STOKER ***** USA / UK 2012 99 mins

About to turn 18, outcast / sullen India (Mia Wasikowska, looking like an unused Tim Burton character) grieves over her dead father, is bemused by the bizarre behaviour of her mom (Nicole Kidman) and faces a universal shake-up when her handsome Uncle Charlie (Matthew Goode) turns up, bringing with him dark secrets galore. Director Chan-wook Park (OLDBOY / THIRST) makes his American movie debut with an inspired extended Hitchcock homage incorporating a character derived from SHADOW OF A DOUBT, an assault on a vulnerable woman in a confined space (a phone box replacing the shower) and even some blackly comic corpse-in-the-freezer shenanigans. Characteristic for Park, it is visually extraordinary, with remarkable use of the camera – characters frequently framed in doorways and windows to reflect their entrapment – cannily filmed scenes of violence, inventive transitions and the sense that every shot and camera movement has its own specific purpose. Clint Mansell’s beautifully , yet menacingly, elegant score fits the movie like a glove. Unusually bold for a relatively mainstream picture, this sour and beguiling story of incest, serial murder, child death and mental illness was one of the most underrated films of 2013.
Review by Steven West

Author: Peter 'Witchfinder' Hopkins

Founder and Editor in Chief of Horror Screams Video Vault

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