Stoker – USA, 2013

 

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Stoker is a 2013 American horror film, family drama and psychological thriller directed by Park Chan-wook (OldboyThirst) from a screenplay by Wentworth Miller. The movie stars Mia Wasikowska, Matthew Goode and Nicole Kidman.

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After India’s father dies, her Uncle Charlie, who she never knew existed, comes to live with her and her unstable mother. She comes to suspect this mysterious, charming man has ulterior motives and becomes increasingly infatuated with him…

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Although influenced by Bram Stoker’s Dracula screenwriter Miller clarified that Stoker was “not about vampires. It was never meant to be about vampires but it is a horror story. A stoker is one who stokes, which also ties in nicely with the narrative.” Miller added: “The jumping off point is actually Hitchcock’s Shadow of a Doubt. So, that’s where we begin, and then we take it in a very, very different direction.”

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The film marks director Park Chan-wook’s English-language debut. Composer Philip Glass was originally hired to compose the film’s score but was replaced by Clint Mansell.

Reviews:

“The shame is that while the film is as glossy as late DePalma, essential Hitchcockiness is swapped out for random ickiness, a sorrow in light of Park’s own history of crafting sleek, liquescent, swamping fever dreams.” Ray Pride, New City Film

“The style-over-substance atmosphere ultimately confirms Stoker‘s place as a disappointingly empty piece of work… David Nusair, Reel Film Reviews

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” … a blistering directorial vision from one of the most stylish directors working today. Much like another relatively recent “style-over-substance” film, Drive, Park’s Stoker will no doubt be dismissed by a few as little more than a work of filmmaking panache. The panache, though, is what makes the film great.” Corey Atad, Movie Mezzanine

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