Liz Lopez B+
If you are ready to meet some creepy characters, then welcome to the Stoker household. What do I refer to? Stoker is the new film from Fox Searchlight Pictures arriving in theaters March 22nd and the script written by Wentworth Miller, with contributions from Erin Cressida Wilson, is a very good combination of a drama, thriller and mystery.
From the beginning, the viewer knows that something is not quite right with India (Mia Wasikowska) and it is not just because of the sudden loss of her beloved father, Richard (Dermot Mulroney).
Directed by Park Chan-Wook (OldBoy, Vengeance Series), I enjoyed the fact that this story has enough suspense to keep the viewer engaged from the very beginning through to the end. During the entire film there is only one scene for each of two characters where I anticipated the direction for the story. The two characters each have short screen time, so the viewer starts to wonder where the Stoker visitors or hired help have gone off to. Otherwise, I do not deem this as a predictable story. I won’t say anymore so that I don’t spoil this for viewers, but after Uncle Charlie (Matthew Goode) arrives to visit, then stays with India’s mother, Evelyn (Nicole Kidman), he starts to do plenty of landscaping in their front yard; digging holes and adding yard art. I know that Evelyn was a bit on the edge after losing Richard, but it does not take long for her to get involved with Charlie. In the film, Evelyn does not appear so distraught as to miss the clues about Charlie, but she certainly seemed clueless about her yard and new flowers.
Wasikowska turns in a great performance as she evolves from a little girl into a young woman. Her performance alone merits a high recommendation to view this film, but Goode and Kidman are excellent alongside her. Goode is so impressive to come across as a nice concerned relative, only to change into someone completely opposite in his motives.
In watching this thriller toward the end, I felt as if I hardly moved. At the end, I was speechless to see what India has embraced in the long-run. Be aware that this film is rated R for violence and sexual content, but otherwise, don’t miss this!
[Source: Fox Searchlight Pictures]