Recently, I've become aware that certain films are able to transcend the medium by being completely self-assured in their atmospheres…
After India's father dies, her Uncle Charlie, who she never knew existed, comes to live with her and her unstable mother. She comes to suspect this mysterious, charming man has ulterior motives and becomes increasingly infatuated with him.
Does for belts, sand castles, staircases, pianos, pencils, pencil sharpeners, ice cream, freezers, phone booths, shoes, duck hunts, dinner, garden shears, shovels, metronomes, and showers what Psycho did for showers.
At 98 minutes, this is my dream length of movie. I have said it all my life.
After leaving this screening, and using the facilities, I could quite easily have jumped straight back in to watch the whole movie again. That doesn't happen to me often.
Stoker is phenomenal.
It's as dreamy as it is taught. As beautiful as it is horrific. It's The Tree of Life with A screenplay. An outstanding screenplay at that. It has been said that the director Park Chan-Wook has made a Hitchcock movie. You can't make a Hitchcock movie without a Hitchcock screenplay, and Wentworth Miller and Erin Cressida have made one. It's my favourite scenplay in recent memory. It keeps enough under wraps…
I’ve noticed a recent personal trend of being out of step with public and critical opinion. It’s certainly not a case of becoming contrarian or even more difficult to please in my old age but I am finding it harder to enjoy some modern films in the way so many other people clearly are. Unfortunately, Chan-wook Park’s Stoker is another one to add to this growing list of recent disappointments.
Maybe my contrasting view this time around is a little less surprising as I have always had a volatile relationship with Park’s films of either utter devotion (Oldboy, Thirst etc.) or deep loathing (Lady Vengeance, I’m a Cyborg...). The key differentiating factor between these sets of films is a robust…
Tantalizing tension, as far as it's concerned for Park Chan-wook, is an ingredient that can do wonders. Stoker, as it just so happens, is seasoned to perfection with it. It's a taunt, whimsical and magically creepy film that would make Alfred Hitchcock (who does get his fair share of credit for much of it) stand up and applaud. Gothic, playful, chilling and darkly funny in each otherwise terrifying set, and perfectly applying its own strange scape to capturing a dark world view of eclipsing sanity and childhood all rolled into one; it's a breathtaking little film.
Stoker is the kind of a film a daring Tim Burton would make now in his carrier - mature may not be the word…
A daring, modern re-telling of Shadow of Doubt. I couldn't take my eyes of this film even when nothing was happening, the attention to detail is astounding and the intense sound work really perfected the pacing. Really loved this film.
My mom described this as "deliciously twisted" right after it was over and I think that's the perfect description. Park Chan-wook is really great at making the disturbing highly accessible and almost… relatable? He draws characters so well that you feel like you understand them as people, without necessarily being able to predict their actions. It's hard to talk about anything but the premise because it's best to go in with as little knowledge as possible, but in short, India Stoker is an 18 year old high school student who has just lost her father in a car accident. Shortly after his death, his mysterious younger brother Charlie comes to live with India and her mother and lots of bad…
I thought for sure (2013) "Stoker" (assumed it was named after author of Dracula, Bram Stoker) was going to be a vampire film. It's not. After 18 year old India's father dies an Uncle she didn't know about comes to the funeral. What does he want? That is a question I'm still asking.
Obvious Hitchcock's superior (1943)"Shadow Of A Doubt" is the blueprint for the film. The Uncle's name is Charlie just as Joseph Cotton's was in "Shadow Of A Doubt". But in "Stoker" the niece does not idolize her Uncle. She doesn't know him at all. In this film, the young girl is more like her murderous Uncle.
While the film is quite nice to look at. Story wise,…
The tradition of Southern Gothic literature runs like an avoided shadow along the peripheries of great American art. Unlike, say, the cinema renaissance of the 70s or the Gatsby explosion of the 20s or Pollack and Hemingway’s high brow acceptance into the mainstream, great Southern Gothic writing, while some of the most pointed to ever come from American pens, has always seemed a hidden stepchild of surface culture. That’s perhaps the precise reason that I find the likes of Flannery O’Connor and William Faulkner so compelling to dig at. They gave us a type of storytelling that has not and could not exist in any other space or geography, yet they don’t have nearly the kind of legacy that generally…
India Stoker (Mia Wasikowska) enjoys a typical adolescence until her father dies on her eighteenth birthday and her mysterious uncle Charlie (Matthew Goode) shows up at his funeral.
Evelyn (Nicole Kidman), India's mother, is too detached and disinterested in her husband's death and the sexual attraction between her and Charlie is heavy-handed.
Mia Wasikowska is a blank slate and never allows us to get into India's head, making the central character frustratingly inscrutable.
Jacki Weaver is underused as Aunt Gwendolyn, who unsuccessfully tries to warn the family of Uncle Charlie's checkered past.
Park Chan-Wook's Oldboy (2003) is a fantastic, stylish film, but his English language debut leaves a lot to be desired.
Screenwriter Wentworth Miller (best known as Michael Scofield) claimed he only used Shadow of a Doubt (1943) as a starting point, but the two films share so much in common, this movie is better understood as a poorly executed remake of Hitchcock's classic film.
Often rather perverse, Stoker is a daring and dark. Park Chan-wook's direction has never been better, every shot is taken with great care and precision. The acting from the three leads are also magnificent. It's seductive piece of cinema that should have more of a cult following than it currently does.
Director Chan-Wook Park's English film debut is increasingly stunning. This has probably been my fifth time viewing this film and I have yet to be desensitized to any of the brooding debauchery of the characters.
Awesome themes of growing up and parental influence smash you into the couch while every frame of the film could be a standalone image hanging on your living room wall. The sound design plays well with India's character and immerses you in her attentive senses. From drawing out the cracking of an eggshell to eavesdropping from rooms away, it helps create a depth of a character that isn't explored as often as it should in the medium.
Stoker is disturbingly beautiful, and I know it will be one of those films that people stumble upon, instantly becoming a favorite.
While I'd consistently followed Chan-Wook Park's career since "Oldboy", I felt he produced more misses than hits. Park is a great director, but along with a number of other Korean directors, he has a tendency to blend horror with humour. While I love the way Joon-Ho Bong balances those two elements, I didn't find Park so consistent.
However, in "Stoker" the dark humour and unreal wackiness is very well handled. Even though there are no overt fantasy elements, I couldn't help but be reminded of "The Addams Family". There's a 'twisted family' theme and a resulting twisted coming-of-age story along with it.
While Matthew Goode and Nicole Kidman are both excellent, it is the central performance from Mia Wasikowska (who continues to shine in films like "Tracks", "The Double" and "Maps To The Stars") which really blew me away here.
Ranked 1st in my best movies of 2013 list here:
Visually good and always inventive but oddly light, despite the anguishing theme.
Park Chan-wook is quite honestly my favorite person. This was not his best, but I really enjoyed Mia Wasikowska's performance. Plus, the masturbation scene was Very Me.
Flawless in every facet of its design and construction
[after his parents have left, thinking he is ill] "They bought it. Incredible! One of the worst performances of my…
Over two days, my "Movies To See" list is unspooling on The Dissolve. Here's your chance to check them off,…