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The Big Clue Everyone Saw Early In Hide And Seek

"Hide and Seek" isn't exactly remembered for its originality. The 2005 mystery-thriller has a fairly rote plot for a horror movie, centering upon the father-daughter duo of David (Robert De Niro) and Emily (Dakota Fanning) Callaway, who move to upstate New York after the mysterious death of David's wife Alison. David becomes increasingly worried when Emily seemingly invents an imaginary best friend named Charlie, who has a disturbing tendency for violence.

Despite being a box office success, the movie was critically panned for its narrative back when it hit theaters and scored a scathing 13 percent onĀ Rotten Tomatoes. Surprisingly though, "Hide and Seek" still occupies an oddly niche space in the horror film canon to this day. While partially remembered for its gimmick of having five different endings across various releases and partially remembered for starring De Niro and Fanning as the aforementioned father-daughter duo, the movie is perhaps most infamous for having a central plot twist that is ridiculously predictable.

Charlie is actually David

For most of the movie, Charlie serves as the unseen antagonist that torments David. As it turns out, however, Charlie and David are actually one and the same and the character has dissociative identity disorder. This twist was supposed to come as a major shock to the audience when David eventually puts the pieces together, but it's pretty easy to see the writing on the wall early into the movie's runtime.

It becomes fairly obvious early on that David is never actually present at the moments when Charlie manifests. Instead, he is always conveniently away in his study, only to later emerge and witness the aftermath of what Charlie has done. From the get-go, the film also makes a heavy-handed effort to suggest that there was more to David's wife's death than the ostensible suicide it was made out to be in the beginning. When the movie finally reveals that David subconsciously created the violent personality of Charlie to kill his wife, the average watcher's reaction isn't one of disbelief, but of relief that the movie has finally dropped the charade of playing this plot point as a mystery.

"Hide and Seek" may not have much in the way of legitimate surprises for its audience. But at the end of the day, there's still at least a little entertainment to be had from seeing how much this cult classic flick plays up its most predictable twist.