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Stoker: When Goode is Evil

June 24, 2013

Stoker movie poster

Stoker is cruel, artful and fantastic. It tells a macabre story of a very creepy uncle and two women on the eve of a family death. Stoker will linger in your memory because it strays from the supernatural and instead focuses on people who can kill with little or no conscience.

The film has a southern gothic feel to it that builds an insular world full of dark moments and sudden death. It would  be hard to recommend to a non-cinema buff because it is not easy to watch. I’d compare it to I Saw the Devil or Seven because of the stylish ways they capture evil on film. Directed by Park Chan-Wook (OldBoy) Stoker moves ahead at a deliberate pace that could only be created by a master of the genre. The script written by Wentworth Miller gives us a wonderful villain and several questionable characters that take us out of the world. For instance, why is every high school male mean and forceful?

The story centers around Nicole Kidman and Mia Wasikowska mourning the loss of their husband/father (played in flashbacks by Dermont Mulroney). One day a good looking man shows up and tells them he is uncle Charlie. Charlie is known to the family as the world traveling businessman who has little time for family. Mia notices something off about this charming man. His nice clothes and easy smile mask a murderously empty soul. What follows is a tension filled movie filled with stylish shots, fantastic acting and a dangerous pencil.

Matthew Goode owns this film as he walks a fine line of underacting and overacting. There is restraint in his mannerisms but you can tell by his smile and eyes that something is missing. He is the scariest of villains because he is pure evil. He could play a round of tennis then stuff somebody in a cooler and neither of those events would be greater in importance. Goode talked to details magazine and he talked about how he figured out his “eyes”:

I got the eyes a couple of days before we shot the film. We were in a steak restaurant. I kind of knew what I wanted to do, but I was still slightly unnerved, so I had a few whiskeys and was chatting with Park and having a lot of fun. There was a painting in the corner of this little steak restaurant in Nashville. I went over to it, and I was like, “That’s it.” It was this guy in a sort of 1920s outfit with a bow tie, and it was so odd. I brought it to Park, and he was like, “That’s Uncle Charlie.” And that was it. There was something in this guy’s eyes.

Stoker Goode

Stoker gives us a classic character and proves the Park Chan-wook is a master filmmaker who will be freaking us out for years to come.

Watch Stoker. Beware that is isn’t easy. However, it is a tough journey worth taking.

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