Stoker (2013) Mia Wasikowska, Nicole Kidman, David Alford, Matthew Goode Movie Review

Stoker (2013)   2/52/52/52/52/5

Stoker (2013) Mia Wasikowska

Didn't Stoke My Fire

When her father is killed in a car accident India Stoker's (Mia Wasikowska) world gets turned completely on its head. Upset at the loss of her father she also finds herself sharing her home with Charlie (Matthew Goode), an uncle she never knew existed and her clearly unstable mother (Nicole Kidman) who seems overly flirtatious with Charlie who she claims to have only just learned about. But what are Charlie's motives as he seems to be popping up at various times all adding to India's own increasingly troubled state.

There is a scene in "Stoker" where India is playing the piano and Charlie joins her, what follows is not only a powerful but quite stylish scene which then culminates with a close up of a thin spider crawling up India's tights. If that sounds weird well it is but then it is a typical scene in "Stoker" a movie which to me has been made by someone who approaches directing as a form of art. And that is fine but it means that "Stoker" is a movie which is heavily reliant on style rather than story and if that is not your thing I am sure you will appreciate the artistry of Chan-wook Park's directing.

But style and artistry is not at the top of my list for what I want from a movie and whilst I can appreciate style a movie which ends up mainly reliant on it is not going to keep me entertained. Of course "Stoker" has the mystery surrounding Uncle Charlie, his relationships with people, what he wants and whether or not he was involved in her father's death. But because every scene is about the style it stops the mystery really gripping you although you do find yourself persevering in the hope of some sort of enlightenment when it comes to what it is all about.

What this all boils down to is that "Stoker" was not for me and it was another modern movie where the director's style is what dominates the movie rather than the story, making it a movie for those who see movie making as art rather than simply entertainment. But as such it isn't the most entertaining of movies for those who struggle with artsy movies.