Stoker

"Excellent"

Stoker Review


You could argue that this film is all lurid style over substance, but there's actually a lot going on behind the stunningly gorgeous imagery. Korean director Park (Oldboy) beings his lavish visual approach to this Hitchcockian story about a family infiltrated by a predator. Packed with references to iconic movies and books, the film is heightened and deranged, and its intense moodiness gets under the skin.

It centres on 18-year-old India Stoker (Wasikowska), distraught after the death of her beloved father (Mulroney). Without him to soften her, she's also even angrier than usual at her needy mother Evie (Kidman). Then the charming, handsome Uncle Charlie (Goode) turns up at the funeral and moves in to help them grieve. Actually he seems to be trying to seduce Evie, who is flattered by his attention. But the housekeeper (Somerville) and an auntie (Weaver) don't stick around long enough to see what's really going on, and it becomes clear that Charlie actually has his sights set on India.

Both the script and the direction continually echo familiar literary and cinematic icons, from the family's name to the Shakespearean family plot to the prowling interloper (see Robert Mitchum in the 1950s classic The Night of the Hunter). Director Park's camera prowls through the house like a ghost, catching tiny details in every lushly designed scene while finding all kinds of shadings in the performances. Wasikowska is terrific as the sensitive, rather cruel young woman at the centre of the storm, while Kidman steals her scenes with a haunted, conflicted performance. Between them, Goode is almost painfully seductive. And clearly dangerous.

Park's intensely inventive direction brings all of this to the boil again and again with a fiercely artful use of colour, sound and music. The fact that the house is overrun with spiders may feel like one metaphor too many, but they add to the Addams Family wackiness. And it all builds to a crescendo at an outrageously lusty piano duet. In fact, the entire film is awash with primal urges that mix sex and murder in ways that play with our preconceptions. And it's great fun to travel through this blackly amusing but darkly terrifying situation in such fine style with people who might be just a bit messier than we are.

Rich Cline



Stoker

Facts and Figures

Genre: Dramas

Run time: 99 mins

In Theaters: Friday 1st March 2013

Box Office USA: $1.7M

Budget: $12M

Distributed by: Fox Searchlight Pictures

Production compaines: Fox Searchlight Pictures, Indian Paintbrush, Scott Free Productions

Reviews

Contactmusic.com: 4 / 5

Rotten Tomatoes: 69%
Fresh: 124 Rotten: 57

IMDB: 6.9 / 10

Cast & Crew

Director:

Starring: as India Stoker, as Evelyn 'Evie' Stoker, as Richard Stoker, as Uncle Charlie Stoker, as Chris Pitts, as Aunt Gwendolyn 'Gin' Stoker, as Sheriff Howard, as Whip Taylor, Phyllis Somerville as Mrs. McGarrick, David Alford as Reverend, Peg Allen as Housekeeper, Lauren E. Roman as Housekeeper, Tyler von Tagen as Young Richard Stoker, Thomas A. Covert as Young Charles Stoker, Jaxon Johnson as Jonathan SToker, Paxton Johnson as Jonathan Stoker, as Doctor Jacquin

Contactmusic


Links



Advertisement

New Movies

Hampstead Movie Review

Hampstead Movie Review

Deliberately appealing to older audiences, this undemanding comedy-drama comes with a hint of social relevance...

The Book of Henry Movie Review

The Book of Henry Movie Review

Apparently, this offbeat script had been making the rounds in Hollywood for some 20 years...

Transformers: The Last Knight Movie Review

Transformers: The Last Knight Movie Review

With this fifth Transformers movie, it seems clear that Michael Bay is still trying to...

Churchill Movie Review

Churchill Movie Review

This drama about the iconic British prime minister tells a darkly personal story set over...

Gifted Movie Review

Gifted Movie Review

This is one of those films that dances right up to the edge of soapy...

Whitney: Can I Be Me Movie Review

Whitney: Can I Be Me Movie Review

Notorious British filmmaker Nick Broomfield teams up with Austrian music documentary producer Rudi Dolezal to...

The Mummy Movie Review

The Mummy Movie Review

To launch their new Dark Universe franchise, Universal has taken an approach that mixes murky...

Advertisement
My Cousin Rachel Movie Review

My Cousin Rachel Movie Review

Daphne du Maurier's 1951 mystery-romance novel has been adapted for theatre, radio, TV and film,...

Wilson Movie Review

Wilson Movie Review

It's never helpful when a comedy becomes a bit too smug about its own quirkiness....

Interlude in Prague Movie Review

Interlude in Prague Movie Review

A fictionalised story from the life of Wolfgang Mozart, this lavishly produced period drama is...

The Hippopotamus Movie Review

The Hippopotamus Movie Review

This British satirical comedy may be a bit of a mess, but since it's based...

Detour Movie Review

Detour Movie Review

This may look like a rather typical American indie thriller, but British filmmaker Christopher Smith...

Wonder Woman Movie Review

Wonder Woman Movie Review

Boldly optimistic, this action-packed adventure breathes fresh life into the DC universe with a welcome...

Baywatch Movie Review

Baywatch Movie Review

Clearly, it's a risky proposition adapting a cheesy vintage TV series for the big screen:...

Advertisement
Artists
Actors
    Filmmakers
      Artists
      Bands
        Musicians
          Artists
          Celebrities
             
              Artists
              Interviews
                musicians & bands in the news
                  actors & filmmakers in the news
                    celebrities in the news

                      Go Back in Time using our News archive to see what happened on a particular day in the past.