Saturday, March 23 2013, 12:19 AM MDT
Movie Review: Stoker
4 out of 5 Stars
Director • Chan-wook Park
Starring • Mia Wasikowska, Nicole Kidman, Matthew Goode
Rated • R
Recommended to • Chan-wook Park fans, those who love slow burning thrillers and anyone looking for a stark and haunting take on Hitchcock’s “Shadow of a Doubt.”
After India’s (Mia Wasikowska) father is killed in an automobile accident her mysterious Uncle Charlie comes (Matthew Goode) to stay with her and her grieving mother (Nicole Kidman). India is drawn to him and the dangerous secrets she suspects exist beneath his warm exterior.
If you’ve seen any of Chan-woo Park’s films (“Thirst,” “Old Boy,” “Lady Vengeance”) you know you’re in for a strange and beautiful journey through something dark and a bit psychologically twisted. Like many rising South Korean directors he also has an insatiable taste for violence and while many feared that Chan-wook Park’s English-language debut might be watered down it’s quite clear that Fox Searchlight Pictures didn’t try and limit his artistic vision.
Some have complained that “Stoker” is a beautiful film where nothing happens. I don’t share in this opinion in the least. For me it was quite clear that Chan-wook Park was simply winding the audience up, offering flashes of darkness and teasing his way to the film’s climax when everything comes undone in a barrage of mayhem. The final revelation isn’t necessarily a shocking twist, but the way it unfolds is shockingly unexpected.
-Ryan Michael Painter