Korean Movie Review – Stoker (스토커)

Directed by Park Chan-wook

The worldwide success and subsequent cult status of films such as “Oldboy” (2003) and “Lady Vengeance” (2005) meant that it was only a matter of time before Park Chan-wook made his way to Hollywood. His debut came last February when he adapted one of the hottest scripts on the 2010 black list, “Stoker,” written by Wentworth Miller (of “Prison Break” fame).


On the morning of her 18th birthday, India Stoker’s father is tragically killed in a car accident, leaving India alone with her mother, Evelyn (Nicole Kidman). During the funeral, India’s uncle Charlie (Matthew Goode) appears in an attempt to help his family through this tragic time. Whilst Evelyn is smitten, India (Mia Wasikowska) senses that underneath his dashing exterior, something isn’t quite right with her Uncle Charlie.


“Stoker” (2013) is a subtle film filled with symbolism and metaphors that drive the narrative. For example, the sexual tensions that transpire from the playing of a piano or the fitting of a pair of shoes say more than any line of dialogue ever could.


Whilst the acting is admirable, the real star of the film is the direction. From the first minute, we realize we are watching something unique as the opening titles come alive and move along with the panning camera.


India’s senses are incredibly heightened, so Park cranks up the sound, allowing us to hear everything the way she does, at times uncomfortably so. 


Colors are rich and full, almost dreamlike, which forces the viewer to question the validity of what we are actually seeing. Given the film’s title and the way India interacts with her uncle Charlie, it’s no surprise that many thought that this could well be a vampire film. Thankfully, it’s not.


For those of you hoping to see another “Oldboy,” this might not be the film for you. “Stoker” is essentially a coming-of-age tale, but it’s so much more than that. It’s a mystery, it’s a thriller; it’s a piece of art.

Tags: ,

Categories: Reviews


Subscribe to our RSS feed and social profiles to receive updates.

No comments yet.

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out /  Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s

%d bloggers like this: