Charlie Stoker (Movie) Character in “Stoker”

This post includes a character analysis of Charlie Stoker, the main antagonist in the 2013 film “Stoker”.

The 2013 psychological thriller directed by Park Chan-wook stars Matthew Goode as Charlie Stoker.

Stoker (2013)

In Stoker, Charlie Stoker is a mysterious but charming man who shows up at Richard Stoker’s funeral, his brother. There he meets his niece (India Stoker) and his sister-in-law (Evelyn Stoker). Shortly after, he starts living with the Stokers.

During his stay at the house, Charlie tries to befriend India, but she rejects him. However, the uncle saves his niece from Whip, a boy who was trying to sexually assault India. Their bond strengthens after India witnesses Charlie strangling the boy to death with his belt.

Later on, India finds out that Charlie killed several people in the past and that he also lied about himself. However, what really drove India away from her uncle was the following discovery: Charlie killed Richard in a fit of rage.

Meanwhile, Charlie has his eyes on his next victim: Evelyn. India’s mother knows about Charlie’s dark past, and therefore, he tries to strangle her to death. Before Charlie succeeds, India shoots his uncle dead with her rifle.

Then, India buries Charlie and drives away from home. As she is leaving the town, the sheriff stops her. Before he could react, India stabbed him with a pair of shears. After that, she shoots the man dead with her rifle.

Note: For those who are interested, here is another article discussing the meaning behind the ending of Stoker.

Charlie Stoker Character Analysis in “Stoker”

Stoker presents Charlie Stoker as the long-lost uncle of the protagonist, India Stoker. On the surface, Charlie is an attractive man with a charming persona. But underneath the appearances lies a dangerous man with a dark past. It turns out that Charlie Stoker is a serial killer who has the habit of getting rid of people that he deems “inconvenient”.

In terms of personality, Charlie Stoker is charismatic, charming and seductive when he wants to be. However, there is also a dark side to him. Behind his handsome looks, there is a man who is incredibly manipulative and violent. Over the years, Charlie became a pathological liar, hence, his deceitful nature. When Charlie Stoker loses control of his emotions, he is capable of the most heinous acts.

Background Story

Since a very young age, Charlie Stoker has acquired a dangerous habit of killing people that he deems “troublesome”. His first victim was his little brother, Jonathan. Apparently, Charlie was too jealous of his younger sibling.

The reasoning behind the murder was rather simple: Jonathan had to disappear because Charlie didn’t want to share his older brother’s love with someone else. In his twisted mind, Charlie wanted Richard to only love him. Needless to say, the family put Charlie in a mental institution after he decided to dig a big hole in a sand box and bury his little brother in it alive! So it seems that Charlie is not the globetrotter that he initially claimed to be.

Charlie hasn’t met India or Evelyn before because he has been living in an asylum for most of his life. And Richard Stoker had no interest in introducing a psychopath and murder to his family. After Charlie got out, Richard told his brother that he couldn’t stay with him. That resulted in Richard’s demise, as Charlie lost control of his emotions and killed him in the process.

The victims of Charlie Stoker

Aside from Jonathan and Richard, Charlie Stoker would make other victims after moving in with the Stokers. His next two victims were calculated murders, unlike the previous two. Charlie killed the housekeeper and his aunt because they knew about his secret.

Then, his final victim (Whip) was just a means to bond with his niece. For some odd reason, Charlie figured out that India has the same dark tendencies as him. Although Evelyn was also a victim of Charlie, she did not share the same fate as the others. While Charlie was trying to strangle her to death with his belt, India stepped in and shot him dead.

Charlie Stoker and India Stoker (Relationship Analysis)

Charlie and India have a complex relationship. Right when they meet, Charlie feels instantly drawn to India. People tend to have a connection with other individuals that share similar traits, which might explain why Charlie is so obsessed with India. In this case, both India and Charlie are psychopaths. While Charlie is a full-blown psychopath, India is still figuring herself out.

While Charlie was excited to see India, she did not share the same sentiment about him. Their relationship, however, takes a different turn when they kill together for the first time. In an odd way, Whip’s death actually brought Charlie and India closer together.

The way Charlie acts around India is a bit unsettling, to say the least. However, the same can be said about India. Sometimes, there appears to be some sexual tension between India and Charlie, which sounds so wrong on so many levels. The man is her uncle, not her lover. Although Charlie never laid a finger on India, his obsession with his niece is very evident.

Despite showing a complete lack of interest in Charlie, India is not indifferent to her uncle. She doesn’t like him, and yet, India also cannot take her eyes off of Charlie. This is very evident when India catches Charlie in an intimate moment with her mother.

Seeing Evelyn and Charlie in close proximity incited, at the time, both feelings of shock and jealousy in India. On one hand, India couldn’t stand the idea of her mother flirting with another guy other than her father. On the other hand, India hated the sight of Charlie seducing Evelyn. That’s why she stormed off and wandered into the woods.

Just when everything seemed okay between Charlie and India, things took another turn. Although both individuals bond over their mutual desire to kill, Charlie crossed the line. India found out that her uncle killed her father. It turns out that Richard did not die in a car accident, Charlie murdered him. As payback, India shot Charlie dead with her rifle.

Final Thoughts

Charlie Stoker and his character are a great reminder that appearances can be deceiving. There is no doubt that Charlie is a very sick and twisted person, but there is something about him that helps him get away with almost everything. And that would be his handsome looks and charming persona.

Despite his attractive looks, Charlie has a “less pretty” side to him that will make many shy away from him. The man is a serial killer who enjoys getting rid of people who are in his way. His first victim was a “nuisance” to him because Jonathan was getting in between Charlie and Richard. The following victims died at his hands because they were interfering in his relationship with India.

The irony is that Charlie Stoker ended up dying at the hands of the one he loved the most. Well, that is, if someone like Charlie could grasp what love really means. His object of obsession also became his executioner.