A remake of a 2013 Korean film, this thriller feels like a pale copy. Despite scenes that look like they've been put together correctly, the result is lifeless, bland, and instantly forgettable. Written and directed by actor Joel David Moore (Hatchet, Art School Confidential), Hide and Seek seems to follow the plot of the original film (also called Hide and Seek) fairly closely, but in doing so, it somehow deadens the suspense and characters, as if tracing over something old rather than creating something new. Even the actors seem disengaged. Noah is obsessed with cleanliness, which partly makes his character feel out-of-place but also draws attention away from the story and to his perfectly poofed hair and astonishingly crisp, cream-colored coat.
It's always great to see Pantoliano, but does he really have to play that old scene where he meets the main character on a park bench and hands him a pack of photos in a manilla envelope? Shakir provides some lightness as the crumbling building's landlord, issuing commands while wearing a red silk bathrobe. But as the plot ramps up, all of the characters seems to fall into generic mode. Moore tries to add a few horror elements to Hide and Seek, including nightmares, a sudden jolt in a mirror, and dark figures that flit by the foreground and background when people aren't looking, but it's all just so familiar. Perhaps worse, the camera sometimes fails to be where it should, and details are sometimes frustratingly obscured and confusing. This is one not so much to seek out, but rather to hide from.