Director: Chan-wook Park | Runtime: 1h 39mins | Drama, Thriller
After India’s (Mia Wasikowska) father passes away, her charming Uncle Charlie (Matthew Goode) comes to live with her and her mother (Nicole Kidman). As a cloud of mystery and ulterior motives covers her Uncle, India slowly becomes infatuated with him.
Stoker is based on Hitchcock’s 1943 Shadow of a Doubt, a dark thriller that sees an enigmatic Uncle staying with his family. Although sharing a vague outline, Stoker is far from the same film, mixing two different cultures and accompanying Chan-wook Park’s direction, it’s a film that oozes style. For the most part you feel like you’re watching a Hollywood thriller paying homage to the master of suspense, but the director never lets the audience forget who is at the helm, finding so much beauty in the film’s backdrop, and honestly providing us with one of the most beautiful transitions ever seen on film.
This may not be Chan-wook Park’s best film (see The Handmaiden or Oldboy), but it’s definitely up there. It’s proof that he is a master of the craft, using his own connections and culture to flow simultaneously against another, creating suspense and tension that can give Hitchcock a run for his money and a dark humour that knows when to be used and how to be handled. It is a film that comes with a recommendation of the highest order, it has an overwhelming presence in the mind when you watch it, and is not easily shaken even days after viewing.