Chan-wook Park has become something of a cult director largely in part to the centre piece of his vengeance trilogy ‘Oldboy’ and despite having only a handful of other films to his name is a director that people just can’t wait to see. So to his first English language film ‘Stoker’ a twisted tale penned by Prison Break star Wentworth Miller. India (Wasikowska) is coming of age, an outsider most of her life, she has a special bond with her father who dies leaving her home alone with her unstable mother (Kidman) and at a time when things are already rapidly changing for her this is the last thing she needs as is the arrival of Charles (Goode) the uncle she never knew she had. With impressive cinematography and a great score from Clint Mansell, Park’s film flows despite the disjointed nature of the unfolding narrative. Wasikowska is central to the film and her performance of distant youth manages to be both aloof and engaging at the same time. Goode is suitably creepy as the long lost uncle with the ulterior motives and Kidman does her best stepford (house)wife reprising the role she has done before in films like ‘The Others’. The story itself jumps around in places and it’s hard to tell if this is deliberate to confuse the viewer in to false alleys or whether something is genuinely lost in the translation. Sometimes the style also veers over into pretentiousness and the dialogue isn’t always as sharp as it could be but look past those things and you have an interesting thriller that will have the audience guessing right up to the final credits.


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