Stoker (2013)

[note: taking a break from posting heist movie reviews for a hot minute. Fear not, they’ll be in just a few days!]

I decided to treat myself last night and saw not one but two movies. This is mostly because it was $4 Tuesday at the lovely Athena Cinema and I am a cheapskate. No, I’m just frugal. I have an eye for deals. There, that’s better. I saw Stoker and Side Effects. Let’s start with Stoker.

So, this movie was written by the lead actor in the FOX TV show, Prison Break. I’ll be honest – I’m impressed. A hot guy who can act and write a good movie? Why is there not an abundance of these creatures?

I thought the movie was really good. I did not know where the story was going the entire time – it seemed like it might be about vampires or maybe about incest or murderers or…it could have been about a lot of things. And it was handled so god damn well, so cleverly. There was an air of the supernatural throughout the entire movie despite not really being a supernatural movie at all.

Matthew Goode, playing Uncle Charlie Stoker. I was unsure whether I should be highly attracted to him or highly disturbed. As it turns out, I experienced both sensations in the 90-minute span of the movie. He managed to be lovely and cute and charming one minute and “what’s wrong with his eyes and why is he smiling at me like that” creepy the next. Props on that shit.

Mia Wasikowska. Well, she was not too shabby. Not blown away but I didn’t hate that. And Nicole Kidman, well I liked her in it. I liked her in it just fine.

And the score? C’mon son! It was Clint Mansell, in what world would that score not rock the entire world? I love him. In case you’re not familiar, you actually are. You know that goddamn song that’s in every trailer and every fanmade video and anything dramatic, “Lux Aeterna“? Oh, you know it. Well, despite it being overused, he’s an incredible musician.

Also, a music highlight was “Summer Wine” by Nancy Sinatra and Lee Hazlewood. It was beautiful and the timing and the loudness! Oh boy, I’m like a kid in a candy shoppe!

And for anyone who’s a Korean film fan, this movie was directed by Chan-wook Park, same guy who directed Oldboy (which I geeked out over pretty hard somewhat recently). There were some really beautiful shots (a fair number of lengthy single shots that I quite enjoyed). That man certainly knows how to make you feel tense and curious and horrified at the same time.

I was really into this movie. It had twists, it kept me guessing, the acting was pretty top-notch, I got to see Dermott Mulroney for a few minutes, I was irked, I was fascinated. All of these things. Check it out.

***** stars

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