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24 of 26 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars `Stoker' is made by a confident and gifted film-maker, who manages to turn an average film into a striking and watchable one
South Korean director Park Chan-Wook makes his American debut with `Stoker', a story of 18 year old India Stoker (Mia Wasikowska) coming to terms with the loss of her father Richard (Dermot Mulroney). Evie (Nicole Kidman) has not been the best mother to her so far, India's emotional future doesn't look promising.

India was always daddy's girl, regularly going...
Published 13 months ago by dipesh parmar

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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
1.0 out of 5 stars Over long and dull
I kept waiting for the film that everyone was raving about, and I waited right until the closing credits. People are clearly enamoured with the pretension and pseudo psychology of this. I found it boring and pointless and was seriously disappointed.
Published 22 days ago by raven_guest


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24 of 26 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars `Stoker' is made by a confident and gifted film-maker, who manages to turn an average film into a striking and watchable one, 6 Mar 2013
This review is from: Stoker [DVD] [2013] (DVD)
South Korean director Park Chan-Wook makes his American debut with `Stoker', a story of 18 year old India Stoker (Mia Wasikowska) coming to terms with the loss of her father Richard (Dermot Mulroney). Evie (Nicole Kidman) has not been the best mother to her so far, India's emotional future doesn't look promising.

India was always daddy's girl, regularly going on hunting trips with Richard, he even stuffed her kills as mementoes of their time together. India is quietly distraught and abandoned, uncomfortable in her home without her father. The brittle and selfish Evie just does not know how to comfort and care for India. Relief appears for both in the form of India's long lost Uncle Charlie (Matthew Goode). Mystery surrounds the handsome and cultured Charlie, India didn't know he existed, all Evie knew was that Charlie spent all his time all across the globe on business. Charlie decides to stay at the Stokers home for a while, helping out around the house, trying to develop a friendship with Evie and the mis-trusting India.

Considering Chan-Wooks pedigree as a master of stylish ultra-twisted tales, `Stoker' has the right ingredients for another tale of terror with themes of sexual awakening, death, obsession and dark family secrets. However, `Stoker' is quite a conservative film by his standards, `Oldboy' this most certainly isn't! The central arc of the film, of who Charlie really is, is shown too early for me. Wasikowska (looking very much like a young Cate Blanchett) is a suitably unruly mix of menace and innocence, Kidman doesn't really have much to do throughout the film other than look lonely and pathetic. Matthew Goode is excellent as Charlie, a perfect blend of charming devilment, and that's just in those piercing eyes.

Better still is Chan-Wooks inspired camera-work and brilliant editing, complemented by some fantastic music. Every frame is beautifully crafted, trademark visual metaphors in the shape of boxes, spiders and eggs, stunning set-design and lurid colours dazzle you throughout the film. For all its faults, `Stoker' is a film made by a confident and gifted film-maker, who manages to turn an average film into a striking and watchable one.
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3 of 3 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars Striking yet intimate, 13 July 2013
By 
P. Sanders "prhsuk" (Belfast) - See all my reviews
(VINE VOICE)    (REAL NAME)   
This review is from: Stoker [DVD] [2013] (DVD)
Park Chan-wook's first Hollywood film shows that he's not about to join the mainstream. Part gothic family drama, part Hitchcock thriller, the film is a subtle, intimate character study of a peculiar family.

Now first thing's first. If you haven't sen the film, watch it knowing as little as possible.

Still here? Okay. This movie is a feast for the eyes and the ears - the score and final song and elegant, and the use of sound is effective at portraying the world of someone who's senses are suprsensitive. It all adds to the effective double-mystery of both India and the creepy but suave Uncle Charlie. The film hints throughout - eveb the title "Stoker" has many wondering if this is about vampires. It reminds me of a series of stories Ray Bradbury wrote about a strange family where they all had weird powers. The answer when it comes is perfect - a bit gothic melodrama, but then that fits with the mood as a whole.

Not that it's without its flaws. The screenplay is a little clunky. The story itself is cracking but occasionally the dialogue is a bit wooden (though the actors mainly overcome this). Worst is the unnecessary exchange between Kidman and the aunt about Richard ("your husband, my nephew"). Some characters (all the teenage boys) suffer as a result of being sketchily written. And there are occasions (I'm thinking especially "letters") when an intriguing revelation is almost immediately followed by another that twists things around. These twists are good, but it's a shame the movie doesn't let these little timebombs sit for longer before revealing themselves as they could turn everything on their heads.

But these are minor quibbles. The direction, look and excellent performances bring a depth to the story that elevates this into a striking film. Kidman's brittleness works well here, but this is Goode and Wasikowska's movie. Goode gives Uncle Charlie a spooky charm and an unwavering hunter's stare. And Wasikowska portrays so much of India's confused journey of self-discovery by revealing so little. We really can't be sure of her final trajectory because she plays it close to her chest and she's excellent.

This film is not a case of style over substance: as I said earlier, the central story is already a strong one. One of my favourite films is "Don't Look Now" and it was only recently I realised that the dialogue is occasionally clichéd and wooden - but the story, direction and performances elevate above that and make it a clasic. "Stoker" isn't quite that good but it's still an amazing film to experience, and an intimate and self-contained chamber-piece, most effective when it's at its most claustrophobic.
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8 of 9 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Stoker, a shadow of a doubt about uncle Charlie, 8 July 2013
This review is from: Stoker [DVD] [2013] (DVD)
Uncle Charlie, Matthew Goode, comes to cheer up his niece and sister in-law after the death of his brother Richard.

Park Chan-Wook's Stoker is an interesting and sometimes striking psychological thriller that owes a clear debt to Shadow of a Doubt. Like Hitchcock's film, the arrival of a mysterious, seemingly worldly and charming Uncle Charlie at first lifts the household's spirits before things turn darker. He even shares an almost psychic link with his beloved niece, India, Mia Wasikowska. However, the undercurrents are more overtly sexual and even a little gothic. The film's title, alluding to Bram Stoker, is both deceptive and apt. Stoker is not a horror film and certainly not a vampire film, but the idea of the sophisticated outsider who is sinisterly magnetic to the female characters has a touch of Dracula about it. The film creates an odd ambience and is as concerned with mood as much, if not more, than it is with intrigue. Nicole Kidman is good as the mother and Mia Wasikowska excellent as the daughter. Dermont Mulroney plays the dead father at the core of the mystery.

Stoker is a good film, but not a pure thriller. The mini mysteries within the story, such as the gift of new shoes and the letters Charlie sends to Mia are not just devices to forward or deepen the plot. They drive a perverse coming of age narrative that revolves around a key character's unexpected naivete. The pace is deliberate, more arthouse than mainstream, and in this case that's a good thing.
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2 of 2 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars Stoker, 14 Feb 2014
By 
T. Cosens (England) - See all my reviews
(REAL NAME)   
Stoker may not have the most original or shocking story to tell but the way the story is told and the techniques used to convey elevate this to another level.

Beautifully crafted, Stoker has a foreboding sense of dread running through its veins and it never lets you settle. Unnerving and uncomfortable in equal measure it will have you itching to tell the innocent characters to watch their backs as the mysterious and quite deadly Charlie skulks around quietly infiltrating his estranged family.

Every performance is measured and understated which only adds to tension. It starts off quite slowly making sure the audience is drawn into this mystery before letting loose with the carnage.

Chan-Wook once again proves an assured hand when it comes to building the tension. He is at ease letting the story unfold and is also comfortable with the sudden bouts of violence littered throughout.

A thriller oozing with style and atmosphere.
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2 of 2 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Brilliant film with brilliant music., 24 Nov 2013
By 
David H J Ashdown (Wales) - See all my reviews
(TOP 500 REVIEWER)   
This review is from: Stoker [DVD] [2013] (DVD)
Brilliant film about the power of the mind and its effect on those around you , the psyche is a powerful thing that is brilliantly displayed in this excellent film , all parts are well acted and the overall effect leaves you with a haunting afterglow that makes you want to watch it again. Charlie and his niece India are two sides of the same coin - amazing camera work and a brilliant soundtrack ( especially the final number ) blend to make this a Gem of a film and it's nothing like Dracula nor does it have any vampire or gothic leanings it's purely an excellent film about what can go wrong if we don't realise the evil that some people possess that cannot be cured or taught out of them. - not to be missed.
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
1.0 out of 5 stars Over long and dull, 25 Mar 2014
This review is from: Stoker [DVD] [2013] (DVD)
I kept waiting for the film that everyone was raving about, and I waited right until the closing credits. People are clearly enamoured with the pretension and pseudo psychology of this. I found it boring and pointless and was seriously disappointed.
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars India Stoker the new Carrie?, 11 Feb 2014
This review is from: Stoker [Blu-ray] (Blu-ray)
A fresh thriller/family drama its very unique well filmed and acted. Would not appeal to wide audiences as its more of a art house theater production but i think it would appeal to those with open minds and hearts! Its not a horror although the title gives you the impression of it possibly being so. It's more of a dark fable all to do with coming of age and finding a place in the world but told in a fairy tale type of way with the darkness never faraway! India has a carrie feel to her a victim of her mother but through her uncle she finds release and unlike carrie has a positive outcome for her. Watch it if you are into interesting cinema where the answers have to be thought up by you rather than lay in for of you.
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Worth it, 3 Feb 2014
By 
Sultana Begum (london, uk) - See all my reviews
(REAL NAME)   
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This review is from: Stoker [DVD] [2013] (DVD)
Great movie as well as great cast! Horror, thriller with romance thrown in loved it! Bought as a gift and sis loved it too.
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8 of 10 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars A masterpiece, 18 Jun 2013
This review is from: Stoker [DVD] [2013] (DVD)
* Also published on Imdb *

Another masterpiece by Park, who playfully, coldly and ruthlessly explores the darkness of the human psyche.

The movie is not only as good as the trailer, but hugely better and even more mysterious and captivating. It simply blows your mind away. Fortunately, I ignored the negative Anglophobe reviews and watched it. It's the most complete artistic work by Chan-wook Park in his career so far, an ingenious masterpiece, with the only minor complaint being the lack of the explicit violence he depicts in his Korean movies; this is not his fault though, but the request of the American companies involved, and still he manages to make us shiver with the cruelty of the violent scenes depicted and insinuated.

To fully appreciate this movie, you must have watched Old Boy and Sympathy for Lady Vengeance, and in general to be a fan of Korean and Japanese cinema. The script is excellent, violent, unpredicted, the plot mysterious and sinister, and not for those who love the silliness of American spoon-fed cinema. If you don't like or understand international cinema, then don't bother. This movie and Matthew Goode's performance are Oscar material, if Oscars were not political travesties.

I have never watched such a cinematic masterpiece before. Highly stylised, every move, every word, the posture of the actors, every tiny detail has a meaning. The mansion filmed on location has an ominous air of decadence. The plot is clearly outlined: India is a strange girl, with something dark and off about her. Her mother is a depressed rich stay-at-home housewife, and we understand that her marriage has become a chore. When India's father has a mysterious car accident, uncle Charlie, an unbelievably handsome man, suddenly appears. And bad things start happening. Who, what and why? The movie builds up the plot and the suspension like a dance or the notes of a symphony! This is something I have felt with other movies by Park, and they are the only movies I watch again and again to fully take in and appreciate every detail, and the beautiful music throughout. Little by little, every nod, word, step, bring us to the climax, to the end, the answer to the questions and the harsh reality. There are no easy supernatural explanations here. Only the malevolence of the human heart.
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3 of 4 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars Almost, Alfred Hitchcock reboots 'Hamlet', 25 Nov 2013
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This review is from: Stoker [DVD] [2013] (DVD)
This is a strange and stylish movie with a plot that is enjoyable once you engage the suspension-of-disbelief gear and park your need for a well rounded story at the check-out; at its heart is a stellar performance from Mia Wasikowska; standout, that is, unless she's like this this in every role [or God forbid, in real life] in which case she has been brilliantly cast and directed!

Despite the name Stoker, this movie is only very very obliquely and tangentially related to anything vampiric - there is no garlic,no cape, no crucifixes though there is a lot at 'stake' for some of the central characters. Oh and I guess the bloody pencil you see Mia holding in her hand on the DVD cover is sufficiently stake-like to create one subtle vampire allusion. [I only spotted it as I sat down to write this review so maybe there are other subtly placed vampiric themes in the story.]

The plot revolves around the central protagonist and her batty mum [both with the surname Stoker, hence the title) and their slightly sinister uncle who arrives during the family's winter of discontent, as Mr. Stoker (the father) has died suddenly.
This leads to a kind of Richard the Third/Elizabeth of York relationship between uncle and niece, the bodies start to pile up and you watch a little mesmerised wondering who will be the next to bite it.

I enjoyed this movie even if I found it a little unsettling at times.
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Stoker [DVD] [2013]
Stoker [DVD] [2013] by Chan-wook Park (DVD - 2013)
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