Friday, March 15, 2013

Stoker

Mia Wasikowska, Nicole Kidman, Stoker

Stoker is the first English-language film from director Chan-wook Park (Oldboy), who is known for creepy, psychological-type movies. It's also written by Wentworth Miller (Prison Break). With an all-star cast including Nicole Kidman, Matthew Goode, and Mia Wasikowska, Stoker often evolves past just being "creepy," and although it is slow-paced, most of the time you won't be able to keep your eyes off the screen.

Richard Stoker (Dermot Mulroney) dies in a car accident, leaving behind his wife Evelyn (Kidman) and daughter India (Wasikowska). His brother, Charlie (Matthew Goode), whom India didn't even know existed, shows up at the house, and decides to stay with the family for a bit while they get back on their feet. Mysterious things start to happen - he has chemistry with Evelyn, and people whom he seems to dislike start disappearing, like Mrs. McGarrick (Phyllis Somerville), the hired help, and his aunt Gwendolyn (Jacki Weaver), who stops by the house for a bit. India knows that something is up with him, but doesn't know exactly what, until an incident occurs that shows off his dark side.

The cast in this movie was fantastic. I haven't seen Matthew Goode in a movie in a while, and never in a role like this, and his handsomeness helps to mask his insaneness, at least at first. Kidman's character never really connected with Wasikowska's - Wasikowska used to go hunting with her father, and had more in common with him - and she is having an even more difficult time connecting with her now. Alden Ehrenreich, from the recent Beautiful Creatures, also has a minor part as a high school classmate of India's, whom she later tangles with.

Yes, see this movie. I was a little worried it'd be more horror-esque than weird, but the beauty of this film is that it manages to make you feel both extremely uncomfortable yet also extremely fascinated at times. Everyone in the Stoker family is a little messed up in the head, with the possible exception of the deceased father, and these issues comes to the forefront near the end of the movie. I wanted to give this film 4.5 out of 5 stars, but there were a few "false endings" that I think could have been eliminated; the ending of the movie, though, is sufficiently creepy.

Stoker is in theaters today, March 15th, and is rated R with a runtime of 98 minutes. 4 stars out of 5.

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