Stoker – Park Chan-wook (2013)


There could have been something to this dark film about India (Wasikowska), a misfit girl whose secret family history is unbound following the death of her father, but director Park Chan-wook refused to get out of his own way, overloading the film with a hyperactive camera, an overbearing level of CGI that never quite manages to enmesh itself with the live action and a collection of somewhat pointless transition gimmicks. Through the cold, calculated muddle, Mia Wasikowska emerges as the only element of interest, but that can’t sustain a film for 100 minutes, especially when that film is ostensibly a thriller.

Getting out of his own way has increasingly become a problem with Park since the Vengeance Trilogy ended, as if he were working overtime to convince the world that he really was a visionary director. He’s not, he’s a good director, or once was; he can be again, but that’s up to him.