Hovering around on my ‘to watch’ list for some time, I concluded it was about time I gave away a little under two hours of my life for this film; having little expectation to begin with.
First reading the plot, I honestly wasn’t hooked. 18 year old India Stoker’s father dies and her previously never existed Uncle Charlie comes to stay with her and her (extremely) unstable mother? Interesting enough I presume. Add in India’s supposedly infatuation with Charlie’s mysterious and charming demeanour, however? Not so much.
But oh boy was I wrong.
I remember watching the end credits of Stoker roll through and thinking “what the hell just happened?” But when watching characters that are indifferent to murder as if it were as common as turning on a light switch… you would probably think the same.
The performances had me hooked – the cast all-together were brilliant along with their terrific acting. The chemistry between them, in particular with India and Charlie, was entrancing as their performance really exemplified the film’s plot; albeit with erotic undertones. Their character’s apathetic nature at times had me believe I was watching a true biography about psychopaths, accented by beautifully crafted flashbacks.
To be the first English-language film directed by Park Chan-wook definitely shows foreign and distinctive style, being what I believed to be one of the most unique films of 2013. Visually alive and crisp, this stylised, sinister film had a beautiful, earthy colour palette, which strangely reflected and complimented the natural habits within the film.
Definitely an underrated film that needs to weave its way into more people’s lives.