There is something inexplicably hair-raising about a family of killers; everyone’s in the same boat of psychosis and desensitized moral fiber. In “Stoker,” director Park Chan-wook presents a family-driven mystery thriller with a high probability of chaos.
Mia Wasikowska plays an adorable protagonist with a secretive mother (Nicole Kidman). All of a sudden, sans explanation, her father dies and her creepy uncle (Matthew Goode) moves in. The “temporary stay” quickly becomes malevolently permanent. He’s not there simply to console, but to “recruit” for his ulterior motive. Twist: daughter falls for uncle. The feeling might be mutual.
A powerful soundtrack propels this thriller to great heights, harmonizing well with the uncle’s demented ways and ominous plans of destruction. Kidman’s character is reminiscent of sinister mothers from “Carrie” or “Precious,” as she viciously rebukes her daughter’s existence. Our only hope? Wasikowska, obviously, whose gentleness and acumen will make her a pleasure to watch.
“Stoker” should affect, spook and tingle: a film that evokes lovely gratitude toward your mommy and daddy — who probably aren’t murderers.