8 of 10 people found the following review helpful
This review is from: Stoker [DVD]  (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.