to the commentary that accompanies it, was deemed too incongruous with the rest of the film.

The DVD also includes 14 deleted and extended scenes, a 10-minute making-of featurette in which the praises of Fanning and director John Polson are heartily sung, footage of storyboarded moments that didn't make the movie and a commentary track by Polson, screenwriter Ari Schlossberg and editor John Ford. Like "Hide and Seek," those extras are pretty standard stuff. In other words, this is a DVD that makes a solid, not-too-taxing rental on a summer night. But if you're looking for an engrossing thriller to permanently add to your collection, you might want to seek an alternate.

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