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Movie Review: Stoker

By Edited Oct 19, 2015 1 0

Certificate 18, 98 minutes

Director: Chan-wook Park

Stars: Mia Wasikowska, Nicole Kidman, Matthew Goode

Stoker is a psychological horror thriller about eighteen year old India Stoker (Mia Wasikowska, Crimson Peak) who, shortly after the death of her father, Richard (Dermot Mulroney), meets her father's younger brother, Charlie (Matthew Goode, The Imitation Game) - an uncle she did not even know she had. After her father's funeral her mother Evelyn (Nicole Kidman, Before I Go to Sleep, Paddington) invites Uncle Charlie to move in with them, for a time at least. Uncle Charlie stays a lot longer than originally planned and it appears he has disturbing intentions towards India as he isn't exactly treating her like a niece some years his junior, and often appears somewhat obsessed with her. Evelyn also appears to Charlie, as he reminds her of her husband Richard when he was younger.

Even though there are other people in Stoker the majority of the film revolves around the interactions between the three main characters - India, Evelyn and Charlie - and many of the more minor roles appear only briefly, although often adding to the story or revealing more about the major ones. India does not seem to be quite a normal teenager. Whilst the sullenness she displays is hardly an uncommon trait in teenagers, and she has just lost her father in an accident, she still seems a bit odd and does not really interact well, if at all, with other people her age. Throughout the film Charlie's past is revealed and his intentions towards India are even more disturbing than the somewhat incestuous attitude he is displaying towards her. A number of people who come in contact with India and Charlie simply disappear and are never heard from again. Evelyn did not appear to have a good relationship with her husband towards the end, and does not appear to have a particularly good one with her daughter either.

The large house which India and her mother live in appears rather old fashioned and dated, as does her clothing, which gives the impression that, at least to start with, Stoker is actually set several decades ago, although the film is in fact set in the present day. This may be a deliberate touch as this adds a certain atmosphere to the film. Stoker is often disturbing and definitely not a family friendly film. There are a number of scenes that are unsettling or sexual - sometimes both at the same time - and the 18 certificate is likely not so much for gore or violence, even though there is some of both in Stoker, but rather for the themes covered in the film and scenes such as the ones mentioned earlier. This is a more old fashioned type of horror film rather than the more modern splatter fests or supernatural horror films. It should be noted that the film is not about vampires, even though it was influenced by Bram Stoker's Dracula. Stoker has been compared to the work of Alfred Hitchcock, and Hitchcock's Shadow of a Doubt influenced the film, and is worth a watch for being a more thoughtful type of film.
Stoker egdcltd 2014-09-06 3.0 0 5
Amazon Price: $13.99 Buy Now
(price as of Oct 19, 2015)


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