MOVIE REVIEW: Stoker

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Stoker is latest film from renowned Korean director Park Chan-wook.  The script was penned by former Prison Break star Wentworth Miller.  The film boasts an excellent cast made up of stars Mia Wasikowska, Nicole Kidman, and Matthew Goode.  The film had its big red carpet premiere at this years Sundance Film Festival back in January.

India Stoker (Wasikowska) is a strange young girl who is an outcast at school without any friends and has just recently lost her father in an automobile accident.  A strange man that India has never met before shows up at the funeral, who she finds out is her deceased father’s younger brother, Uncle Charlie (Goode).  Both India and her mother Evelyn (Kidman) are intrigued with Uncle Charlie, so he decides to move in with them for a while.  India’s relationship with her mother is already strained, but things get much worse now that they have a new house guest.  Strange things start happening at home and around town and it seems that there might be more to Uncle Charlie than meets the eye.

Stoker is a very aesthetically beautiful film with very dark subject material.  Park Chan-wook is one of the most acclaimed and famous filmmakers in South Korea.  He is most recognized for his series of films that are known as The Vengeance Trilogy, with Oldboy being the standout in my opinion.  Stoker is Park’s first venture into English language film and he doesn’t hold anything back.  His shots are beautifully brutal and he is masterful in building and sustaining suspense.  The film also does a good job of keeping you guessing as to what is actually going on.  The characters in the story are cold and creepy, but are brought to life by the excellent cast.  Nicole Kidman is great as always, but it’s Mia Wasikowska who steals the show.  Stoker is definitely not a movie for everyone because of the controversial nature of the material, but it is a good piece of cinema nonetheless.  I’d recommend checking it out.

Stoker opens on Friday, March 15.

Grade: A-

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