Park Chan Wook is probably best remembered for Old Boy, a visceral tale of revenge from South Korea. Now he’s making his Hollywood debut his way with Stoker, starring Mia Wasikowska, Nicole Kidman, and Matthew Goode.
Here’s the synopsis from IMDB:
India Stoker (Mia Wasikowska) was not prepared to lose her father and best friend Richard (Dermot Mulroney) in a tragic auto accident. The solitude of her woodsy family estate, the peace of her tranquil town, and the unspoken somberness of her home life are suddenly upended by not only this mysterious accident, but by the sudden arrival of her Uncle Charlie (Matthew Goode), whom she never knew existed. When Charlie moves in with her and her emotionally unstable mother Evie (Nicole Kidman), India thinks the void left by her father’s death is finally being filled by his closet bloodline. Soon after his arrival, India comes to suspect that this mysterious, charming man has ulterior motives. Yet instead of feeling outrage or horror, this friendless young woman becomes increasingly infatuated with him.
Okay, so the story seems relatively innocent enough (for a Park Chan Wook film)…here’s a Stoker character featurette from Youtube.
Holy crap, does that atmosphere set the story on the straight path. It’s almost Hitchcockian in execution and the somber mood of the movie on its own is very unsettling. Park Chan Wook explained that he wanted to create a small universe within an enclosed space and I think he’s pretty much nailed it from what I can tell. He’s adding layers of depth in a small film that is unseen in big Hollywood films, which makes it extremely claustrophobic and horrifically stifling. Kind of like being trapped in a coffin under 6 feet of dirt.
And that’s a good thing.
Anyway, Stoker comes out on March 1st, 2013 in 2D. Mark your calendars, folks.
Written by Daniel Lee