When director Chan-wook Park’s first American film hit these shores, there was apprehension that the Hollywood machine would have dulled the South Korean master’s powerful charms — but Stoker is one of the surprises of the year: not a compromised Stateside bore, but rather a truly stylish, striking and divisive genre work. Miraculously, the Oldboy auteur’s detailed eye, perverse sexuality and dark view on family shine through in this impeccably designed, beautifully edited (wait until you see some of the transitions!) and expertly photographed, pitch-black, gothic coming-of-age tale. The cast is electrifying and curiously mannered: Matthew Goode is deliciously creepy, Mia Wasikowska is unearthly and subdued, Nicole Kidman is fascinating and frozen. Wasikowska has had an exciting decade on screen, balancing mega-blockbusters like Tim Burton’s Alice in Wonderland with idiosyncratic indies, and here she’s the glue that holds it all together — she has never been better. Stoker demands your attention: it’s haunting, twisted, unforgettable and absolutely unlike anything else in 2013.
Dir. Chan-wook Park, 2013, DCP, 99 min.

Watch the trailer for “Stoker”!
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