Wednesday, January 29, 2014

Stoker Movie Review – "We don't need to be friends. We're family."

Runtime: 99 minutes
Release Date: March 1, 2013
Rating: R
Director: Chan-wook Park

India is a quiet and somewhat creepy young woman. After the death of her father, she meets his brother Charlie. Though her mother, Evelyn, is excited when he announces that he'll stick around and help them out for a bit, India can't help feeling that something is wrong. India feels slightly better when her great aunt Gwendolyn arrives in town, but that doesn't last very long.

After India notices Charlie acting weird, she wonders what he's hiding. We learn what he's hiding when he follows Gwendolyn away from the house and strangles her in a phone booth. India later discovers another body in the freezer in their basement, and while most of us would run for our lives, she seems almost intrigued by her uncle's actions. The more time she spends around her uncle, the more she realizes that he isn't normal and that she might not be normal either.

My regular job is as a freelance writer, and I had a client ask me to write about the best unproduced scripts a few years ago, which led to me hearing about this film. Thinking that it sounded interesting, I kept checking back for more information, and I was pretty excited when I heard it finally became a film, and a film starring Nicole Kidman no less! She's been one of my favorite actresses for years, and I thought that if anyone could pull off the role of a slightly crazy mother like Evelyn, it was her.

Unfortunately, I didn't like Stoker. It's not a bad film by any accounts, but it wasn't anything at all like I anticipated. I knew it would tread more towards the drama side and less towards the horror, but it still wasn't what I expected. The best word that I can think of is plodding. The film just felt like it went on forever. I kept reaching for the remote just to see how much time was left and wondering if it would ever end.

There was something about the script that just left me feeling cold and not in a good way. Though I made it to the end of Stoker, I can't imagine that I'll ever want to sit down and watch it again.

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