23 Jul 2013

'Stoker' Review

Director: Chan Wook Park
Writers: Wentworth Miller, Chan Wook Park
Stars: Mia Wasikowska, Nicole Kidman, Matthew Goode

After India's (Wasikowska) father dies, her uncle whom she didn't know existed comes to live with her and her unstable mother (Kidman). She comes to suspect that this charming, handsome man has ulterior motives and becomes increasingly weary of him.

Wook Park's Stoker, what many are calling a "Masterpiece" may not be what plenty are living it up to be, which could all be depending on what your bag is, and coming from a slasher and fun horror movie lover, I wasn't delighted with this devious thriller; having said that, it is definitely a movie experience that can be admired for its detailed layers that it has to offer, and it may not be a horror fanatic type of film, its dark atmosphere and final act could surely please that horror lover.

With it's intriguing plot, fascinating characters and twists that take the turns for the worst, Stoker can be easily admired, and for those out looking for a visual-driven movie, then Stoker should be there next watch. It is far from what critics are calling it, but with stunning imagery and characters laced in more mystery than The Cabin in the Woods, it's hard not to appreciate what director Wook Park is bringing to us, and despite it's frequent flaws, he is truly bringing us a slice of modern art in the film industry.

The performances from the central cast is superb, and with Kidman involved how could you expect anything less. Mia Wasikowska playing the backward teen is surprisingly unsettling, though she has little to say and her silent persona takes over, with film progression comes stronger character development and soon, the character India becomes someone with spice, class and personality. As for the Goode's character as the involved uncle, well his charming quality redeems over his dark core, and although we witness moments that would normally turn an audience off a character, in this case we remain in awe of him, and yes, we know what he is capable of, but Goode's performance displays a mood of safety which we remain in comfort of until the last 30 minutes which become very unsettling. Strange but fascinating.

VERDICT: The stylish simplicity may be visually indulgent, but Director Chan Wook Park doesn't quite know what he's doing, so Stoker doesn't quite know what it is; and with its dark atmospheric tone you should see the art within this thriller, though aside from its enthusiastic exhibit of creativity, it's not worth a second look.

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