Stoker (2013) is unquestionably, an interesting watch. Whether it is the unnerving Hitchcock style tension or the wonderfully abstract and symbolic imagery, there is definitely a lot to be taken from this film. Furthermore, it’s interesting to see a South Korean director such as Park Chan-wook attempt to make a ‘Hollywood’ film.
However the fundamental problem I have with the film is its use of storytelling. Creating something that looks great and feels innovative is great but it needs the basics in order to be successful and entertaining as a film. At times I felt there was too much mystery surrounding the characters and events within the film that I was actually taken away from the story. Instead of following Mia Wasikowska’s character I was trying to piece together a puzzle that contained missing pieces. Similarly to Oldboy (2003), there is such a large emphasis on foreshadowing the ending, the rest of the film takes a backseat. The visuals can only do so much to make something interesting. Essentially, every film needs an emotional core so that the audience is able to empathise with the characters therefore allowing themselves to get sucked into the world that the film creates. Sadly, Stoker lacks this.
But this isn’t a bad film by any means. It’s original, shocking and unpredictable. It’s perhaps just not as entertaining as it could have been.