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Stoker (Movie) Review

 
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Stoker_teaser_poster
Stoker_teaser_poster

 
At A Glance...
 

Genre:
 
Actor: , ,
 
Length: 99 minutes
 
Release Date: March 1st, 2013
 
Final Score
 
 
 
 
 
4.5/ 5


User Rating
1 total rating

 

We liked?


Masterful performances.

Not so much?


Suffers from predictability at times.


Final Fiendish Findings?

Other than some arguably misjudged scenes involving Wasikowska’s school-mates and perhaps the predictability of parts of the story, Chan-wook hardly puts a foot wrong in one of the best psychological dramas I’ve seen in a long time. It’s just a shame I so easily guessed how it would end.

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Posted March 6, 2013 by

 
Full Fiendish Findings?
 
 

Stoker, newly released in theaters on March 1st, originally premiered at The Sundance Film Festival to a largely positive response. Starring big names in film like Nicole Kidman and Dermot Mulroney, its difficult themes are not for everyone. John Morgan, the newest member of the Games Fiends film team, offers his take on predictability, creative direction, and incest in his first review.

Stoker_teaser_poster

Oldboy director Park Chan-wook delivers an intense yet beautifully filmed story about a mysterious relative whose sudden arrival affects the reclusive lives and relationships of Nicole Kidman’s widow and Mia Wasikowska’s introverted daughter.

Stoker by no means has an original premise (any number of comparisons with the story can be drawn, from The Postman Always Rings Twice to Carrie), which ultimately makes a significant portion of the story pretty predictable. This movie is carried by not only the strength of the excellent and understated performances, but also on Chan-wook’s creative direction, use of sound and gorgeous visuals – as well as the calm and relaxed pacing of the unravelling plot.

All of these serve to build up a strong intensity and to create a sense of isolation and loneliness for Wasikowska in particular, the focal character of the film. She experiences a rapid and turbulent sexual awakening as she finds herself uncomfortably attracted to the uncle she never knew she had, jealous of his relationship with her mother, and empowered by his reciprocated attraction for her.

Stoker’s underlying theme of incest is subtly played out, yet heaps on the intensity and mystery of both the plot and the characters, not least the overwhelming sense of betrayal that lingers amongst them. It can make for uncomfortable viewing, but it is also quite fascinating watching the effect on the three central characters as a result.

Other than some arguably misjudged scenes involving Wasikowska’s school-mates and perhaps the predictability of parts of the story, Chan-wook hardly puts a foot wrong in one of the best psychological dramas I’ve seen in a long time. It’s just a shame I so easily guessed how it would end.

*Review written by John Morgan*


Amy

 
U.S. Senior Editor & Deputy EIC, @averyzoe on Twitter, mother of 5, gamer, reader, wife to @macanthony, and all-around bad-ass (no, not really)