Stoker

Stoker

DVD - 2013
Average Rating:
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Following the tragic death of her father on her eighteenth birthday, India Stoker meets Charlie, her charismatic uncle, whom she never knew existed. When Charlie moves in with India and her unstable mother, both are drawn to his charming and calming demeanor. But it soon becomes clear that Charlie's arrival was no coincidence, and that the shocking secrets of his past could shatter India's future.
Publisher: [United States] : 20th Century Fox Home Entertainment, [2013]
Characteristics: 1 videodisc (99 min.) : sd., col. ; 4 3/4 in

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k
kyc14
Aug 12, 2017

1. so far I have seen 4 of director park chan-wook’s films, spanning from 2003-2016.
2. while “the handmaiden” (2016) is perhaps the jewel of park’s korean-language films, his first english film “stoker” (2013) would affirm his talents in western film-making also.
3. filming in america w/ an international cast & crews, park clearly has succeeded in morphing himself into any of the great western world directors. if i didn’t know, i would think this film (written by american actor wentworth miller) is made by a veteran western director. park is able to shed his previous korean style & get westernized in every way, but still keeping & exploring his personal style. he is even sensitive to american audience & mpaa rating, by toning down a whole lot in the sex/violence scenes, either by off camera, distant shots, suggestive montage, or just less bloody/explicit.
4. the actors, location shooting, outstanding cinematography (especially the camera movements in some room scenes, by award-winning chung chung-hoon), wonderful montages (long hairs transitioned into grass field), and well-designed sound/music scores, all fit perfectly in this mystery-crime drama.
5. of course, park also threw in some fetish of joking w/ the audience. such as crawling spider that didn’t do any thing, a suspenseful shower scene (hitchcock-style) that went nowhere except to finish w/ masturbation instead! there is even an inside joke of flip-book animation (historic predecessor of motion picture), in which 2 pics of foamy ocean wave & spiral seashell produced an imagination (& longing) of ice-cream cone! in the end credits, the text scrolls upward from the bottom, opposite to the convention. is this how park signs his first english film, metaphorically in the korean way from right to left, opposite of from left to right?
6. i noticed that park always tries new different ways to create interesting scenes in his films. in “stoker”, there are extreme close-ups, floor level medium shots, & repetitive jump-cuts within short forward/backward timeline. in “oldboy” (2003), documentary-like scenes, one-take prolonged corridor fighting. in “lady vengeance” (2005), 8-mm home movie & tv news footage, bold color & op-art style interior sets, & frequent jump-cuts between present & flashback. in “handmaiden”, the film consists of 3 parts, each of which shows the perspective of each different characters. park also keeps on improvising his signature sex scenes to new erotic/poetic levels. in “lady vengeance”, the ecstatic noise & facial expression during same-sex oral act between 2 woman inmates is all time unique & comical. in “stoker” the piano duet between the daughter & uncle (whether real or imaginary) is erotic & simulates orgasm in the finish. in “handmaiden” the fully blown sex between the maid & lady is perhaps one of the best choreographed in film history.

r
Ron@Ottawa
Apr 22, 2017

A pretty twisted tale with some fairly good directing and acting. I feel hollow when the credits rolled. May, or may not be worth your while.

j
Janice21383
Mar 04, 2017

Coming from a director like Pak Cha'n-uk, Stoker is a disappointment. Despite its name, it is not a vampire movie, but a suspense drama highly influenced by Alfred Hitchcock Unfortunately, there is little suspense: partly because the family involved is obviously strange and troubled long before the movie starts, and partly because aspects of the story don't make sense, at least in a modern North American context -- people go missing, etc. and no one thinks of investigating. Is the protagonist hallucinating, or not? Who knows? There's also something off about the pacing, which is slow for a Pak film; possibly this is just not his kind of story. However, hang on for the last half hour, where the plot comes together and the actors find their characters, at last. It would make an interesting double feature with Hitchcock's Shadow of a Doubt, which is this film's inspiration.

t
therhiannamater
Jan 24, 2017

I loved the crap out of this movie. The atmosphere, the general "weird" feeling throughout, and the dark nature of the storyline that plays out is amazing. If you're looking for "happy" endings, this definitely isn't it. But those who are alright with the dark side will find it satisfying.

AL_HANNAHS Nov 16, 2016

This movie was just my cup of tea. A strange young woman begins to unravel a disturbing family history when the death of her father heralds the arrival of an uncle she never knew she had. Be forewarned, this is definitely on the stranger side of cinema but is also one of the most unique films I've seen in a long time. Beautifully filmed, beautiful score, and hauntingly acted.

l
lizbeth51
Apr 06, 2016

My husband and I enjoyed this. It's only 4 stars because of the violence and profanity: it's not for children! We liked the story, the acting, the creepy weirdness of it all.

k
kpelish
Mar 22, 2016

Waste of time. Sad to see women more and more portrayed as sociopaths, a la Gone Baby Gone.

f
franque
Mar 16, 2015

This movie is weird & I don't mean like Portland weird - but it's weird weird, if you know what I mean. Cinematography was lovely, editing clever, performances fairly nuanced. It's not really what the previews make it out to be but does have some of the alluded to incestuous eroticism. Really though this film is about a girl becoming a woman, in a very macabre, deranged, and morally deviant way.

irinamthom Jan 21, 2015

Yawn... waited till bitter end for the movie to get better. What a waste of my life.

nycounsel Dec 14, 2014

A slow creepy drama. Slightly disturbing. Well cast, but seemed like it was aiming for more than it actually delivered - stylish, but as hollow as the characters portrayed. Worth a look though, some good scenes, including the duet on the piano.

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j
jimg2000
Dec 26, 2013

From IMDb: India Stoker: My ears hear what others cannot hear; small faraway things people cannot normally see are visible to me. These senses are the fruits of a lifetime of longing, longing to be rescued, to be completed. Just as the skirt needs the wind to billow, I'm not formed by things that are of myself alone. I wear my father's belt tied around my mother's blouse, and shoes which are from my uncle. This is me. Just as a flower does not choose its color, we are not responsible for what we have come to be. Only once you realize this do you become free, and to become adult is to become free.

India Stoker: He used to say, sometimes you need to do something bad to stop you from doing something worse.

m
Monolith
Oct 01, 2013

Evelyn Stoker (to her daughter, India): "You know, I've often wondered why it is we have children in the first place... and the conclusion I've come to is... at some point in our lives we realize things are... they're screwed up beyond repair. So we decide to start again. Wipe the slate clean. Start fresh. And then we have children. Little carbon copies we can turn to and say, "You will do what I could not. You will succeed where I have failed." Because we want someone to get it right this time. ...But not me... Personally speaking, I can't wait to watch life TEAR-YOU-APART..."

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