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It's okay. Daddy's gone now.
~ David, as "Charlie", trying to lure his daughter

David Callaway, also known as "Charlie" is the main antagonist of the 2005 film, Hide and Seek. He is a psychologist who suffers from Dissociative Identity Disorder.

He is portrayed by Robert De Niro, who also portrayed the young Vito Corleone in The Godfather Part II, Travis Bickle in Taxi Driver, Jake LaMotta in Raging Bull, David "Noodles" Aaronson in Once Upon a Time in America, Al Capone in The Untouchables, Louis Cyphre in Angel Heart, Jimmy Conway in Goodfellas, Dwight Hansen in This Boy's Life, Max Cady in Cape Fear, Frankenstein's Monster in Mary Shelley's Frankenstein, Ace Rothstein in Casino, Neil McCauley in Heat, Louis Gara in Jackie Brown, Gil Renard in The Fan, Don Lino in Shark Tale, and Senator John McLaughlin in Machete.


During a New Year's Eve Party, David caught his wife, Allison, cheating on him with another man. Because he was too decent to commit murder, David's anger developed into a second personality named "Charlie". As "Charlie", he murdered Allison and made it look like suicide.

After his wife's death, David takes his 9-year-old daughter Emily and moves to Upstate New York, dedicated to being a full-time father. While there, Emily tells David that she's made a new friend called, "Charlie". David assumes that "Charlie" is imaginary, but becomes disturbed when he finds their cat dead in the bathtub (the same manner in which Allison was found dead), with a writing in crayon that says, "You let her DIE". Emily says that Charlie did it.

During a visit by family friend, Dr. Katherine Carson, Emily reveals that she and Charlie like to play games, their favorite one being "Hide and Seek", but Katherine is disturbed when she hears that both Emily and "Charlie" are playing a game of upsetting David. Katherine recommends to David that she takes Emily with her to give her a checkup. David refuses, but agrees to take her himself after a couple more weeks.

David meets a young woman named Elizabeth Young. He later sets up a play date with her niece, Amy, and Emily. It ends badly, however, when Emily ruins Amy's doll. Emily then coldly tells her father that she doesn't need any more friends. Despite this, David hits it off with Elizabeth, and she comes over to dinner one night. There, Emily behaves coldly toward Elizabeth, saying that Charlie doesn't like her. Annoyed, David has Emily go to her room.

David later asks Emily why Charlie doesn't like Elizabeth. Emily tells him that it's because she likes him and Charlie doesn't want him to be happy. She then says that her mom would have liked Charlie because he would have "satisfied" her. David is alarmed at this and presses Emily to tell him who really said it, but Emily insists that it was Charlie.

Elizabeth comes by later to visit Emily, hoping to make amends. Emily tells her that she's playing hide and seek with "Charlie", who is hiding in the closet. Playing along, Elizabeth opens the closet, when "Charlie" emerges and pushes Elizabeth out the window to her death. He then forces Emily to help him move the body to the bathtub. When David discovers this, he presses Emily about who did it, but she keeps saying that it was Charlie and that he "just left".

Now believing that Charlie is real, David arms himself with a knife and goes outside. There, he sees a neighbor who he assumes is Charlie and attacks him. The neighbor runs away to call the police. David returns and apologizes to Emily for not believing her, and assures her that she'll never see Charlie again. But Emily is not convinced because she knows that Charlie is still there.

David then goes to his study and discovers that the boxes were never unpacked. He then gets flashbacks to what really happened at the New Year's Eve Party. He realizes that "Charlie" is actually himself, and fully remembers having killed his wife, the cat and Elizabeth. Emily had known about David's split personality all along, but didn't say anything because she initially believed that it was David who killed her. After "Charlie" killed Elizabeth, Emily was afraid of scaring her father or that "Charlie" would emerge and hurt her. Once David realizes the truth, "Charlie" takes over completely.

While "Charlie" kills the police officer who came over to investigate, Emily calls Katherine for help. By the time she arrives, "Charlie" pushes her into the basement where the sheriff's body is found. He then begins playing another sadistic game of "Hide and Seek" with Emily. Emily manages to escape by climbing out of the window in her room and runs to the cave where she and "Charlie" first met.

Katherine arms herself with the dead sheriff's gun and goes to the cave where she sees "Charlie". "Charlie" pretends to be David to get her to lower her guard, and then attacks her. Katherine tries pleading for David to come out, but "Charlie" tells her that it's pointless; "Charlie" had taken over completely the moment David discovered the truth. Emily suddenly emerges and begs "Charlie" to let her go. Katherine uses the distraction to shoot and kill "Charlie".


  • According to the commentary, there were plans to make an additional scene where just after Katherine shot him, David would regain control and embrace Emily just before dying. The producers thought it would've been a chance for David and Emily to finally reconcile, given their troubled relationship throughout the film. The scene was never filmed, however.
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