Friday, March 22, 2013

Stoker - 1 star

After India's father dies, her Uncle Charlie, who she never knew exists, comes to live with her and her unstable mother.  She comes to suspect this mysterious, charming man has ulterior motives and becomes increasingly infatuated with him.  (from

Sounds like a pretty good setup for a movie, right?  Was her father's death an accident, or was he murdered?  Why has India (Mia Wasikowska) never met her Uncle Charlie before?  Isn't it convenient that he shows up the day of her father's funeral?  Is he really her uncle? 

This movie is a great example of how an interesting story can be screwed up by a bad script and a director more interested in his visual style than in telling the story.  There may be some really interesting shots in this movie, but it's boring as hell.  Nothing happens for most of the movie.  India hardly speaks, Charlie just walks around looking creepy, and India's mother (Nicole Kidman, totally wasted in this role) just seems bored the whole time.  She's given nothing interesting to do.

This is the first American movie from South Korean director Chan-wook Park, who gave us the incredible Oldboy 10 years ago.  Oldboy was a lot of fun, had clever violence, and a really good story.  This movie is just flat.  Don't waste your time with Stoker.