Chan-wook Park presents Stoker as an in-your-face creepy thriller that a few movies have achieved since David Lynch’s Blue Velvet. Park hooks in the audience so that they would not look away from the screen. Stoker is written by Wentworth Miller and Erin Cressida Wilson and both deserve praises as well.
The movie is a Southern Gothic with a unique sense of dread. Park utilizes a dynamic camera style that most Western directors haven’t discovered yet. It keeps the audience aware of the camera’s movements and forces you to accept the emotions that the movements help generate. It is an adrenaline rollercoaster ride from start to finish.
Park is the master behind the brutal revenge movie Oldboy as well as the vampire version of Zola’s Therese Raquin titled Thirst. Stoker has a Southern backdrop that is seen in old movies such as Night of the Hunter and A streetcar Named Desire. The Stoker family lives in Tennessee, just outside of Nashville. They have that distinct Southern blend of charm and menace that is felt in their home.
Daughter India Stoker (Mia Wasikowska) seems distant after learning of the death of her father (Dermot Mulroney) in a car accident. She is living in her own private world as she goes through the funeral gathering. She leave her mother Evelyn (Nicole Kidman) to cope with the demands of their family and friends.
Then Uncle Charlie (Matthew Goode) arrives, which surprised India because she doesn’t know her father had a brother. No one has talked about him and he seems to be protective about her. Charlie tells India that he has been traveling but doesn’t give any details about where he has been.
Stoker is not for everyone. The average movie goer would likely enjoy the movie’s ability to make the, immerse in the environment. Park is a good story teller and this is enough for the price of the movie ticket.