his wife's apparent suicide psychologist David Callaway (Robert
DeNiro) decides that the therapy that his daughter Emily (Dakota
Fanning) is receiving is not working. He move himself and
Emily to a secluded place in the country, but things soon
take a turn for the worse when Emily makes friends with Charlie
who seemingly only she can see, with her father becoming increasingly
worried about Emily's sadistic and destructive behaviour time
is running out to discover just who or what is Charlie...
can one say about DeNiro's performance, he's the consummate
professional, and whilst this may seem a little to lightweight
of a project, I'm not gonna break his balls. He's turned in
some of the greatest performances of any actor, so if he wants
to pay the bills occasionally, who cares, he's still a delight
to watch. His portrayal of the angst ridden father is spot
on and if anything spoils it, it's the ending, but then the
ending spoilt an otherwise good Saturday night fright flick.
The real star of the show is Emily (Dakota Fanning).
is a delightful actress, who more than holds her own against
DeNiro. More recently seen in War of the Worlds, playing
Rachel, and previously in the 2002 mini series Taken, as
Allie, this young woman has already amassed a body of work
that wouldn't look bad for your average 35 year old. She portrays
the ambiguity of her character to the hilt and it's well worth
watching her performance a second time once you know the ending
to appreciate just how good her portrayal is.
The mental ménage a trios is completed with the inclusion
of Framke Jassen (Katherine), better known for her portrayal
of Jean Grey in the X-Men films. She acts as a sounding
board for the character of David; they have a well established
relationship as he had previously been her mentor and she
is a friend to Emily. Between the three main characters the
true nature of Charlie is explored.
David and Emily move to the country, David starts a relationship
with Elizabeth (Elisabeth Shue). Initially portrayed as part
of David's healing process, following the death of his wife.
It is quickly evident that her inclusion really has more to
do with the shifting of power away from David towards Emily.
In the end David in almost supplication, has to ask Emily's
permission to date Elizabeth, with tragic consequences.
rest of the cast, and it's a small cast, provide the potential
Charlie's, to David's mind. The loon neighbour and his rather
odd wife, the strange fellow who David has rented the house
from and last, but by no means least, Dylan Baker, who plays
Sheriff Hafferty. Dylan is a great character actor and I can't
think of a film that he has been in that I haven't enjoyed
i mentioned previously, if the film has a fault it's in the
ending. Following the reveal of who or what is Charlie the
film suddenly goes into slow motion, dragging out the end
way past its natural finishing point
disc contains a plethora of extras for fans of the film. The
movie comes with five different endings, if you count the
theatrical version. Sound is 5.1 and 5.1 DTS, the DTS track
is well worth a spin if you can play it, very creepy. There
is the usual commentary by the director, editor and screenwriter;
deleted scenes are interesting but you can see why they were
deleted - it would have been nice to have the ability to watch
the film with them included; there is a little promo on the
making of, with the usual back slapping stuff and some previsualisations
of scenes that never made it into the final cut.
one thing that did annoy me about the disc was the amount
of adverts that you need to wade through to get at the feature,
though I'm not the best person to see this sort of stuff as
I even turn the TV over when they are on. Please stick them
in a trailers section so that the viewers have the choice.
not a complete pot boiler, though the film contains nothing
really original and the ending is naff, it's worth sticking
your feet up on a Saturday night with a few beers, and wile
away an hour and a half with the creepy David and Emily.