Aside from its relentless exploitation of a child, this minor thriller features an intriguing beginning, a middling middle and an increasingly silly end, with a multitude of red herrings going squoosh underfoot.
I think the movie was better than what critics seemed to have believed it to be at the time of its release. Not anything I would watch a second time, as the slow burn that the movie had fizzled in the last third. If you turn your brain off and don't think about many of the unanswered questions Dakota Fanning's character gave you, then I think there's a solid albeit unspectacular psychological thriller that was mostly forgotten with time.
This film tells the story of a psychiatrist who has to help his young daughter to overcome her mother's death while, at the same time, he makes his own mourning. But the child starts talking about an invisible friend who seems increasingly violent and cruel. Robert De Niro takes the lead role and, contrary to many people's thoughts, I don't think he's too old for such roles. He has acted in a restrained and sweet manner, tempered with psychological depth, which shows us De Niro's versatility and his suitability for a wide range of characters, not just the tough mafia bosses who have made him famous. Dakota Fanning was very well too, far from the absolutely annoying performance she'd given us in "War of Worlds" (in which she just screamed constantly as she was dragged across the set). The suspense is built gradually, convincingly and pleasantly. I noticed that some parts are very easy to anticipate and, from a certain point, it doesn't invest in the thickening of the plot, but besides these defects, its a film that fulfills what promises and entertains the public quite well without, however, being brilliant. Worth watching, even if we forget it quickly.