Wednesday, January 23, 2013

Stoker (2013)

Director: Chan-Wook Park

Starring: Mia Wasikowska, Nicole Kidman, Dermot Mulroney, Jacki Weaver, Matthew Goode, Lucas Till, Alden Ehrenreich

More info: IMDb

Plot: After India’s father dies in an auto accident, her Uncle Charlie, whom she never knew existed, comes to live with her and her emotionally unstable mother, Evelyn. Soon after his arrival, India begins to suspect this mysterious, charming man has disturbing ulterior motives, but instead of feeling outrage or horror, the friendless girl becomes increasingly infatuated with him.

My rating: 7/10

Will I watch it again? Mabye

This was one I had some anticipation for.  A new one by the director of OLDBOY (2003)?  I’m so on board for this one.  AND it’s the world premiere at Sundance?  Say no more. It’s being billed as a Hitchcockian thriller, an accurate description but then again you’re also making a comparison to the genius behind so many excellent thrillers.  Hell, he defined the genre with a boatload of classic films.  Anyway, STOKER looks fantastic.  Clint Mansell’s music works really well, and the Philip Glass piano duet (and sequence) is the best segment in the picture.  I like how Park takes his time in telling a story.  It’s allowed to breathe.  The film is very calming…and disturbing.   Nicole Kidman does a fine job but the real weight is carried and delivered by Mia Wasikowska.  Great performance.  Matthew Goode reminds me of how amazing a young Anthony Perkins would have been perfect for the role.  He brings a real creepiness to the film.  The ONLY thing I don’t like, and this could be my fault, is the ending.  What the hell happened?


Why did India kill the sheriff?  What was the deal with her ability to see/hear things us normal people couldn’t?  Did she have some supernatural ability?  Was it as simple as her coming into her own as a nutter on the loose with a gun?


Did I fall asleep, not realizing it, and miss an important piece of the puzzle?  I was a little confused.  And worst of all is I had no one to discuss it with that could offer any real help.  All of those I talked to either loved it or didn’t care.  So if there’s someone out that that can explain why India  does what she does at the end, please leave a comment.  I really want to know.  With a gazillion movies out there I haven’t seen yet I can’t see myself watching this one again to maybe pick up on something I missed the first go ‘round.

Here's the cast in the Q&A that followed the film.  
It's amazing how fuzzy celebrities are in real life.


  1. I was stumped too, until my girlfriend pointed out that there are subtle clues that suggest that India is very much like Charlie (heightened senses, dislike of being touched). You get the feeling that her father takes her hunting as an outlet for her darker side which he knows or fears is there. Hence, while she might be longing for Charlie, she's too like him to accept him and the death of the Sheriff could be seen as her accepting her own dark nature. That makes more sense then her killing the Sheriff to cover her tracks as she could have easily pinned it on Charlie and her mother would have probably gone along with her story.

  2. You're right. That does make a lot more sense. OK, now I'm more inclined to see it again. Thanks for the input. I was really stumped on this one.