Hide and Seek (2005) is the blockbuster psychological thriller. The great Robert De Niro plays two lead roles along with Dacota Fanning, Famke Janssen etc.
The plot follows a widower named David Callaway (played by Robert De Niro) and his daughter, Emily (played by Dakota Fanning), as they move to a remote country house to escape the trauma of losing David’s wife and Emily’s mother. David soon realizes that Emily has an imaginary friend named “Charlie,” and strange things happen in the house. As David investigates, he starts to suspect that Charlie may be more than just a figment of Emily’s imagination and may be connected to the mysterious death of his wife. The movie follows David’s attempts to uncover the truth about Charlie and the events that led to his wife’s death while also dealing with the emotional struggles of his daughter and his grief.
Hide and Seek (2005) Ending Explained and Plot Story in Details
* * * Spoiler Alert – If you haven’t seen the movie yet, turn back now! * * *
The movie starts with a sweet scenario where we can see a baby girl playing in a playground with her parents. Next, we can see the mother comes to her daughter’s room to say goodnight when she is hiding. Mom finds her daughter, and this mommy-girl duo creates a beautiful harmony before the goodnight kiss.
Mom returns to her room; daddy asks her how everything is. At this point, we get to know that mom has depression. A while later, we see mom lying in the bathtub and listening to music. Dad wakes up in the middle of the night and hears water falling from a faucet. He checks out the bathroom and finds mom dead.
Dad decides to shift from this place as her daughter becomes calm and can’t cope with the incident. He wants her to embrace everyday life. He discusses it with his assistant, and she agrees with it. Dad sets out for the destination. When they reach, a doctor and the Sheriff welcome them.
The girl seems not to like them very much. When the Sheriff is about to give the key, dad notices the girl is not around. He calls for her and, within a moment, sees her standing, staring at the woods.
The following day, David does household chores, and Emily walks into the woods and stops near a rocky cave. Later a neighbor knocks at their door and offers food. David welcomes her and introduces her daughter, but she behaves coldly, but the neighbor isn’t so bothered.
David and his daughter visit the nearest park to their home, and David meets Elizabeth babysitting her sister’s daughter. David makes a warm conversation, and Emily observes the moment. We see a sad impression taking over her face.
The next day, David goes fishing with Emily and notices Emily using a giant insect as bait. The way Emily impales the insect makes David feel cringe. At night David has a nightmare and wakes up at 2:06. He hears water dropping down and goes to the bathroom to check on it. He finds something written on the wall that says, ‘You let her DID’. David asks her, but she denies it and believes Charlie has done it.
The other day Elizabeth visits David. Amy meets Emily and tries to be friends with her, but she shows unfriendly conduct. The next day when Emily is playing, David notices a man talking with her. He immediately rushes to her and tells him to pardon them because they will be busy. He understands David hasn’t taken him positively. David warns Emily not to talk with strangers.
At night David hears Emily laughing and looks over her room. Emily says Charlie was with her, and he just left. David sees the window that was intensely stuck is open now. David tells Emily he wants to meet with Charlie, but Emily disapproves. David is writing a diary while listening to Jazz.
Emily is playing hide and seek and goes to the store room unknowingly. Suddenly, David rescues her and gets her back to sleep when it gets dark.
The next day, Laura comes to apologize on behalf of her husband and informs them that they have lost a child. That’s why her husband talked with her. At night Elizabeth visits to have dinner. At the table, Emily tells Eli that her mom killed herself in a bathtub splitting her wrist, ignoring David’s prohibition.
That night David wakes again at 2:06, and this time he finds something more horrible in the bathtub. A dead cat dipped down to the tub, and the wall said, ‘look what you’ve done.’
Scared and disgusted, David comes to Emily when she is waiting to tell him it was Charlie who did. But this time, David doesn’t seem to believe it. At that moment, the doctor stops delivering the keys to the other rooms when his behavior seems questionable to David. He cleaned up everything and buried the dead cat.
The following day David asks Emi why Charlie does such a horrible thing and if it is because of Eli.
Emi says Charlie doesn’t want him to be happy. David disapproves of the existence of Charlie and wants to see him if he is correct. Emi takes him to her room and shows him some inhuman drawings. Emi tells him that if Charlie hadn’t resisted him, he would have satisfied her.
Read more, Dracula Untold (2014)
Later, assistant Kate comes to visit Emi, and Kate asks about Charlie. Emi says that Charlie is afraid that Kate will be a part of the game, and the game is about upsetting daddy. Kate understands Emily’s condition is deteriorating. Kate suggests taking her back to New York. Dave comes to Charlie’s room and finds a diary where a consecutive drawing depicts her mom’s death.
Like every day, Dave is writing while listening to Jazz. Elizabeth stops by and comes to Emi, saying she is not trying to take her mom’s place. Emi asks if she wants to play hide and seek, and Charlie hides behind the cupboard. Eli opens it up, and being so shocked, she falls out of the window.
Dave wakes up and looks for Emi. At that moment, the Sheriff informs that Eli’s car has been found devastated. Dave gets shocked and asks Emi what has happened. Dave checks the bathtub and finds Eli dead. He leaves the house looking for Charlie angrily but finds no one has returned home.
Dave saunters to their store room and finds some old diaries, and at this moment, we get to know a shocking twist. Those diaries are blank. It means that Charlie is none other than Dave. He actually has created this version who is Charlie. When he plays Charlie, he spends time with Emi. He plays hide and seek and kills everyone who comes between them.
When Dave finds his wife’s extramarital affair, he kills her and fixes everything as she has killed herself. When Emi understands that he is the one who killed. Emi doesn’t want to play with Charlie anymore, and she informs Kate. Charlie wonders if Emi doesn’t like him anymore, so he tries to kill her.
In the meantime, Kate arrives and clearly understands everything after revealing the Sheriff’s body. Charlie chases Emi through the woods and enters that rocky cave. Kate takes the Sheriff’s gun and points it toward Charlie but can’t hit him. When he is about to kill her, Emi calls him. Looking back, he goes for Emi and then gets shot by Kate.
In the end, we see Emi drawing in the paperback, and Kate reminds her it is time for school.
What was wrong with the dad in Hide and Seek (2005)?
In the 2005 movie “Hide and Seek,” the character of David Callaway, played by Robert De Niro, struggles with grief and emotional trauma following the death of his wife and the mother of his daughter, Emily. He is shown to be haunted by memories of his wife and struggles to cope with her loss.
As the movie progresses, he becomes increasingly paranoid and delusional as he becomes convinced that his daughter’s imaginary friend, “Charlie,” may be connected to his wife’s death and begins to suspect something sinister is happening in his house. It is suggested that David may suffer from some mental health condition, such as PTSD or a form of psychosis, as a result of his traumatic experiences.
Why did the neighbors behave weirdly?
They lost their baby girl a few months ago. When they see Emily, she reminds them of their lost child. So they often visit Emily to relieve their pain. No pain can be compared when it is about losing a child.
Read more, Panic Room (2002) Ending Explanation
Why did David become psychologically ill?
David lost faith in his wife and couldn’t take that betrayal easily. He killed her, and the trauma it caused, he couldn’t consume. His mind gradually became violent out of stress which named him Charlie, and he started playing with Emily, but there was still a part of a good person: David, a caring father who wanted to protect his child. David, the father, always tried to protect her from his evil personality but eventually couldn’t.
This movie says trauma causes pain, and pain can lead you to do harm which can be for you or others. I know it’s hard to hold on to your self-confidence when your whole world collapses. But believe that it’s conquerable.
Original Title: Hide and Seek
Other Titles: Cache-cache (Canada), Slepynes (Lithuania)
Genre: Horror/ Psychological/ Thriller
Runtime: 1hr 41min
Original Language: English
Directed by John Polson
Written by Ari Schlossberg
Tagline: If you want to know the secret, you have to play the game.
Release date: January 28, 2005 (USA)
Origin Country: United States
Filming locations: Haworth, New Jersey, USA