Bil’s rating (out of 5): B.5. USA/Germany, 2005. Twentieth Century Fox, Fox 2000 Pictures, Josephson Entertainment, MBC Beteiligungs Filmproduktion. Screenplay by Ari Schlossberg. Cinematography by Dariusz Wolski. Produced by Barry Josephson. Music by John Ottman. Production Design by Steven J. Jordan. Costume Design by Aude Bronson-Howard. Film Editing by Jeffrey Ford.
Stupid thriller full of plenty of fun ways to build tension but amounting to very little in the end. Following the suicide of his wife, Robert De Niro takes his disturbed little girl (Dakota Fanning, who has brown hair here to show how unhappy she is) to the country where he buys a big, spooky mansion for her to be even lonelier in. She begins to describe stories about an imaginary friend named ‘Charlie’, which he (the psychologist) thinks is her way of dealing with trauma. When things start going bump in the night and his friends start getting themselves hurt in the house, it becomes obvious that Charlie is more than just a figment of this overexposed child actress’s imagination. The revelation of the truth at the end is incredibly lame, but I’ll be polite enough not to reveal it to you.