Director Chan-wook’s the Korean director of the 2003 cult film “Oldboy” brings us his first American film by the title of “Stoker”; a perpetually unnerving and compellingly strange psychological thriller starring Mia Wasikowska, Matthew Goode, Dermot Mulroney, Jacki Weaver and Nicole Kidman.
The story revolves a teenager named
's (Wasikowska's) whose father has died from the onset in an auto accident. Shortly after his death, India ’s Uncle Charlie (Goode), who she never knew even existed comes to live with her and her emotionally unstable mother (Kidman). Soon after his arrival, India comes to suspect her mysterious Uncle, charming as he may be, as having some ulterior motives by living with her and her mother. But instead of India feeling fear by his presence, the shy and friendless teenage girl becomes increasingly drawn to him to the point of infatuation by his odd charisma and good looks. India
This movie’s pace has an unusually syncopation about it. It leaves you unsettled at each turn as to what people’s motives are? Why do they do strange things seemly without warning? Why their reactive emotions are out of align to the moment? Who is actual friend or foe in the film? But this off kilter style of direction fascinated me and while I am almost certain this odd quirky little film is not everyone’s cup of tea, it worked creepily well for me
"Stoker" (Official Selection at the 2013 Sundance Film Festival) is a hybrid of some great classics that we all know, but I don’t dare mention as not to give anything away. But if you want a bit of a clue, think a mix of Alfred Hitchcock, David Lynch (
Twin Peaks) and Steven King.
3 -1/4 Stars