What is Robert De Niro thinking? The question is being posed not with condescension or derision – though that’s probably how it sounds – but with curiosity and concern. When he makes a movie like “Hide and Seek,” essentially a B-horror flick with the benefit of a high-quality cast, is he doing it for a change of pace? Certainly the first two-thirds of this generically titled thriller are engrossing enough, chock full of good, old-fashioned scary movie images and ideas. De Niro plays a New York City psychologist who takes his daughter (Dakota Fanning) to a dinky town upstate after the suicide of his wife (Amy Irving).

He hopes she’ll come out of her frequently stoic state to make new friends. She already has: His name is Charlie, and he’s presumably imaginary. Then the bodies start piling up, and the weakness of the script really comes to a head. Rated: R for frightening sequences and violence. Rating: 1 1/2 out of 4 stars.

– Christy Lemire, AP movie critic

Only subscribers are eligible to post comments. Please subscribe or to participate in the conversation. Here’s why.

Use the form below to reset your password. When you've submitted your account email, we will send an email with a reset code.