Excerpt: India Stoker (Mia Wasikowska) is a loner, an outcast, a teenager who prefers to spend time alone or with her father, but on her 18th birthday, her father dies in a tragic car accident, leaving India alone with her already unstable mother (Nicole Kidman). Then her father's brother Charles (Matthew Goode) shows up for reasons that are unclear and strange things start happening around India.
Excerpt: Can a movie succeed on mood and tension alone? Stoker attempts that feat and partially succeeds. Great performances in two critical roles overcome some of inherent limitations in dialogue and story. It is a stylish film that cannot be easily categorized into any singular genre. Elements of drama, mystery and horror combine for a look at twisted family dynamics via the Stokers.
Excerpt: There is a paradox around certain great creators: They're figures who are obviously important, who push their art form in new directions, but they can also be the people whose advances are hardest to assimilate. Picasso might be one of the greatest examples in the twentieth century; his work was obviously important and signaled a shift in painting, but how is it possible to be influenced by Picasso without lots of elongated figures and monochromatic colors?
Excerpt: What's in a name? If it's Stoker, it evokes a gruesome but romantic history of violence in popular culture, of the undead rising from sarcophaguses, the rat-infested vessels that ferry them across angry seas, the horse-drawn carriages they ride beneath starry midnights, the blood that's their sustenance, the sun that's their poison.
Excerpt: I was amazed at how well the trailer of Stoker was able to reel me in. Marketing campaigns typically only have the ability to make me say yay or nay, but this time, I actually found myself intrigued on a much deeper level. There were flashes that indicated a tense love triangle would revolve around a man seducing both mother and daughter - The former a reflection of what society would expect of a stereotypical housewife, whereas the latter was clearly gothic in a...
Summary: The true shining star in the film is the performance of Mia Wasikowska as India. She sells the morbid girl to a very chilling degree. She’s able to sell the mood, and that makes everything all that more disturbing. There’s not an ounce of the real actress here. She’s sold completely to the reel character and never gives us a second of relief. That in itself only helps to feed the disturbing feeling you get.
Conclusion: There’s no denying that this is a spectacular A/V presentation along with a haunting and sometimes beautiful story in Stoker , but I can’t help feeling like I should put a disclaimer on this one that’s it not for everyone. Indeed, this may not be your cup of tea. For anyone that’s a fan, this is a NO-BRAINER MUST-BUY Blu-ray release. For all others possibly curious in the title, I’d encourage you to give this one a rental first if at all possible.
Conclusion: 'Stoker' is visually stunning. Wentworth Miller's script owes a lot to 'Shadow of a Doubt' though. People that have seen 'Hitchcock's early masterpiece might be frustrated at the stuff that's been blatantly lifted from it. If you can get over that and enjoy the visual aesthetic, then 'Stoker' might be just the treat. It has some killer audio and video. The special features are fairly well-rounded considering its low-budget roots. 'Stoker' is recommended viewing.
Summary: Setting aside the Bram Stoker reference for a second—although that will certainly come into play here too—a "stoker" is someone who adds fuel to a fire. Gets it roaring, heated up, feeding the flames. This is the underlying metaphor of Stoker , a twisted coming-of-age thriller about a morbid teenaged girl whose inner appetites—sexual and otherwise—are fed by a charismatic long-lost uncle who arrives suddenly in her life.