Well, if you read the ‘Breaking News’ post that went up a few hours ago, it has now been confirmed that Kathy Bates WILL be the ‘Big Bad’ for American Horror Story S3. Playing a “true life” character, though? Goddammit, this is going to drive us crazy. So is the fact that the story is based on some horrible historic event. We’re working on a theory, though…
When South Korean genre iconoclast Park Chan-wook decided to bring his peculiar gifts to a Stateside production, anything could have happened – and anything pretty much does in “Stoker,” a splendidly demented gumbo of Hitchcock thriller, American Gothic fairy tale and a contemporary kink all Park’s own… (Variety)
SOLD! Where’s the ticket buyer’s line?
Several weeks ago, we published a piece that laid out ten juicy snippets from advance reviews for Stoker that made us want to see it RIGHT THAT MINUTE! Well, we were holding back ten more. Already all hopped up to see Park Chan-Wook’s English-language début? When you read these, you’ll be looking for midnight showings so you can see it VERY early Friday AM!
- Even at this first glance, it’s a film that’s virtually impossible to get out of your head after watching it. It’s pure-undiluted Park Chan-wook, and one of the most unconventional Hollywood films you’re likely to see anytime soon. (JoBlo.com- Movie News, reviewed here by Chris Bumbray)
- All the visual flair and giddy, saturated colors inherent in Park’s films are on display here, from the warm greens and browns of the Stoker family grounds, lovingly massaged by the camera, to the privileged and manicured cleanliness of the immaculate Stoker home, in which we the viewer always remain somehow “outside.” A beautiful structure, as cold and heartless as the people within, is a physical reflection of the disenfranchised and cloistered, desperately grasping at the illusion of healthy normalcy, while the impossible-to-contain terrors of their dark family history threaten to erupt in an explosion of bloody truth and violence; a tragic inevitability. (From Sean Smithson for Twitchfilm.com; click here to read entire review)
- [Park and Chung-hoon] modulate the volatile family tensions which risk exploding in the house where Therese Deprez’s neatly handsome production design reflects the semblance of propriety — all the colors are right and each decorative object is in place. (Click to read review by David D’Arcy for Screen Daily)
- By the time behavior turns deadly and sexual, a pencil sharpener becomes one of the film’s most striking images. Style informs the behavior too; Park cuts to the next scene before India is finished talking, quickening the pace of exposition to a brisk clip. He photographs dinner conversation elegantly, and brushing hair becomes a field of grass in a seamless transition. It’s beautiful, and awesome that he even thought of that…an example of strong storytelling to which any mainstream film should aspire. (Fred Topel from Crave Online – click here to read entire review)
- When South Korean genre iconoclast Park Chan-wook decided to bring his peculiar gifts to a Stateside production, anything could have happened – and anything pretty much does in “Stoker,” a splendidly demented gumbo of Hitchcock thriller, American Gothic fairy tale and a contemporary kink all Park’s own. (Variety.com review, written by Guy Lodge)
- …the cast is entirely game to bring this bloody, very nearly silly soap opera to life. Wasikowska’s gothic demeanor should replace Winona Ryder’s Lydia from “Beetlejuice” as the new ideal for brooding teens everywhere, and as her character is defined by retaliations and revelations, the complexity of her hunter/hunted relationship with the pretty, predatory Goode is fascinating to behold. (reviewed by William Goss for Film.com)
- the Oldboy auteur’s cool, cruel family mystery never falls into faceless homage: its queasy eroticism, black wit, arch nastiness and intensely loaded images couldn’t be anyone else’s doing… [Park] Chan-wook diverts into coming-of-age turf, seen through the black gaze of 18-year-old India (Mia Wasikowska), a Wednesday Addams-alike who wields a mean pencil. (Fred Topel from Crave Online)
- As Charlie becomes a weapon for her to hurt her mother, India’s resolute composure rises …shrouding her real intentions. All the better for the vengeful girl when family history is exhumed to explain why Charlie was sent away from the Stokers’ home for years. (Review By David D’Arcy for Screen Daily )
- As the story slowly unravels and Park begins to reveal just one piece of the puzzle at a time, [Park] keeps audiences completely engaged throughout Stoker, almost acknowledging that he’s screwing with your own perceptions of good and evil through his wonderful visual style and challenging characters that will undoubtedly leave you fascinated, frustrated, intrigued and completely mesmerized by from beginning to end… longtime Park fans will undoubtedly delight in Stoker’s striking visuals and Park’s haunting exploration of how human monsters are made, making an unforgettable (albeit uneven) thriller by one of the finest modern filmmakers out there working today.— (Reviewed by The Horror Chick, Dreadcentral.com: click here to read the review in its entirety, which we highly recommend!)
- [There’s] plenty of mileage in Miller’s warped family melodrama, as the respective and inevitably linked uncertainties about Richard’s death and Charlie’s long absence are kept aloft, while Charlie’s gradual playing of India and Evelyn against each other adds queasy sexual tension to an already chilly mother-daughter relationship. Auds will either go with this festering hotbed of secrets, lies and severed heads… and debate whether Park, who otherwise oversees proceedings with amused precision, overplays his hand in the bizarre, bloody finale. (From Variety.com, written by Guy Lodge)
That last line sounds like a perfect topic of debate to us! So, who wants to start? HOLD UP! What do you mean, it doesn’t open till Friday? NOOOOOOO!
- Ten Juicy Snippets From Advance Reviews of Park Chan-Wook’s “Stoker” That Make Us Wish It Opened Tonight! (horrorboom.com)
- Check Out This Awesome New “Stoker” Featurette, Focused On The Twisted Characters! (horrorboom.com)
- Park Chan-Wook’s “STOKER” Gets A Rave Review From Fangoria – Yet Another Reason We Cannot WAIT To See This! (Sundance Movie Review) (horrorboom.com)
- See Both Stoker (2013) Trailers in HD… Which Both Contain Cool Footage Unseen In The Other Trailer! (horrorboom.com)
- New “Stoker” Featurette/Music Video Is Beautiful Showcase For Director Park Chan-Wook and DP Chung Chung-hoon’s Work – Watch It Here! (horrorboom.com)
Jessica Lange was dropping hints earlier about a female Oscar-winning actress joining their cast, which only narrowed it down to about fifty women, so that kind of went to our mental back-burner. Now we know!
The article also says she’ll play Lange’s (well, her character, obviously, not Lange herself) best friend who turns into her arch-enemy. OoooooooOOO! In January, Ryan Murphy teased that there would be a female character that’d be the most evil, malignant, vile, dangerous–OK, we’re running out of adjectives here, but we have previous pieces exclusively from EW.com with Ryan where he teases S3 that you can check out linked to here, over here, and here— American Horror Story character he’s created yet. Going up against competition like Constance Langdon, Hadleigh (Ben Harmon’s young mistress, the nastiest, most murderous female ghost in Season One’s “Murder House”), and the possessed version of Sister Mary Eunice, that’s a pretty tall order. We’re looking forward to Murphy meeting and exceeding our expectations as usual on that front.
Could Bates be the one playing the most evil, dangerous bitch to terrorize American Horror Story thus far? He’s said Jessica Lange won’t be playing anyone especially wholesome, but a glamorous performer whose character would be campy, sexy and fun (and always dressed to kill** in full beauty make-up and “blown-out” hair). He’s already done the campy but horrible, sneaky murderous thing with Constance, so now we’re narrowing it down. Our theory is still that the characters are going to play some kind of performers. Either way, we’ll keep you posted on new details as they develop on Season 3 of AHS!
*he hinted at Vera Farminga playing her, but he’s been known to veer wildly when dropping hints; also Farminga was, at the time, still being wooed by Murphy and Co to return, and he said there were no promises of her returning. She’s since been officially signed and on board for S3.
**just metaphorically this time around, at least according to Murphy.
- ‘American Horror Story’ Casts Kathy Bates (deadline.com)
- Kathy Bates Joins AMERICAN HORROR STORY Season Three (broadwayworld.com)
- Exclusive: American Horror Story Season 3 Pits Jessica Lange Against… Kathy Bates! (horrorboom.com)