Wednesday, April 03, 2013

"Stoker": predictable thriller, some interesting piano stuff


The most interesting experience for me in “Stoker”  (directed by Chan-wook Park) was the piano music punctuating this gothic, and somewhat silly Southern thriller (filmed around Nashville).  The “uncle” character Charlie (Matthew Goode) takes piano for the first time in one scene, learning the drop-rolls, and then soon is playing hypnotic music by Phiilip Glass, as well as “Piano Lesson” by Caplan.

The other interesting point is that the heroine knows how to defend herself with a rifle,  Her dad taught her.  The NRA will love this movie.
  
India Stoker (Mia Wasikowska) is turning 18,  and not so coincidentally her father turns up dead after a fiery “accidental” auto wreck.  And Uncle Charlie shows up, and takes all too much interest in both India and her mother (Nicole Kidman) to be healthy.   The film is predictable, so it has to depend on novel visual effects and concepts (like shoes, and some cement spheres right out of Clive Barker’s “Imajica”) to sustain itself.
    
Charlie is pretty good at using his belt to get rid of other people, including a supposedly likable high school boy friend (Alden Ehrenreich, from “Beautiful Creatures”) who suddenly turns on her (in a sequence that doesn’t really make sense, like a lot of this movie, despite its Sundance sccuess). 

I saw this film on a weekday night in front of a “micro” audience at the Angelika Mosaic in Merrifield VA.
  
The official site from Fox Searchlight is here
   

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