Tagline: Innocence ends.
In Park Chan-wook’s Stoker, Mia Wasikowska plays India Stoker, a moody young woman whose father is killed in an automobile accident. Her mother, Evelyn (Nicole Kidman) is understandably lonely, and invites brother-in-law Charlie (Matthew Goode) to stay. By turns charming and mysterious, Charlie may well have ulterior motives, India suspects; yet she finds herself drawn toward him even though her instincts tell her otherwise.
Just like Uncle Charlie, the debut English-language feature from the Korean auteur of Oldboy is charming the critics. “Park directs the film with a precision and control that are astonishing. There doesn’t seem to be a single frame that he hasn’t carefully considered or included without necessity,” raves Empire in a five-star review. “A splendidly demented gumbo of Hitchcock thriller, American Gothic fairy tale and a contemporary kink all Park’s own,” notes Variety. “Prepare to hate yourself for loving it,” concludes Time Out New York. But Time Out‘s London edition is the rare dissenting voice, concluding that Stoker “is a drab, mannered horror-melodrama, potentially interesting in execution but relentlessly tedious in outcome.”