Park Chan-Wook’s “Stoker” Opens Friday March 1st – Ten MORE Review Snippets That Make Us Wish It Opened Tonight!

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!

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  • 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!

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Check Out This Awesome New “Stoker” Featurette, Focused On The Twisted Characters!

So!  They’re pumping up the publicity machine in anticipation of Stoker‘s upcoming March 1st release, and so we get cool new things to watch like the below! Check this out, it includes interviews with Mia Wasikowska, Nicole Kidman, Matthew Goode, and even Mr. Park himself (among others). Check it out below!

On a related note, I was watching a trailer for the ONE full-length Park Chan-Wook film I haven’t seen. Not sure why I keep putting it off, doubt it’s because it’s probably his ‘lightest’ film (if there is such a thing as a light Park Chan-Wook film; this is supposed to have a happy ending). I still can’t locate the short Night Fishing*, only a Korean-language featurette  and a trailer, mostly talked about because it was shot exclusively on an iPhone (but doesn’t look like it, you could have fooled us) and noticed a shot from the full-length film I’m A Cyborg But That’s OK** that is strangely similar to a shot (so to speak) that is prevalent in both Stoker trailers (and all the PR material). Here they are side by side; I don’t think you’ll need to have anyone point out which shot is from Stoker and which is from I’m a Cyborg.

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*If anyone CAN send a link to for the full feature Night Fishing (of decent quality), we’d REALLY appreciate it. Feel free to put it in the ‘Reply’ area, you don’t have to go to the trouble of sending us an email.

**I sleep all night and I work all day! I’m a cyborg but that’s OK…(Monty Python reference that pops into our heads whenever we type the title or say it out loud).

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New “Stoker” Featurette/Music Video Is Beautiful Showcase For Director Park Chan-Wook and DP Chung Chung-hoon’s Work – Watch It Here!

The description on You Tube for this was “Stoker  Featurette,” but it has no dialogue or behind-the-scenes footage. We’re not complaining, though, since we’re devoted fans of both Park Chan-Wook and especially his collaboration with his longtime cinematographer Chung Chung-hoon.

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The featurette (I’d call it closer to a music video or even a really creative trailer) is breath-taking; one review I read referenced the shot of “India” brushing her mother’s read hair, and a close-up shows it slowly transforming into a thick field of waving, tall grass. You’ll know it when you see it. Check out the stylish piece below in HD (I recommend going full-screen if you can.

I actually think that between the two of them, Park and Chung are incapable of creating a boring-looking scene or even a shot. Here’s the synopsis again for Stoker  –

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After India’s father dies, her Uncle Charlie, who she never knew existed, comes to live with her and her unstable mother. She comes to suspect this mysterious, charming man has ulterior motives and becomes increasingly infatuated with him.

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More on Stoker  coming soon! Until then, you can also check out the official site, http://www.donotdisturbthefamily.com .

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Park Chan-Wook’s “STOKER” Gets A Rave Review From Fangoria – Yet Another Reason We Cannot WAIT To See This! (Sundance Movie Review)

STOKER proves that the director’s unique brand of thrills and chills works in any language. For horror fans seeking something fresh and unique, look no further.

We put Park Chan-Wook‘s English-language début film, Stoker,  on out Ten Most Anticipated in Horror list for 2013. There’s plenty of reasons we can’t wait, but let’s start with one of  the many raves from the film’s premiere at Sundance.

…just because the film finds weight within its dramatic elements doesn’t mean horror fans will feel neglected. STOKER has several disturbing scenes, one in particular featuring explicit violence that leads to one of the film’s most jaw-dropping revelations. STOKER manages to be simultaneously beautiful, thrilling and frightening, and is different from most anything we’ve seen in recent time…

Here’s a couple of especially choice bits that made us grin with anticipation (the review itself, was written for Fangoria by ©Ken Hanley, so the block quotes in our post here belong to Hanley and Fangoria.©

Park pulls no punches, allowing the story to venture into dark places while always maintaining a level of class that elevates even the most shocking of scenes. STOKER never feels exploitative or even overtly horrific, but the atmosphere that Park and his cinematographer, Chung Chung-hoon, build through their awe-inspiring visuals inspires terror of the soul rather than of the senses.

Click the big red link below to read more on Stoker …and to read the Fangoria review!

 

“STOKER” (Sundance Movie Review by Ken Hanley).

 

Oh, MANY more reasons why we’re totally stoked psyched for the movie are coming, don’t worry, and if you have yet to be swayed (or haven’t heard much about the film), the review should piqué your interest… at the very least!

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